There’s no denying the excitement surrounding the PGA Tour in its return, which did not disappoint last week at Colonial. Harbour Town is another staple, and showing how much attention golf is getting, DraftKings is back with a Millionaire Maker for a second straight week, which speaks to how much buzz is behind golf and gambling, since the million-dollar top-prize contest is usually reserved for major championships.
In handicapping the RBC Heritage, we have another tight, tree-lined test off the tee that requires accuracy with the driver. The tiny greens require elite ball-striking. As evidenced by the event’s past champions (C.T. Pan, Satoshi Kodaira and Wesley Bryan), driving distance is not a prerequisite for success. Anyone can win at Harbour Town.
Another star-studded field will converge on Hilton Head Island this week, with 18 of the top 23 players in the world teeing it up, including Tyrrell Hatton and Hideki Matsuyama making their post-shutdown debuts. What should we do with this elite field with so many possibilities to build your lineup? We get into strategy in depth in the Golf Digest podcast this week, and here’s my analysis of the field by pricing, courtesy of FanDuel and DraftKings.
$9,000 AND ABOVE
High Upside: Hideki Matsuyama ($9,500 DRAFTKINGS | $11,000 FANDUEL)
The last time we saw Matsuyama, he was the first-round leader at the Players Championship before it was cancelled. That was a positive trend for Matsuyama who had a fifth-place finish at The Genesis Invitational and a sixth-place at WGC-Mexico before the break.
Safest Option: Rory McIlroy ($11,300 DRAFTKINGS | $12,200 FANDUEL)
Even with his head-scratching 74 in the final round at Colonial, it’s hard to fathom McIlroy not finishing in the top 10 of any event. He turns his bad rounds into good rounds, and even his good rounds feel like he’s left a few strokes on the course. That’s the combination for an incredibly high floor.
Most Likely To Disappoint: Bryson DeChambeau ($10,700 DRAFTKINGS | $11,900 FANDUEL)
I love Bryson and what he’s doing, but Harbour Town is probably the worst “fit” for DeChambeau for the rest of the season. He won’t be able to cut the doglegs like he did at Colonial, which is likely to neutralize his biggest weapon. Now with even more inflated ownership, I’ll offer some concern.
Pick To Win: Webb Simpson ($9,000 DRAFTKINGS | $11,400 FANDUEL)
Simpson uncharacteristically missed the cut last week at Colonial, losing 3.27 shots on approach in round 1, one of his worst rounds in the RickRunGood.com database. He played better on Friday but still missed the cut. He heads to Harbour Town which is almost a perfect course fit and he’s notched three straight Top 16 finishes.
$8,000 to $9,000
High Upside: Tyrrell Hatton ($8,000 DRAFTKINGS | $9,800 FANDUEL)
This is the first time we will see Hatton post-shutdown. He won the Turkish Airlines Open back at the end of 2019 and followed the season with wrist surgery. He went T-6 at WGC Mexico then won at Arnold Palmer Invitational in his first two starts back. Time off hasn’t been an issue for Hatton.
Safest Option: Gary Woodland ($8,400 DRAFTKINGS | $10,500 FANDUEL)
Woodland is elite off-the-tee and on approach and with his ninth-place finish last week, he has three straight top-12 finishes. Woodland has thrived on “less than driver” courses in his career. Expect to see countless stingers at Harbour Town.
Most Likely To Disappoint: Brooks Koepka ($8,600 DRAFTKINGS |$11,100 FANDUEL)
While it’s important to remember that Koepka is looking better, he relied heavily on his short game last week to the tune of 2.66 strokes gained/around-the-green and another 4.73 strokes gained/putting. That’s an unsustainable rate (unless your name is Jordan Spieth).
Pick To Win: Abraham Ancer ($8,000 DRAFTKINGS | $9,600 FANDUEL)
If there was ever a course fit for Ancer, it’s Harbour Town. He’s one of the shortest, but most accurate drivers on the PGA Tour and has no problem competing in tough fields (T-14 last week, T-12 at WGC Mexico).
$7,000 to $8,000
High Upside: Viktor Hovland ($7,600 DRAFTKINGS | $9,900 FANDUEL)
Hovland is the perfect combination of driving accuracy and distance. He ranks in the top 25 of this field in fairways hit (67 percent), and he hits the ball further than anyone else in that group. He flashed the upside by winning the Puerto Rico Open and will now look to pocket his first win in a non-opposite field event.
Safest Option: Kevin Kisner ($7,700 DRAFTKINGS | $9,800 FANDUEL)
There’s a few tournaments a year that Kisner knows he can contend and this is one of them. He finished second in 2015, 11th in 2017 and seventh in 2019 as part of his six straight cuts made at Harbour Town.
Most Likely To Disappoint: Byeong Hun An ($7,500 DRAFTKINGS | $9,100 FANDUEL)
He’s one of the founding members of #TeamNoPutt but is more known for his ability to blow up in a moment’s notice. The quadruple bogey he took on No. 11 last Sunday is evidence of that.
Pick To Win: J.T. Poston ($7,500 DRAFTKINGS | $9,200 FANDUEL)
Poston hung around all week, notching his first top-10 since winning the 2019 Wyndham Championship. He finished sixth at his only trip to Harbour Town, so expect the good vibes to continue.
$6,900 and below
High Upside: Brendon Todd ($6,900 DRAFTKINGS | $8,100 FANDUEL)
We aren’t that far removed from Todd’s back-to-back wins at the end of 2019. That stretch began only 10 starts ago, and we're at a course that should fit his eye. Todd finished fourth here in 2015.
Safest Option: Harry Higgs ($6,900 DRAFTKINGS | $8,100 FANDUEL)
There’s no such thing as a “safe option” this low on the board, but Higgs now has six straight cuts made and has found the weekend in 10 of his past 11 events.
Most Likely To Disappoint: Russell Knox ($6,900 DRAFTKINGS | $8,200 FANDUEL)
Most will look to his course record (18th in ‘15, 2nd in ‘16 and 11th in ‘17) as a reason to roster Knox. I’m more focused on his five straight missed cuts dating back to Pebble Beach.
Pick To Win: Brian Stuard ($6,600 DRAFTKINGS | $7,500 FANDUEL)
You might have missed Brian Stuard carding the round of the day on Sunday, a 64 with a bogey on 18, because he was finished by the time you woke up. He went out first, alone, and fired that number. If he “found something,” Harbour Town is a great fit for the guy who ranks 220th in driving distance but sixth in accuracy.