Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Harbour Town Golf Links - Par 71 - 7,099 yards
Field - 132 Entrants
Purse - $6.9M
The raw emotion and frenzy stemming from Tiger Woods' heroic win at Augusta might not wear off for quite some time, but the PGA Tour's show must go on, and the Tour will head to Harbour Town Golf Links, which annually plays host to the RBC Heritage following Masters Week. The field is surprisingly decent given the event's unfortunate post-major scheduling, as World No. 1 Dustin Johnson headlines the list of 132 entrants. Harbour Town is famous for its picturesque closing hole along the Atlantic Ocean with the distinguished lighthouse visible just behind the 18th green, yet severe coastal winds can wreak havoc on scoring opportunities as just one past champion has ever reached 20-under-par. Target golf is certainly on tap with an emphasis on accuracy throughout Harbour Town's relatively short layout with small greens. As for the weather, storms and a demanding breeze are slated to roll in Friday afternoon, while the wind isn't expected to let up until Sunday's final round.
Key Stats to Victory
GIR percentage - Only six entrants managed to reach 50-plus GIR here in 2018, as Harbour Town's diminutive greens are among the most difficult to hit on Tour
SG: Approach - Tying in with proximity, both iron and full wedge play will be paramount given the aforementioned difficulty of hitting greens in regulation
Driving accuracy - As driving distance takes a back seat this week, players will often elect to sacrifice power for precision by hitting more 3-woods and long irons off the tee
Scrambling - Getting the ball up and down from tricky spots around tiny greens is a constant at Harbour Town
Yahoo Value Picks - based on $200 salary cap
Cream of the Crop
Matt Kuchar - $44
Perched atop the FedExCup standings at 40 years old, Kuchar already owns a pair of wins this season and most recently enjoyed a stretch of 2-T7-T12 from the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play through the Masters. He leads the entire PGA Tour in GIR percentage and is 15th in birdie average. Kuchar's course history at Harbour Town is also noteworthy, stacking five consecutive top-25s since a victory here in 2014.
Up to fourth on Tour in SG: Total, Schauffele's all-around game landed him in contention down the stretch at the Masters before ultimately falling one stroke shy of the best player to ever tee it up. Schauffele led the field in birdies at Augusta with 25, hitting over 50 greens in regulation in the process. He's remained inside of the top-10 in the OWGR since a win at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and is gaining strokes in every major category this season.
Molinari's bogey avoidance was second to none at the Masters as he looked to be in control heading to the back nine during Sunday's final round, but water balls on the 12th and 15th killed all momentum and the Italian fell into a tie for fifth by tournament's end. He's still finished top-5 in three of four starts since winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational and his short game continues to improve. Molinari, who has made the cut in three straight trips to Harbour Town, paced the Masters field in putting average and ranks top-25 on Tour in scrambling.
Kevin Kisner - $36
Ranking T15 or better in driving accuracy, GIR percentage and putting average last week at the Masters, Kisner figures to be a popular pick at this price when you also consider he's finished top-11 in three of his last four RBC Heritage appearances. The WGC Match Play champion keeps the ball in the fairway off the tee and demonstrates confidence with the flat stick from inside 10 feet, a lethal combination at Harbour Town.
Si Woo Kim - $34
Coming off a T4 at the Valero Texas Open, Kim got out to a slow start at Augusta National before playing his final 36 holes in a collective five-under-par to finish tied for 21st. Often carried by an elite short game, Kim actually led the Heritage field in par-5 scoring and birdies en route to a playoff loss at Harbour Town last year. Over his past 36 rounds, the 23-year-old ranks sixth in SG: Around-the-Green and fifth in SG: Putting.
Much like the aforementioned Kisner, expect another savvy vet in Furyk to be highly owned, especially with multiple wins already under his belt at the RBC Heritage. Furyk leads the PGA Tour in driving accuracy, but he's also 12th in GIR percentage, sixth in proximity, sixth in scrambling and third in scoring average. He followed his runner-up performance at the PLAYERS Championship with top-25s at the Valspar Championship and Valero Texas Open, but was able to rest this past week without a Masters invitation.
Ryan Moore - $30
Moore, who is coming off a solo third at the Valero Texas Open, quietly ranks 16th on Tour in SG: Total and seventh in driving accuracy. He pegged it at Harbour Town for the first time since 2008 at last year's edition, ultimately placing T16 while ranking second in both GIR and FIR percentage.
Graeme McDowell - $27
The 2013 RBC Heritage champion tallied his fourth career PGA Tour win in late March at the Corales Championship, but managed to finish T7 against tougher competition at the following week's Valero Texas Open. McDowell ranks seventh in SG: Putting, 21st in par-4 scoring and first in scrambling from 10-20 yards. Additionally, he's made the cut in seven of nine career showings at Harbour Town.
Brian Stuard - $20
Stuard sits outside of the top-200 on Tour in driving distance, but that severe lack of power won't be a drawback at Harbour Town. He's 16th in FIR percentage, 17th in proximity from 50-125 yards, 19th in scrambling and first in SG: Putting on bermuda surfaces over his last 24 rounds. Stuard has placed top-20 in three of five starts since the Honda Classic and notched a T5 at the Heritage in 2014.
Strategy Tips on Yahoo this week
As evidenced by the somewhat underwhelming list of recent champions above, it's clear that Harbour Town can't be overpowered while precision remains supreme over brute force. A balanced lineup approach looks to be the more intriguing avenue this week, though it likely means fading Dustin Johnson ($50) and Bryson DeChambeau ($47) at the top of the board.