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Steven’s Weekly PGA Primer: RBC Heritage

Weekly Primer: RBC Heritage

The goal with my weekly primer is to provide you with a one-stop guide to equip you with all of the information that you need to make your picks and assemble your lineups. From course previews, to history, stats, and pick suggestions, this guide will provide a concrete base as you conduct your own research and submit your winning picks and lineups.

2018 RBC Heritage Recap

Seemingly out of nowhere, Satoshi Kodaira made a Sunday charge to capture the win at RBC Heritage last year as he fired a final round 66 to take Si Woo Kim into a playoff. Si Woo has plenty of chances to close out Kodaira and the rest of the field on Sunday but lost plenty of strokes putting and shot three over on the back nine. Si Woo missed four birdie putts on the back nine from inside seven feet that left the door open for the rest of the field. Kodaira capitalized on Si Woo’s putting struggles and forced a playoff where it to Kodaira three playoff holes to prevail over Kim and become the sixth golfer in a row to win the RBC Heritage after trailing by at least three shots in the final round.

Course Preview

Dates: April 18-21

Where: Hilton Head, South Carolina

Course: Harbour Town Golf Links

Architect: Pete Dye (1969)

Par/Yards: Par 71; 7,099 yards

Greens: Bermuda overseeded with Poa Annua

Fairways/Rough: Bermuda overseeded with Perennial Ryegrass

Field: 132

Cut: Top 70 and ties after 36 holes

Defending Champion: Satoshi Kodaira

Purse: $6,900,000 ($1,242,000 to the winner)

Withdrawals:

A beautiful golf course that is going to try and fill the loathed position of following the Masters and the allure of Augusta National Golf Course. Harbour Town Golf Links is highlighted by the iconic red and white striped lighthouse on the closing 18th hole. Harbour Town sits on 69 acres of beautiful seaside property and boasts 54 bunkers and 17 water hazards. The small greens make approach shots and scrambling key this week. A player’s ability to scramble and save par when missing these greens is imperative this week. A true Pete Dye course that is going to test every aspect of each golfer’s game as they maneuver the course with creativity and imagination. Positioning off the tee will also be important as the towering trees can discourage and affect approach shots if the player is not positioned well in the fairway. Players have noted on many occasions the links-style feel to the course that can really be felt when the wind picks up. Harbour Town is a great course that favors approach and recovery over driving distance.

Weather Outlook

Based on current forecasts, this tournament could spill over into Monday or see an extremely long day on Saturday and Sunday if Friday turns out to be as daunting as currently forecasted. Friday currently calls for 100% chance of rain and wind over 20mph. If the golfers can tee off on Friday you can be assured that they will feel the effects of the wind. Right now the forecast is projecting more storms in the PM wave that may influence me in some of my picks that render a PM/AM tee split. Saturday looks to be just as windy but with little precipitation and Sunday looks like a beautiful day for the final round.

Course History Targets

Course history can be extremely insightful when evaluating how a course fits a particular player and if a player has “an eye” for the course itself. Here is a breakdown of some notable players that have performed well and finished inside the Top-30 at this tournament in the past.

Recent Performance Targets

Just as important, if not more so, when selecting a roster is recent performance. You will see certain golfers go on a tear and post consecutive high-finishing results. This can translate to good form and a mental advantage as they tee it up the next week. Here is breakdown of some notable players that have been performing well as of recent and have at least one Top-20 in their last five starts.

The Approach

Before I even begin making picks I will break down the field into six tiers A-F. When you have fields of 100+ golfers then it can be overwhelming to scroll back-and-forth and up-and-down when making picks. DraftKings has a useful tool where you can export the entire DK roster with salaries to a CSV and open in Excel which I would highly recommend and then break down the picks from there.

When I am assembling my lineups or placing my bets, I will look at just about every stat that I can while also looking at course history and recent performance. There are certain players that just perform well at certain courses. You also have to look at how players are performing leading up to the tournament.

Two other factors that I take into account are the OWGR and the betting odds. Vegas always knows something that you don’t, so when I see a golfer in the sub-8k range and see he has the same odds as golfers in the 9-10k range then he is someone that I have to consider.

Key Stats From Past Winners

The stats that stick out from the last three winners of this tournament and that I will be keying on this week are:

  • SG: Approach
  • Bogey Avoidance
  • SG: Around-the-Green
  • Scrambling
  • SG: Putting
  • SG: Par 4

The Picks

$10,000 Range

The Pick: Xander Schauffle—$10,900

Also Consider: Dustin Johnson—$11,600

$9,000 Range

The Pick: Webb Simpson—$9,300

Also Consider: Tommy Fleetwood—$9,200

$8,000 Range

The Pick: Jason Kokrak—$8,800

Also Consider: Marc Leishman—$8,000; Charles Howell III—$8,700

$7,000 Range

The Pick: Russell Knox—$7,700

Also Consider: Lucas Glover—$7,800; Cam Smith—$7,900; and Graeme McDowell—$7,500

Below $7,000 Range

The Pick: Ryan Armour—$6,600

Also Consider: Jonathan Byrd—$6,800; Michael Thompson—$6,500; Vaughn Taylor—$6,400; and Brian Stuard $6,700

 

Good Luck!

-Steven Quezada, @stevenquezadaTX

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