On the heels of the Masters, this week’s RBC Heritage seems like a bit of an afterthought for most — but not fantasy golf pros like you and me.
Sure, the RBC Heritage doesn’t carry the panache of a major championship, but it is one of the Tour’s favorite events among players. No doubt, the Pete Dye design at Harbour Town and Hilton Head Island will test the games best.
Coming into the week, there are a few trends to pay attention to:
First of all, being a full-field event, there are quite a few players teeing it up this week who weren’t on property at Augusta National. Four of the last 11 years, one of those guys has punched their ticket to the following year’s Masters with a victory.
Second — and this may be grabbing at straws, but — Since RBC took over as the title sponsor of the event in 2011, five of the six winners have sported the RBC logo somewhere on their person or golf bag. That’s probably nothing more than coincidence, but a hard-core gambler (or certified nut job) might take that as a sign. Just wanted to put that out there.
Finally, the RBC Heritage has a tendency produce multiple winners and winners that no one sees coming — but is also a place where the same guys seemingly play well all the time. That means it could be tough to pick an outright winner, but separating the players from posers should be easy.
Boo Weekley — One name that comes up almost every time the Tour rolls through Hilton Head is Boo Weekley. There’s certainly reason for it — he won the event in 2007 and 2008 — but I just don’t see it happening for Boo this week. Despite flashes of his former play, Weekley has mostly struggled this year, missing nine of 14 cuts in 2017.
Billy Horschel — I love Billy Ho and made quite a bit of coin on him when he won the FedExCup a few years back. Since then, however, I’ve been disappointed by him more than once and I don’t want you to be. He book-ended a T-4 at the Honda Classic with missed cuts and has been generally inconsistent all season. As I said, I’m a big fan of Horschel, but I’ve got to pick with my head and not my heart this week. He should be benched for Harbour Town.
Graham DeLaet — I have lost so much money betting on Graham DeLaet that at this point in my life it’s almost just a moral decision not start him. That being said, he’s played well here in the past, so if you want to roll the dice, feel free. He’s a solid bet for a mid-pack finish, but not much more than that.
Keegan Bradley — Not sure what’s happened to the 2011 PGA Champion, but Keegan Bradley hasn’t made much noise the last couple years on Tour. Be it the switch from the anchored putter or something else, Bradley’s performance has notably slipped. He may have been a fantasy stalwart, but to me, until he proves otherwise, you can’t be fooled by the name recognition. Punt on Keegs this week.
Davis Love III — Love won on Tour as recently as 2015, but at 52 he’s not really a threat to anything of merit this week at Harbour Town. Despite his terrific track record here and his game still being strong, Love is merely going to be taking a victory lap this week. Coming off wrist surgery doesn’t help, either. Don’t let your memories of what Fred Couples did last week at Augusta cloud your decision making — Love is a no-go.
Cameron Smith — If you’re looking for some value in your DFS lineup or just a deep pick that could provide some much needed pop from the bottom of your lineup, give Cameron Smith a shot. The young Aussie has been consistently solid most of the season posting top-35 finishes in more than half his starts. Made a name for himself finishing 4th alone at the 2015 U.S. Open.
Luke Donald — Donald hasn’t shot a competitive round in the 60’s since late February, but there’s something about Harbour Town that makes the Englishman light up. The former world No. 1 has finished runner-up four times here since 2009. Even if he doesn’t win, the odds are in favor of a good week for Donald.
Matt Kuchar — The 2014 winner of this event, Matt Kuchar, comes in riding a bit of a hot streak and deserves your full attention this week. After his ace on 16 at the vaulted him to a T-4 finish at the Masters, Kuch returns to the comfy confines of Harbour Town, looking to continue his stretch of good fortune. Expect big things from Kucher in S.C.
Jim Furyk — Another horse for this course is Jim Furyk. I love the guy with the loopy swing this week. He’s won this event twice, posses the ability to go super low and isn’t easily rattled by conditions around him. If he’s feeling healthy, Furyk will contend this week and you’d be remiss not to start him.
Matthew Fitzpatrick — Early in the week, it looked Like Matthew Fitzpatrick was headed for a big week at Augusta. Instead, he slowly faded away and finished mid pack — but that doesn’t mean lessons weren’t learned or that he’s coming in playing poorly. The young Englishman is solid pick this week in any format thanks to his current form and experience at Harbour Town.
Bryson DeChambeau — Someday, big things from Bryson DeChambeau — and that could begin this week in South Carolina. Obviously, the kid is uber talented and very eccentric, but he’s been a bit inconsistent since turning pro before this event one years ago. In his pro debut here last year, DeChambeau finished T-4. Combine that success with the fact that his last four finished suggest he could be peaking and DeChambeau is a lock for a good week at Harbour Town.
Oh, and just in case you lend any credence to the RBC ambassadors theory, the following players are in the field and sporting the logo this week:
There you have it, folks. Choose wisely, and I’ll see you on the other side.