After all the doubt and injuries, Tiger Woods finally did it and won his 15th major title. It was arguably the biggest moment in the history of the game to see Woods celebrate on the 18th of Augusta National again and it is truly one of the greatest comebacks in the history of sports, not just golf. Now, after our first major of the year, the Tour gets back to its regular schedule, with The 2019 RBC Heritage, before The PGA Championship next month.
This tournament takes place at Harbour Town Golf Links (par 71, 7,099 yards), located in Hilton Head, South Carolina. This is the only course to ever host the event and Satoshi Kodaira won here last season (-12), beating Si Woo Kim in a playoff. Harbour Town is a course that doesn’t require distance. It is a Pete Dye design and all the fairways are very tight. Most players will club down off the tee, in order to help themselves find the right spots to approach the greens. Over the last five years, the highest average drive for a winner has been 280.4 yards and three of those five champs ranked T7 or better in fairways found. These Bermuda grass greens are also very tough to hit, putting a heavy emphasis on your approach play. Kodaira ranked T7 in greens found last season and four of the past five winners have been inside the top 14 in GIR at Harbour Town.
There are three par fives and they are the best scoring chances this course has to offer. But, the par fours also important, with each of the last five Heritage winners leading the field or ranking second in par four scoring. Plus, with this course being on the coast, wind can become a factor. Overall, Harbour Town can be a challenging test, hence the low winning scores we have seen (-12.4 average final score over the last five years), so, I also think bogey avoidance needs to be incorporated into your models this week. Lastly, it’s important to note, this week, we get back to a normal top 70 and ties cut line and there are 132 golfers in the field, so a little over 50% of the players will be making it to the weekend. @Hunta512.
Dustin Johnson: (11,600)
It is tough to fit him in a cash game lineup, but you are going to want some exposure to DJ this week. He is the massive favorite (8/1 via Bovada, next best is 14/1) and easily the best golfer in this field. He has made 17 consecutive cuts and has three wins since last July. He has a 1/3 record at Harbour Town, but the two missed cuts came in 2008 and 2009.
Last year, in his first start here since, he finished T16th. His stats have obviously been tremendous (2nd in SGT2G, 3rd in SG APP, 4th in GIR, 2nd in BS, 11th in BOB%, 1st in bogeys avoided, 6th in SG on P4s, and 6th in SG on P5s in L36 rounds) and if Johnson can avoid a Masters’ hangover (T2), he will finish in the top five at The Heritage.
Matt Kuchar: (10,000)
Kuchar continued his incredible season at The Masters (T12) and this was his 7th top 25 of the year. He has only finished outside the top 30 once in his last ten tournaments and there hasn’t been any flaws in Kuchar’s game. (6th in SGT2G, 2nd in SG APP, 2nd in GIR, 10th in fairways gained, 7th in BS, 12th in BOB%, 3rd in bogeys avoided, and 3rd in SG on P5s in L36 rounds)
He fits Harbour Town like a glove and his course resume is outstanding, making 14/15 cuts, including five top tens and a win. (2014) He already has two wins on Tour this season and Kuch should contend for another this Sunday. (22/1 via Bovada)
Jim Furyk: (9,400)
As he always is, Furyk is an extremely safe option at Harbour Town. He has made 11 of his last 12 cuts and has posted six top 25s in his last seven. Additionally, Furyk has teed it up in this event a whopping 19 times, made the cut in 15 of those attempts and has eight top tens, including two victories.
His form is very strong right now (9th in SGT2G, 4th in SG APP, 2nd in GIR, 2nd in fairways gained, 4th in SG on P4s, and 2nd in bogeys avoided in L24 rounds) and Furyk should finish no worse than T25 this week.
Jason Kokrak: (8,800)
Kokrak has been an automatic top 20 recently (seven in his last nine) and is one of the best values on the board, yet again. He has a perfect record this season (12/12) and has posted four top tens in his last five starts. His stats have been incredible (5th in SGT2G, 1st in SG APP, 5th in GIR, 1st in BS, 10th in BOB%, 4th in bogeys avoided, 7th in SG on P4s, and 32nd in SG on P5s in L24 rounds) and Kokrak is currently playing some of the best golf of his career.
He has missed the cut at Habrour Town the last two years, but posted three straight top 20s in the three previous seasons and is 4/7 overall at the course. His best finish was a T6 in 2016 and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised at all if Kokrak tops this, and posts a top five this weekend.
Ian Poulter: (8,600)
Poulter was right in the mix to win last week at The Masters (T12) and it was mostly due to some very impressive iron play. (2nd in GIR) It doesn’t feel like long ago we were talking about him losing his Tour card, but Poulter has made 26 of his last 28 cuts and has nine top 25s in only 11 events starts this season. In his last 24 rounds, he ranks 9th in both GIR and BOB%.
This will be his 9th time playing in a Heritage and in those past eight appearances, Poulter has made every cut and has posted finishes of T11 and T8 over the last two years. His Vegas odds (33/1 via Bovada) are the best in this field of all the players under $9,000 and Poulter is a great value.
Byeong -Hun An: (8,200)
An’s irons were outstanding at The Texas Open two weeks ago (2nd in GIR), helping him to his best finish of the season. (T7) He has only missed one cut this year in 12 events and ranks 1st in SGT2G over his last six starts.
An’s game has been trending up and in his last three, he is gaining 7.23 strokes per tournament. He generated a T7 here a year ago (2/2 overall) and An has similar upside this week.
Lucas Glover: (7,800)
When Glover has made the cut this year (10/12), he has finished no worse than T17.
He has made four cuts in a row at Harbour Town and is 10/16 overall at the track, so I think another top 20 is certainly possible from Glover this weekend. (9th in SGT2G, 10th in SG APP, 10th in GIR, 29th in fairways gained, 6th in SGT, 9th in SG on P4s, and 13th in bogeys avoided in L24 rounds)
Brandt Snedeker: (7,500)
Sneds failed to make the cut at The Masters, but had made 16 of his 17 prior. Plus, he is 10/13 at Harbour Town, with five top 25s, one in which was a win, back in 2011.
Snedeker’s stats never jump off the page, but he doesn’t make many mistakes and is one of the best players in the world in windy conditions. He is a strong bet to make the cut, that could surprise, especially if the weather gets ugly.
Emiliano Grillo: (7,400)
Grillo’s finishes haven’t been the best as of late (T52, T33, T58, MC, T26, and T62), but his game fits this course well and this is a big discount for him from last year. At The 2018 Heritage, Grillo finished T16th and was priced at $8,600.
His tee to green has remained solid (23rd in SG APP, 17th in fairways gained and 19th in BS) and this is a nice time to buy low on Grillo. (5-8% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs)
Kevin Na: (6,900)
After missing back to back cuts, Na had a decent week at Augusta (T46) and hopefully has regained his form, because he loves Habrour Town.
In 13 career starts, Na has made 10 cuts at this course and produced four top tens. His short game is perfect for this venue and Na and Patton Kizzire (below) are tied for the best odds to win of all the players below $7,000 this week.
Patton Kizzire: (6,700)
Kizzire has played well Harbour Town (T14, T32 and MC last three years) and has made two straight cuts, after missing four of his previous five. His T60 at The Valspar was nothing to brag about, but Kizzire ended the week T18 at The Masters, which was his best career finish in a major.
He gained 5.1 total strokes at Augusta and if he can continue to hit fairways (71.4% DA) and greens (66.7% GIR) like he did last week, Kizzire should be teeing it up come Saturday, especially with Harbour Town being home to Bermuda type greens. (only has positive splits on Bermuda) Not only is Kizzire tied for the best odds to win of all the players under $7,000, but he holds the best odds for a top ten. (10/1)
Scott Piercy: (6,700)
The choices are very limited in this sub $7,000 price range and I usually don’t like to target him, but Piercy is just too cheap for his recent consistency and course record.
He has successfully made 11 of his last 12 cuts and is 3/4 at The RBC Heritage, with his best showing being a T16, just last year. His ceiling is around a top 30, but Piercy should proceed through the cut.
*Please note that some of these rankings are from Fantasynational.com