The Masters is over :(. But we do have a pretty nice event to follow it up in the RBC Heritage for DFS on DraftKings. The Heritage has followed the Masters for a long, long time on the schedule and is a niche event for that reason, and also for the fact it features one of the more unique and classical courses on the tour today. Harbour Town Golf Links is a shorter (7000-7100 yards) par 71 which features small /narrow fairways and even smaller greens. It’s very much a positional course which can’t really be overpowered. Given its vicinity to the sea wind can also play a factor at this venue and did last year when the average score was 72.28 and the course played as the eighth toughest on tour. This year the sun is supposed to shine for four days though and the wind looks minimal, so scores could reach as high as the upper teens.
Pete Dye Links: Harbour Town is a traditional Pete Dye design and while no course is exactly the same there is definitely some correlation between Harbour Town and some of the other courses on tour (mainly Pete Dye ones). Looking at past player performances at TPC sawgrass, Whistling Straights and the TPC Stadium course, used at the CareerBuilder, could be helpful. With Harbour Town being a seaside links course, past champs have also traditionally played well at other courses like PGA National (Honda Classic) and Sea Island. A full ranking of players with strong Pete Dye strokes gained records can be found here at futureoffantasy.com.
Masters Hangovers: While there have been plenty of past Heritage winners here who have played the Masters the week before there have also tended to be a lot of players who don’t exactly thrive coming off the long week at Augusta. Over the past few years many who have placed well at the Masters haven’t carried their success over to Harbour Town. Overall, I wouldn’t necessarily fade everyone who played well last week but would be thinking about some possible pivots off of popular players who did go four rounds at Augusta and are possibly slightly exhausted.
Russell Henley ($10,700): Objectively speaking he has been the best player from this field the past two weeks. Putting has always been elite but a change in equipment has put his iron play to an entirely new level—as evidenced when he basically tore the cup from the green from 180 yards out last week in the final round. Henley has a nice record at Pete Dye courses over his career and already has two wins at wind exposed par 70 courses similar to this week’s. He shouldn’t go overlooked, even with the big price increase, and might be available at very low ownership in gpps.
Kevin Kisner ($9,700): Kisner is a player I would feel good about on this course even if he carried no form at all. That being said Kisner does carry decent form into this week as he’s yet to miss a cut in seven starts this season and just a missed win only a few weeks back. With power being no factor here Kisner’s accuracy off the tee and elite putting on Bermuda greens should give him a shot at picking up the win that eluded him in Florida. Ultimately I see no difference in upside or floor between him and Matt Kuchar this week and therefore give Kisner the big edge at his reduced price.
Martin Kaymer ($9,500): Kaymer might be a someone players shy away from here but I see no reason to avoid him. In fact, Kaymer might be my favorite play this week. Two of his biggest wins have come on Pete Dye courses at TPC Sawgrass and Whistling Straights, and while Kaymer hasn’t actually won since the 2014 US Open, he has now gone 28 starts without missing a cut. Aside form being consistent Kaymer’s also playing great golf and narrowly missed a win at the Honda Classic earlier on a similarly styled venue. Coming off his best Masters week ever I expect the German to at least be in the hunt here.
Kevin Na ($8,400): Some may simply write-off Na given his bad missed cut at Augusta, and poor recent form, but this course always brings out the best in him. Overall he has finished in the top ten at Harbour Town in three of his last four visits and also loves Pete Dye courses in general, as was evidenced by his inspired play at the Match Play event in Austin. He should be more mentally ready than many of the players in the field who went four rounds last week and I’d look for him to get on track here with a big finish.
Others: Jason Dufner
Billy Horschel ($7,600): I admittedly am not sure what to expect from Horschel here but at well under 8k in a weaker field I think he’s worth rostering. Horschel has been bad around the greens this year but is also hitting greens at a high rate which should help him given Harbour Town’s small targets. Horschel nearly won on a couple similar tracks already this season at the Honda Classic and the RSM Classic so he also has some corollary form to rely. Overall, his price is super affordable and he should be inspired for a rebound after missing the Masters last week.
Anirban Lahiri ($7,400): I love Lahari on DraftKings this week. He ranks 4th in birdie or better percentage and also comes in with three top twenties or better in his last four starts. Lahiri has shown ability to score on courses such as the one he’ll face this week and fantasy players may forget that he posted a T5 at another Pete Dye course a couple years ago at the PGA Championship at Whistling Straights. Coming off some rest a big week would not surprise me here at all and he should be lower owned in big gpps too.
Luke List ($7,300): List will probably be very popular this week but he’s still a player I think you should target. The big hitter off the tee won’t get much advantage from his length but it’s the other parts of his game which have been making him such a consistent option in 2017 anyways. On top of being 18th in strokes gained: tee to green, and top ten in birdie average, List is also 36th in scrambling for the year and comes in with some good corollary results to his name—including a T6 from 2016 at the CareerBuilder, which is partially held at the TPC Stadium course.
Kyle Stanley ($7,200): Stanley has been a great DFS target all season. He’s now made six of seven cuts on the year and is coming off his first top ten of 2017 at the Shell Houston Open. He ranks 6th in strokes gained: tee to green and objectively has been one of the best ball strikers on tour this year. While he doesn’t have the greatest record at this event Stanley should still be on your radar as he hasn’t played this consistently perhaps ever in his career. A big tournament should be in store here for Stanley if his ball striking remains even close to what it has been over the past few weeks.
**Wednesday Addition: Vaughn Taylor ($6,700) Taylor comes in with a nice blend of recent form and course history. Two top 25’s in his last two starts and has ranked inside the top 15 in Greens in Regulation over his last two starts as well. While his form often comes and goes, Taylor looks to be playing well in all facets right now and his current ball-striking should make him a target this week. He has two top fives at Harbour Town from the mid-2000’s and also won last year at Pebble, another shorter venue with small greens. He’s shaping up as my favorite value under $6,800.
Others: Stewart Cink, Luke Donald
High-upside GPP Picks
Patrick Cantlay ($7,600): Cantlay is the perfect gpp target this week. He’s in a range that will leave him mostly overlooked and comes in having not missed a cut in three starts this season. The former amateur star played well on another tighter par 71 track earlier in the year at the Valspar Championship and should be rested after a week off. Cantlay’s only played a few events but his greens in regulation percentage ranks him inside the top 35 or so on tour. I won’t be shocked if we see his name in the mix for the win again here.
Brian Harman ($7,100): Harman is hard to figure out for DFS, but does bring us some good gpp upside as evidenced by his five top twenty finishes over his last twelve starts. Overall, Harman has made the cut at Harbour Town in four of his last five starts and did record a top ten finish here in 2014. He also has some good form at Pete Dye courses, having finished T3 at the CareerBuilder earlier in the season.
Robert Garrigus ($6,500): Garrigus hasn’t popped up with any huge results recently but he did put in a solid T20 his last time out in Houston. Garrigus ranked T2 for greens in regulation for the week in Houston and 7th in strokes gained: tee to green, and could be in for a nice week here if that trend continues. He’s made the cut in seven of his eight appearances at Harbour Town and at just $6,500 is a perfect near-minimum priced target for big tournaments this week.
Other: Michael Thompson, Danny Lee
Players to Consider (in no order)
– Russell Henley, Martin Kaymer, Kevin Kisner, Kevin Na, Jason Dufner, Stewart Cink, Kyle Stanley, Luke List, Anirban Lahari, Billy Horschel
– Patrick Cantlay, Robert Garrigus, Danny Lee, Brian Harman, Luke Donald, Michael Thompson, Vaughn Taylor
Martin Kaymer 28-1
Kevin Na 40-1
Luke List 70-1
Anirban Lahari 90-1
Danny Lee 125-1
Michael Thompson 150-1