Welcome back everybody. Alex here, and I am back with my DraftKings PGA Sleeper Picks for The 2017 RBC Heritage. Last week was a very successful week with all three of my main sleepers making the cut at The Masters. Bill Haas and Adam Hadwin played okay, both finishing at T36, but Russell Henley was great with a T11, that was capped off by a nice hole out for eagle in his final round. This week The Tour heads to Hilton Head, South Carolina for The RBC Heritage, that takes places at Harbour Town Golf Links, which is a Par 71. (7,099 yards) Branden Grace took this event last year, shooting -9, edging out Russell Knox and Luke Donald. This is a Pete Dye designed course, which means that is home to plenty of hazards, and very small greens. Most of these players will hit less than driver off the tee, so they can stay accurate enough to set themselves up for the best approach shots to these greens.
These players, for sure, will miss a good amount of these greens, but you still need to be a strong approach player to have success here, with there only being one single player who finished in the top three over the last five seasons that didn’t rank inside the top 15 in greens hit for the week. Also all five of the last five winners have been in the top three for par four scoring for the tournament, putting an emphasis on par four scoring here at Heritage. Lastly I don’t think it’s a huge deal, but as I said earlier, these golfers will miss some of these greens, so it makes sense to target good scramblers.
After taking all of this into consideration, the main stats I will be focusing on this week are the usual strokes gained tee to green, birdie or better percentage, strokes gained approaching the green, strokes gained putting, and birdie or better percentage, but also an emphasis on scrambling and par four scoring. There are only 132 players competing, with a normal cut line of top 70 and ties, so a larger percentage of players will make the cut compared to a normal full sized PGA event. So good luck, and as always, if any of these picks help you win or if you need any advice let me know on Twitter @Hunta512.
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Danny Lee: (6,800) Lee was really struggling in January and February, only making 1/5 cuts, but since then he has looked much better, making four consecutive cuts. Not only has he made the cut in these four tournaments, but he has actually finished inside the top 25 in three of them, with his worst finish coming at The Puerto Rico Open (T56), which is easily the weakest field of the four. His stats have also looked better, with an adjusted round score of 69, a GIR percentage of 66%, a 28.8 average putts per round, and a 64.8% scrambling percentage. These numbers aren’t outstanding, but they are much better than the stats he has been posting for the whole year.
Lee has only made the cut once in his three tries here at Harbour Town, but ever since missing the cut in this event last season, he has been rather solid on Pete Dye courses, with a T58 in last year’s Zurich Classic, a T35 at last year’s Players, and a T41 this season at The Career Builder Challenge, which are all held at Dye designed tracks. I know two of these made cuts are from last year, but it still shows you that Lee can hold his own on Pete Dye courses. I don’t think I can bring myself to playing him in cash games, but in GPPs he is a great option, with the top 25 upside he has presented the last month.
Anirban Lahiri: (7,400) He missed the cut at The Arnold Palmer Invitational last month, but overall has had a solid season, making 6/8 cuts, with four top 25s, one top ten, and a T3 at The CIMB Classic. The Indian player is very underrated in my opinion and is a very nice fit for this course, with him ranking 32nd in par four scoring, 3rd in par four birdie or better, and 4th in birdie or better percentage for the season. His excellent scoring, specifically on par fours should help him here, it just all comes down to how his putting will be this week.
For the season, he has had a rough time on the greens, ranking 199th in strokes gained putting. Putting can be a very hard thing to predict, but his low 27.8 average putts per round on these same greens back in 2015 (T44), is a small positive sign that he can fare well on these Bermuda greens at Harbour Town. That was his first time playing in this event and I think we see him make the cut again this time around, with the potential for a much higher finish.
Stewart Cink: (7,100) Cink has been extremely consistent, now making seven straight cuts, and not finishing worse than 28th in his last five events. His course history is also pretty impressive here at Harbour Town, making 14/17 cuts, including three top 15s, and two wins. The two wins were ages ago, back in 2000 and 2004, but either way it shows us how confident he can be on this course.
His stats have also been pretty solid this season, ranking 35th in strokes gained tee to green, 43rd in strokes gained putting, 41st in strokes gained approaching the green, 27th in GIR percentage (70.9%), 99th in scrambling, 20th in par four scoring, and 42nd in birdie or better percentage. The 43 year old isn’t going to win this week, but at his price, realistically, he only needs to make the cut to return value. At $7,100, Cink is a solid play in both cash games and GPPs, that will hopefully come with a low ownership. (5-8% projected ownership via Fantasy Labs)
Also Consider: Webb Simpson, D.A. Points, Danny Willet (the form is bad, but at this cheap of a salary he is worth a gamble in GPPs), Lucas Glover, Ollie Schniedrjans, Luke List, Ian Poulter, Kyle Stanley, James Hahn, Rafael Campos (75% GIR over his last two tournaments), and Zach Blair.