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BlogRBC Heritage Preview and Picks

RBC Heritage

April 18th – 21st, 2019

Harbour Town G.L.

Hilton Head, SC

Par: 71 / Yardage: 7,099

Purse: $6.9 million

with $1,242,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Satoshi Kodaira

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 53 of the top-100 and 24 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings, with four players from the top-ten, #1 Dustin Johnson, #7 Francesco Molinari, #8 Bryson DeChambeau and #9 Xander Schauffele.  Here are the other top-50 players: #15 Tommy Fleetwood, #16 Matt Kuchar, #18 Patrick Cantlay, #20 Webb Simpson, #22 Marc Leishman, #25 Kevin Kisner, #29 Cameron Smith, #30 Ian Poulter, #31 Rafa Cabrera Bello, #32 Alex Noren, #34 Jordan Spieth, #35 Matthew Fitzpatrick, #36 Matt Wallace, #39 Eddie Pepperell, #42 Billy Horschel, #44 Justin Harding, #45 Branden Grace, #46 Charles Howell III, #49 Brandt Snedeker and #50 Shane Lowry.

Last year there were 17 top-fifty players.

Masters champion Tiger Woods is not in the field, in the last 12 years only one Masters champion Jordan Spieth in 2015 played the following week at Hilton Head.

The field includes 13 of the top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2019.  Those players are  #1 Matt Kuchar, #2 Xander Schauffele, #5 Dustin Johnson, #9 Charles Howell III, #11 Marc Leishman, #12 Francesco Molinari, #15 Kevin Kisner, #17 Corey Conners, #18 Bryson DeChambeau, #19 Keith Mitchell, #21 Patrick Cantlay, #22 Sungjae Im and #24 SiWoo Kim.

The field includes 11 past champions: Satoshi Kodaira (2018), Branden Grace (2016), Jim Furyk (2015 & ’10), Matt Kuchar (2014), Graeme McDowell (2013), Brandt Snedeker (2011), Brian Gay (2009), Boo Weekley (2007 & ’08), Aaron Baddeley (2006), Stewart Cink (2004 & ’00) and Davis Love III (2003, 1998, ’92 & ’91).

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the RBC Heritage field is our performance chart listed by the average finish.  Another way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at the RBC Heritage in the last five years or check out our sortable 8-year glance at the RBC Heritage.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker in Las Vegas.

 

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the RBC Heritage

Player Masters Valero Texas WGC Dell Match Play Corales Puntacan Valspar Champ. The Players Arnold Palmer Honda Classic WGC Mexico Puerto Rico Genesis Open AT&T Pebble Phoenix Open
Dustin Johnson
(407.67 pts)
T2
(200)
DNP T40
(15)
DNP T6
(40)
T5
(70)
DNP DNP Win
(66)
DNP T9
(15)
T45
(1.67)
DNP
Francesco Molinari
(379.5 pts)
T5
(140)
DNP 3
(135)
DNP DNP T56
(0)
Win
(88)
DNP T17
(16.5)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Matt Kuchar
(348.83 pts)
T12
(76)
T7
(55)
2
(150)
DNP DNP T26
(24)
DNP DNP 50
(0.5)
DNP T28
(7.33)
T22
(9.33)
T4
(26.67)
Kevin Kisner
(346.17 pts)
T21
(58)
DNP Win
(198)
DNP T24
(17.33)
T22
(28)
T23
(18)
DNP T27
(11.5)
DNP DNP T28
(7.33)
T26
(8)
Xander Schauffele
(272 pts)
T2
(200)
DNP T24
(39)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T14
(18)
DNP T15
(11.67)
DNP T10
(13.33)
Jim Furyk
(229.17 pts)
DNP T23
(27)
T17
(49.5)
DNP T18
(21.33)
2
(100)
DNP T9
(15)
DNP DNP T37
(4.33)
T14
(12)
DNP
Tommy Fleetwood
(221.5 pts)
T36
(28)
DNP T24
(39)
DNP DNP T5
(70)
T3
(60)
DNP T19
(15.5)
DNP T28
(7.33)
T45
(1.67)
DNP
Graeme McDowell
(203 pts)
DNP T7
(55)
DNP Win
(132)
T46
(2.67)
DNP T54
(0)
82
(0)
DNP T42
(2.67)
DNP T18
(10.67)
DNP
Sungjae Im
(200 pts)
DNP T20
(30)
DNP T7
(55)
T4
(53.33)
CUT
(-10)
T3
(60)
T51
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T7
(18.33)
Ian Poulter
(188.5 pts)
T12
(76)
DNP T17
(49.5)
DNP DNP T56
(0)
T23
(18)
DNP T3
(45)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Webb Simpson
(187.5 pts)
T5
(140)
DNP T56
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T16
(34)
DNP T36
(4.67)
T39
(5.5)
DNP DNP DNP T20
(10)
Si Woo Kim
(184.67 pts)
T21
(58)
T4
(80)
T61
(0)
DNP DNP T56
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP 3
(30)
T4
(26.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
Jason Kokrak
(180.67 pts)
DNP T7
(55)
DNP DNP T2
(66.67)
T47
(3)
T10
(26.67)
T9
(15)
DNP DNP T37
(4.33)
DNP T20
(10)
Rafael Cabrera-Bello
(163.5 pts)
T36
(28)
DNP T24
(39)
DNP T30
(13.33)
CUT
(-10)
T3
(60)
DNP T19
(15.5)
DNP T25
(8.33)
T22
(9.33)
DNP
Patrick Cantlay
(160.67 pts)
T9
(90)
DNP T24
(39)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T6
(30)
DNP T15
(11.67)
DNP DNP
Charley Hoffman
(153.33 pts)
T29
(42)
2
(100)
DNP DNP T18
(21.33)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T61
(0)
T20
(10)
Charles Howell III
(151.33 pts)
T32
(36)
DNP T24
(39)
DNP DNP T35
(15)
T15
(23.33)
DNP T14
(18)
DNP 6
(20)
DNP DNP
Matthew Fitzpatrick
(141.83 pts)
T21
(58)
DNP T61
(0)
DNP DNP T41
(9)
2
(66.67)
DNP T27
(11.5)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Byeong Hun An
(137.83 pts)
DNP T7
(55)
T40
(15)
DNP DNP T26
(24)
T10
(26.67)
T36
(4.67)
T45
(2.5)
DNP DNP DNP T20
(10)
Ryan Moore
(128.67 pts)
DNP 3
(90)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T20
(30)
T33
(11.33)
DNP DNP DNP T28
(7.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Corey Conners
(125.67 pts)
T46
(8)
Win
(132)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T41
(9)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Mackenzie Hughes
(119.33 pts)
DNP T42
(8)
DNP T2
(100)
T13
(24.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Lucas Glover
(119 pts)
DNP T14
(36)
DNP DNP T13
(24.67)
CUT
(-10)
T10
(26.67)
T4
(26.67)
DNP DNP DNP T7
(18.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Kevin Na
(119 pts)
T46
(8)
DNP T5
(105)
DNP DNP 78
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T36
(7)
DNP T33
(5.67)
DNP T60
(0)
Justin Harding
(115.5 pts)
T12
(76)
CUT
(-10)
T17
(49.5)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Aaron Baddeley
(114 pts)
DNP T30
(20)
DNP T7
(55)
DNP CUT
(-10)
T17
(22)
DNP DNP T2
(33.33)
T49
(0.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Chris Stroud
(111.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T2
(100)
T68
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T10
(13.33)
T7
(18.33)
Keith Mitchell
(109.33 pts)
T43
(14)
DNP T40
(15)
DNP DNP T47
(3)
T6
(40)
Win
(44)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
73
(0)
Jordan Spieth
(108.67 pts)
T21
(58)
T30
(20)
T24
(39)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T54
(0)
DNP T51
(0)
T45
(1.67)
DNP
Branden Grace
(106.67 pts)
T58
(0)
DNP T9
(67.5)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T72
(0)
DNP DNP T33
(8.5)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T28
(7.33)
2
(33.33)
Marc Leishman
(104.17 pts)
T49
(2)
DNP T9
(67.5)
DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
T23
(18)
DNP T62
(0)
DNP T4
(26.67)
DNP DNP
Bryson DeChambeau
(101.33 pts)
T29
(42)
DNP T40
(15)
DNP DNP T20
(30)
T46
(2.67)
DNP T56
(0)
DNP T15
(11.67)
DNP DNP
Brandt Snedeker
(99.67 pts)
CUT
(-20)
DNP T24
(39)
DNP T30
(13.33)
T5
(70)
T50
(0.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T55
(0)
Adam Schenk
(95.67 pts)
DNP T7
(55)
DNP T33
(17)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T29
(14)
T30
(6.67)
DNP T16
(11.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T45
(1.67)
T55
(0)
Brian Stuard
(93 pts)
DNP T4
(80)
DNP CUT
(-10)
T18
(21.33)
CUT
(-10)
DNP T20
(10)
DNP DNP T60
(0)
T45
(1.67)
T55
(0)

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the RBC Heritage

Player Masters Valero Texas WGC Dell Match Play Corales Puntacan Valspar Champ. The Players Arnold Palmer Honda Classic WGC Mexico Puerto Rico Genesis Open AT&T Pebble Phoenix Open
Michael Kim
(-53.33 pts)
CUT
(-20)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Stewart Cink
(-43 pts)
CUT
(-20)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
T75
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T50
(0.33)
Ted Potter, Jr.
(-30 pts)
DNP T77
(0)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T64
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Rod Pampling
(-30 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
D.A. Points
(-29 pts)
DNP WD
(-5)
DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T58
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T42
(2.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Alex Cejka
(-28.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-10)
T60
(0)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DQ
(-1.67)
DNP DNP T51
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Jim Herman
(-23.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T61
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Cody Gribble
(-23.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP 76
(0)
T59
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
Davis Love III
(-23.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T70
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
J.J. Spaun
(-21.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP WD
(-5)
T63
(0)
DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
T50
(0.33)

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

So another Masters is in the books, and I have just a couple of thoughts.  Again the Masters does what other events fail to do, in most cases have the greatest week of golf. This week was no different, on Sunday you had top players like Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Jason Day, Francesco Molinari, Xander Schauffele and Tony Finau going after the title that was won by Tiger Woods.  I have been lucky, I have been to every Tiger major victory, I went to his first U.S. Amateur win and been to about half of Tiger’s victories on the PGA Tour so I have been able to see greatest.  It’s hard to describe how Tiger won, he was at a big disadvantage in the power category and his putting is not as good as in his prime, but I can say this.  I never saw Picasso draw a painting to see how he goes about it, but I saw Tiger draw his image on the golf course and he certainly drew an unbelievable painting today at Augusta National.  Books tell us how much Michelangelo sculptured figures, in the same respect, Hogan was like Michelangelo in sculpturing shots.  Woods did the same with his victory. Tiger won because of talent, mental toughness, and experience, just watching him on holes like 12 you could realize the reason why Tiger Woods won.  He played smart golf for 72 holes, he can’t putt like he use to, but he gives himself a lot of shots at birdies and limits the bogeys.  Tiger hit cut after cut after cut from the tees and to the greens, he hit 80,56% of the greens, 58 of 72.  For the week he was the best, but in Masters stats going back to 1980, only four other players did better, Nolan Henke hit 60 greens in 1992 finishing T-6th.  Tiger did hit 59 greens in his 2001 win, while John Huston and Ian Poulter also hit 59 greens.  I can’t stress how focused Tiger was and despite not having the same weapons he had between 1997 and 2008, he has more heart and wisdom so you have to think this is just the beginning of many more victories like this.  One other thing that fits this thought, in Tiger’s first 14 major wins he led going into the final round.  Sunday Tiger was two shots back of Molinari and was able to finally win a major from behind the lead.  In Tiger’s prime, he scared players, but nobody is scared of Tiger so he has to win it by making the least amount of mistakes, just like he did today.

So do I think that Tiger will continue his winning ways at Bethpage and the PGA Championship next month?  Then after that, win the U.S. Open at Pebble, both of these venues are places that Tiger won so maybe these will be easy for him.  But nothing is easy anymore, there are way too many Dustin Johnson’s, Brooks Koepka and Francesco Molinari’s out there that will find their day in the sun and beat Tiger.  But I don’t think Tiger is done, as long as he is healthy, I think he could win another dozen events on the PGA Tour and come close to Jack’s 18 major wins. This is an achievement that many thought would never be beaten until Tiger started his run in 1997.  When he won his 14th major victory at Torrey Pines in 2008, we thought it would be easily obtainable but it wasn’t.  But it could happen.  Tiger probably has ten more good years in him, giving him 40 majors at catching Jack Nicklaus 18 major win total.  I personally think Tiger can achieve this but on certain courses.  In looking at the majors in the future, of course right off the bat he will play in 10 Masters at Augusta National.  In the span of ten years, I think Tiger could win two or three.  Reason is simple, Augusta is the best course for his game at his age.  He doesn’t have to overpower the place, he doesn’t have to putt well all he has to do is play smart golf and avoid the same disasters that caught up with Molinari, Koepka, and Finau on Sunday.

I think that Tiger’s best shot of winning majors could come at the U.S. Open, on courses set up to bring disaster.  Sites are set till 2017 and of the eight different courses, he has won at Pebble which will hold two Opens (2019 & 2017) and Torrey Pines.  I like Tiger’s chances at Pebble, especially if it’s windy.  Matter of fact I will go out on a limb and say that Tiger could possibly win for the last time, kind of like Nicklaus did at the Masters in 1986, at Pebble in 2027.  He will be 50 years old with the experience of playing in four U.S. Opens at Pebble.  The course will still be short enough for him and again smart golf will win.  You look at the winners of Opens at Pebble, other than Graeme McDowell in 2010 all the rest Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Tom Kite, and Tiger had years of experience so you have to think that this favors Tiger.  Of the other courses, just don’t think his game plays well at Torrey Pines, even though he won in 2008.  The course is not a true ball-striker course and will take good putting to win.  The same with Winged Foot, think that Tiger will struggle on the greens.  Tiger has never played well at Shinnecock Hills so we have to eliminate that course and we really don’t know what to expect out of The Country Club in 2022 and L.A. Country Club in 2023.   I think both courses give him a very good shot but his best could come in 2024 at Pinehurst and 2025 at Oakmont, both of these he has played well in the past and his great ball striking skills will help him.

As for the PGA Championship, between now and 2029 I can only see him doing well twice, at Harding Park in 2020 and Valhalla in 2024.  Both of these courses he has won on and both will be ok for him.  I don’t think he will do as well at Bethpage next month as many think, just think the course is too hard for him, yes he won the U.S. Open in 2002 but I don’t see him dominating again at Bethpage.  As for Kiawah Island, Trump National and Aronimink he has not history and I am afraid you will have to putt well on those courses.  As for Oak Hill in 2023, Olympic in 2028 and Baltusrol in 2029 he has never done well in past so I don’t think there will be any magic for him at these venues.

As for the British Open they have only released their sites through 2022.  The first one people will point out as a favorite of his, St. Andrews which will hold 2021 Open and probably another one before 2030.  I don’t think the Old Course will be friendly for Tiger, ball striking is not a key for that course as much as putting.  With the biggest greens in golf, lag putting and putts under ten feet are key, something that Tiger won’t be good at.  As for Rory St. George next year, another course that doesn’t favor Tiger’s game.  Now Portrush site of this year’s British Open will be good for him along with Hoylake in 2022.  Have to think that Muirfield will get an Open before 2025 and can see him do well at this course.

So you can see, I have pinpointed about a half dozen chances at the U.S. Open, PGA Championship and British Open, so along with him playing each year at the Masters that are about a dozen great chances for Tiger to catch Nicklaus’ 18 major mark and possibly break it.

But again the one thing Tiger has to do is first stay healthy and second stay focus and tough when the conditions get difficult, which he showed at the Masters in his victory.

Things you need to know about the RBC Heritage
  • This will be the 51st edition of the Heritage, which is now well-established thanks to the sponsorship deal with RBC seven years ago.  It was a long haul with a lot of apprehensive moments and rumors of its demise, but the tournament is now healthy again.
  • Harbour Town has been the site of the tournament every year.   In 1989 the Tour Championship was held at Hilton Head.
  • The first Heritage Classic was played to great fanfare in 1969 even though it was a “turkey” of an event.  Originally it was going to be a regular tournament on Hilton Head Island, giving away $45,000.  But Charles Price, founding editor of Golf Magazine, talked to a few people including Charles Fraser who owned the new course Harbour Town and suggested that instead of a small tournament he should apply for PGA Tour sanction.  They scrambled around and raised the purse to $100,000, then got a date for the tournament which was Thanksgiving weekend.  Jack Nicklaus, who helped Pete Dye design the course played and brought some friends including Arnold Palmer who went out and won the first Heritage Classic.  They say that thanks to Palmer winning, it put the tournament on the map and help create a beautiful tradition for a championship after its first year.
  • The Heritage Classic was played over Thanksgiving weekend in its first four years.  It was moved in 1974 to September and then the next year to March.  Between 1983 and today it’s been played the week after the Masters, except for in 2012 when it was two weeks after the Masters.
Course information:
  • Harbour Town Golf Links
  • Sea Pines Resort, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
  • 7,099 yards     Par 36-35–71
  • Harbour Town Golf Links features a course rating of 75.6 and a slope rating from the back tees of 147. The tees, fairway, and rough are Celebration BermudaGrass as the greens are Tif-Eagle Bermuda.  The course is a resort course and can be played by the public.  Last year Harbour Town was the 29th hardest course on the PGA Tour with a 70.68 average.  The year before it was the 8th hardest course with a 72.29 average.  In 2015 it was 26th hardest course on the PGA Tour with 70.49 scoring average, about a half shot under par.  In 2014 Harbour Town was the 9th hardest course on the PGA Tour playing to a 72.038 average (full shot over par). In 2013 Harbour Town was the 11th hardest course on the PGA Tour playing to a 72.038 average which is 1.038 strokes over par, so it all depends on how the weather will be if the course is tough or easy.
  • The course was designed and built by Pete Dye in 1969.  Jack Nicklaus got his start in golf course architecture as he assisted Dye in the design and building of Harbour Town.   The average green size at Harbour Town is 4,500 square feet, which means it has some of the smallest greens on the PGA Tour.  The course has 145 bunkers and water comes into play on nine of the 18 holes
  • Over the years the course has changed very little change, seven new teeing grounds were put in with an added yardage of 127 yards, taking the course over the 7,000 mark to 7,099.  The holes that yardage was added to was the 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 15, 16 & 18.  In most cases, players didn’t use a driver, but holes like 16 with an additional 36 yards will now force players to hit a driver.  The same with 18, 20 yards has been added to a hole that will play to 472 yards.
  • There were also some changes in some of the bunkers so that they are more in play and the area around the second green got some work.  Also, some trees that played havoc to those who hit it in the fairway but had to contend with them were removed which will help improve the sight lines.
  • Two last things, in the summer of 2015 every blade of grass on the layout had been replaced – tees, greens, rough, practice facility. The irrigation system also was replaced with the latest technology, so it may be a bit for the players to get the feel of the course and get to know all of the rolls and breaks on the greens.
  • Lastly 30 months ago Hurricane Matthew hit Hilton Head Island and despite the power, other than debris and lose of trees there was no long-range damage.  We saw what mother-nature could do to a golf course when we see how heavy rains washed away the courses at Greenbrier and they couldn’t play the Greenbrier Classic.  The same at Houston, rain from the Hurricane last August put the Golf Club of Houston under water, but it was back to normal two weeks ago when the Houston Open was played.  For Hilton Head they were lucky, yes players today will notice a lack of trees, especially on holes near the bay like 16, 17 and 18.

Let’s take a look at vital stats that are important for those playing in Harbour Town.

This is based on the most important stats for Harbour Town, based on data from last years RBC Heritage, and using data from all the players in the field with stats from 2019. What we do is take their rank for each stat and then add up the four categories.
The scoring average of the field at Harbour Town last year was 70.85 which ranked the 19th hardest course on the PGA Tour. In 2017 the scoring average was 70.68 (ranked 29th on tour), which is a shot and a half easier than in 2016 when it was 72.29 (ranked 8th on tour). So why the big difference? Wind, in 2016 it blew every day between 10-20 MPH with gusts ranging from 30MPH on Thursday to 25 on Sunday. Last year and in 2017 the weather was perfect and each day winds were below 10 mph. So that is the way it played in 2015, perfect conditions in which the players averaged 70.49 (26th hardest). With the course close to the Atlantic and in some places not blocked by trees, wind and weather are the reason the course can play tough. In looking at the weather for Hilton Head Island it’s going to be tough for the players with sunny skies every day with the exception of Friday when Thunderstorms will play havoc on the players. Another thing that will bother them on Friday will be winds that average 24 mph. Thursday is showing 13 mph, 14 mph on Saturday and just 9 mph on Sunday. So with better scoring conditions, the course tends to get an inexperienced winner like last year with Satoshi Kodaira and in 2017 with Wesley Bryan, the same could happen this year.
That’s because it’s easier to hit the smaller greens with the lack of wind and then go on to 2 putt. Now last year’s winner Satoshi Kodaira hit 49 of 72 greens which ranked 7th, but the year before Wesley Bryan ranked T-66th.

Harbour Town is one of the best courses in America, it’s a totally different experience in which ball placement is utmost over power. Hitting it hard and far doesn’t work at this venue so look for a precision player to win. Looking at all drives in 2018 the course averaged 278.5 yards, meaning it was the 2nd shortest of all the courses on tour. Since it’s so low (The highest on tour last year was Firestone South, 318.3 yards) players not only throttle it down, on many holes they lay up with 3 woods or long irons. So our first important stat is driving accuracy, you have to drive it well and straight at Harbour Town. Last year the course ranked 24th in this stat compared to the others on tour. In looking at past champions seven of the last ten were in the top-ten in accuracy for the week and ten of the last ten champions were in the bottom of the driving distance as Carl Pettersson was the longest driver as he ranked 31st in 2012.

For our next categories in looking at the stats for Harbour Town, one thing is obvious, the course caters to those that hit lots of greens, last year it ranked 6th on tour. 2017 was a misnomer as it ranked 16th as in 2016 it ranked 2nd on the Tour and it was in the top-6 in five of the last seven years. In the last 22 years, 12 of the champions ranked in the top ten with five of them leading the category, the last being Matt Kuchar in 2014. Last year’s winner Satoshi Kodaira ranked T-4th, so on the whole hitting greens is important to winning at Harbour Town.

Next important is around and on the greens. What makes Harbour Town tough is the greens, at 4,500 square feet they are some of the smallest greens on the PGA Tour to hit, so it makes sense that scramblers do well since the course ranked 45th last year, 46th in 2017, 26th in 2016 and 49th best in 2015 which in this case means that the average player got it up and down 62.83% of the time, only five courses saw averages higher so you have to scramble well to exist. Winner Satoshi Kodaira was T-13th mostly because he hit a lot of greens.
Last we pick a stat rarely used, strokes gained-putting. That’s because at Hilton Head putting well doesn’t mean much, but you still have to make those nasty 4 to 8 footers. Last year in this stat Kodaira ranked 16th.

So as you can see the secret for Harbour Town is not brute force, but finesse and total control over your game. When you look at the champions at this course, everyone of them is ranked in the bottom of driving distance and the longest is Davis Love III who won last in 2003. So think of it, every champion since is very short, something that you won’t see at any other event on the PGA Tour. So the thought for the week is hit it short and straight.

*Driving Accuracy: Percentage of fairways hit, last year Heritage finished 24th in this stat, 21st in 2017, 18th in 2016 and was 36th in 2015.

*Greens in Regulation: Stat is a great barometer on how good players manage their games around Harbour Town. Every year the players that hit lot’s of greens do well.

*Scrambling: So which course is tough to get it up and down on holes players miss the greens. Since all of the area’s around the greens are mowed short and are left with really hard shots to get it close, scrambling is important. You are not going to be perfect so you have to make sure you can make pars from some tough places

*Strokes Gained putting: Who gains the most strokes with their putter, since Harbour Town’s greens are so small you will see fewer putts as you won’t have as many three putts but you still need to make those putts under ten feet.

Players from this year’s field with stats from 2019 with 121 of the 132 players having stats:

Click any column title in the table header to sort columns.

Here is a link to the other 111 player stats for this year’s RBC Heritage

DraftKings tips

Of the 132 in the field, 108 have played at least once at Harbour Town in the RBC Heritage since 2010:

  • Luke Donald is 64 under in 34 rounds playing 9 years
  • Matt Kuchar is 49 under in 36 rounds playing 9 years
  • Jim Furyk is 42 under in 30 rounds playing 8 years
  • Russell Knox is 32 under in 20 rounds playing 5 years
  • Branden Grace is 29 under in 12 rounds playing 3 years
  • Webb Simpson is 29 under in 32 rounds playing 8 years
  • Ian Poulter is 22 under in 20 rounds playing 5 years
  • Kevin Kisner is 22 under in 22 rounds playing 6 years
  • Kevin Streelman is 20 under in 24 rounds playing 6 years
  • Patrick Cantlay is 20 under in 8 rounds playing 2 years
  • Cameron Smith is 19 under in 12 rounds playing 3 years
  • Graeme McDowell is 17 under in 26 rounds playing 7 years
  • Jordan Spieth is 17 under in 12 rounds playing 3 years
  • Brandt Snedeker is 16 under in 32 rounds playing 9 years
  • Kevin Na is 15 under in 24 rounds playing 7 years
  • Rory Sabbatini is 15 under in 24 rounds playing 7 years
  • Ollie Schniederjans is 14 under in 8 rounds playing 2 years
  • Si Woo Kim is 14 under in 8 rounds playing 2 years
  • Jason Dufner is 13 under in 30 rounds playing 8 years
  • Bill Haas is 12 under in 29 rounds playing 9 years
  • Bryson DeChambeau is 12 under in 10 rounds playing 3 years
  • Charley Hoffman is 12 under in 26 rounds playing 7 years
  • Satoshi Kodaira is 12 under in 4 rounds playing 1 year

*Here are the ones with the best under par totals averaging it per years played (2 or more starts)

  • Patrick Cantlay is 20 under playing 2 years (-2.50)
  • Branden Grace is 29 under playing 3 years (-2.42)
  • Luke Donald is 64 under playing 9 years (-1.88)
  • Ollie Schniederjans is 14 under playing 2 years (-1.75)
  • Si Woo Kim is 14 under playing 2 years (-1.75)
  • Russell Knox is 32 under playing 5 years (-1.60)
  • Cameron Smith is 19 under playing 3 years (-1.58)
  • J.J. Spaun is 9 under playing 2 years (-1.50)
  • Jordan Spieth is 17 under playing 3 years (-1.42)
  • Jim Furyk is 42 under playing 8 years (-1.40)
  • Matt Kuchar is 49 under playing 9 years (-1.36)
  • Bryson DeChambeau is 12 under playing 3 years (-1.20)
  • Ian Poulter is 22 under playing 5 years (-1.10)
  • Kevin Kisner is 22 under playing 6 years (-1.00)
  • C.T. Pan is 8 under playing 2 years (-1.00)
  • Webb Simpson is 29 under playing 8 years (-0.91)

Historical ParBreakers

Here is a look at those playing this week and who has made the most eagles and birdies:

So it makes sense that the top players on this list are guys that will make lot’s of points this week

DraftKings picks

*Here are the guys that cost the most on DraftKings this week:

  • Dustin Johnson – $11,600
  • Francesco Molinari – $11,300
  • Xander Schauffele – $10,900
  • Bryce DeChambeau – $10,400
  • Matt Kuchar – $10,000
  • Patrick Cantlay – $9,700
  • Jordan Spieth – $9,500
  • Jim Furyk – $9,400
  • Webb Simpson – $9,300
  • Tommy Fleetwood – $9,200
  • Kevin Kisner – $9,100
  • Si Woo Kim – $9,000

So the big problem here is the cost of Dustin Johnson, boy $11,600 is a king ransom.  He has played at Hilton Head three times, missing the cut twice and finishing T-16th last year. I don’t see him maneuvering around Harbour Town, so I have to say a big pass on Johnson.  Francesco Molinari at $11,300 is the same case, sorry I don’t see him maneuvering around Harbour Town either, in four tries his best finish was T-22nd in 2017.  Same with Xander Schauffele at $10,900, I just don’t think his game fits the course, he was T-32nd last year, I know he played well at the Masters.  All of the top-three played well at the Masters and your paying for that, not for what they can do at Harbour Town.  So it’s a big no on the top-three, now we get to some players that can do well at Harbour Town and these are the guys we need to focus on.  The first is Bryce DeChambeau at $10,400 he may of finished T-29th at the Masters and hasn’t been in the top-ten in his last six starts but should do well this week.  DeChambeau was T-3rd last year, missed the cut in 2017 and T-4th in 2016.  Matt Kuchar at $10,000 is also a good pick this week, he won this event in 2014 and has been in the top-ten five times in 15 starts.  My big favorite this week is Patrick Cantlay at $9,700, he was T-3rd in 2017, T-7th in 2018 and came close at the Masters before finishing bogey-bogey-par.  I like Cantlay a lot, even though he has struggled with his driver all year.  Another player struggling with his driver is Jordan Spieth who is $9,500.  He played ok at the Masters and comes to another venue he has played well on finishing T-11th in 2015, T-12th in 2014 and T-9th in 2013.  Yes I also wonder with finishes like that why he has not been back to this event in three years?  Another guy I like is Jim Furyk at $9,400.  He has played well at Harbour Town including wins in 2015 and 2010 and has been on a hot streak for five weeks now, will it continue we don’t know but I am willing to take a chance it will.  Webb Simpson at $9,300 is also another great pick, was T-5th last year, T-11th in 2017 and runner-up in 2013.  Tommy Fleetwood is at $9,200 and not a bad price for a person that could win at any time and hasn’t played at Harbour Town, but I think the course is good for him and he will play well.  Kevin Kisner is at $9,100 and another of those that play well including a runner-up in 2015, a T-11th in 2017 and a T-7th last year.  Last is Si Woo Kim at $9,000 and he is a good player at Harbour Town and worth the price.  That’s now going to be your biggest problem, eight great picks but all of them over $9,000.  It’s probably best to pick three and go really low with your last three picks.

*Players in that $7,500 to $8,900 price range, which ones are worth the money?:

Billy Horschel is at $8,900 and another good player at a price that makes him hard to take.  Ian Poulter is $8,600 and has played well at Hilton Head and played well of late.  Also Branden Grace at $8,300 is another that plays well at the Heritage.  These three are the only players in the $8,000 zone that I like, remember so many people in the above $9,000 range you need to find some good solutions under $7,900.  The first one is Russell Knox at $7,700, he has played well in the past and for the year has made 11 straight cuts so you know he will pick you up some points.  Luke List at $7,700 is also a great buy, he was T-3rd last year and has had a good year.

*Are there any “Bargains” out there?

Graeme McDowell at $7,500 is also someone to watch, he won three weeks ago, has won at Hilton Head and should be in the running.  Brandt Snedeker at $7,500 is another past champion that you think will make the cut and give you a lot of points.  Ollie Schniederjans at $7,400 is also good on this course so you can feel easy on him making the cut and earning you points.  The best buy of anyone in the field is Luke Donald at $7,200.  The guy has finished runner-up five times and despite being hurt the last couple of years, showed a lot of spark at Valspar and I think that will continue on this week.  Also, like Eddie Pepperell at $7,200, he should do well.  Kevin Na at $6,900 is a good price on this course, his game has come around.  Now two gambles and that is because the are both at $6,100 is Boo Weekley and Davis Love III.  For Weekley he has won twice and in 11 starts has made the cut so you will need a low player to make the cut for you, Weekley is your man.  Last Davis has had a long run in this even with four wins, he has missed the cut three out of the last five years but could give you some good numbers if he makes the cut.

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at the RBC Heritage:

The key stat for the winner:

Harbour Town is one of the best courses in America; it’s a different experience in which ball placement is utmost over power.  Hitting it hard and far doesn’t work at this venue so look for a precision player to win. So what will it take to win this week’s Heritage Classic?

What makes the course tough is the greens, at 4,500 square feet they are some of the smallest greens on the PGA Tour.  Over the last 13 years, they have been difficult to hit, of all the tournaments the U.S. Open is the only one that ranks harder to hit than the greens of Hilton Head.

Over the years putting and hitting greens have been vital to winning at Harbour Town.  If you look at the list of Heritage champions all of them are good putters, especially from the ten to twenty feet range.

With greens as small as those Hilton Head scrambling is an essential element in being able to win.  Remember this, only five courses last year on the PGA were tougher to scramble on that Harbour Town in which only 62.83% of the players got it up and down.  Look at the recent winners to see how important this stat is. Last year missed 23 greens but got it up and down 17 times and was T-13th in scrambling.  In 2017, Wesley Bryan missed 32 greens but got it up and down 27 times to lead the field in scrambling.  In 2016 Branden Grace was 22 of 28 greens missed, he was 3rd in scrambling, in 2015 Jim Furyk led the stat getting it up and down 21 of the 22 greens he missed, the best in championship history.  The year before Matt Kuchar was 12th in that stat on the PGA Tour in 2014. The 2013 winner Graeme McDowell led the scrambling list at Harbour Town getting it up and down 79.2% of the time.  In 2012 Carl Pettersson was 21st, and Brandt Snedeker did an excellent job at 20th. But in the years before it was even better as in 2010, Jim Furyk was 4th in this category, getting it up and down 23 of 28 times.  In 2009 Brian Gay was first in this category, getting it up and down 22 of 24 tries.  In 2007 Boo Weekley only took 97 putts and won the category, Aaron Baddeley was 7th in his win in 2006, Davis Love III was 3rd in his 2003 victory, Justin Leonard was 7th in his 2002 win, Jose Coceres was 5th in 2001 and Nick Price was 3rd in 1997.

Heritage always seems to have dramatic finishes.  In the last 16 of the 20 Heritage’s, eight of them have had playoffs, five have had a one-stroke margin of victory while the other was two and five.  Last year Satoshi Kodaira beat SiWoo Kim in a playoff, in 2017 Wesley Bryan beat Luke Donald by a shot while the year before Branden Grace was the exception to the rule beating Luke Donald and Russell Knox by two shots.  The previous year Jim Furyk beat Kevin Kisner in a playoff while in 2014 Matt Kuchar defeated Luke Donald by a shot, thanks to a Kuchar birdie on the 72nd hole. In 2013 Graeme McDowell won in a playoff with Webb Simpson while in 2012 Carl Pettersson had an easy time winning by five.  In 2011 Snedeker went three extra holes before beating Luke Donald.   Can’t get any more exciting than in 2007 when Boo Weekley beat Ernie Els by a shot, but he chipped in on 17 and 18 for the win.  In 2010 Jim Furyk beat Brian Davis in a playoff.

Just like the Masters in which three days of good weather was marred with a day of rain, the Heritage is going to have the same problem.  According to long-range forecasts, Friday has a 100% chance of rain with heavy thunderstorms to dodge.  The other three days will be good, but windy on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Who to watch for at the RBC Heritage

Best Bets:

Patrick Cantlay

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T7 T3

Played great at the Masters, seems to love Harbour Town as he is 20 under in eight rounds, can’t see him getting beat this week.

Bryson DeChambeau

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T3 CUT T4

Has had a good run at Hilton Head, he knows how to maneuver around the course and produce low numbers.

Matt Kuchar

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T23 T11 T9 5 Win T35 T44 T21 T14 T48 T7 T61

Find him very tough to beat, he is 49 under in this event since 2010.

Best of the rest:

Jim Furyk

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T70 CUT Win T7 T42 T8 T21 Win CUT 4 CUT

This is one of his high spots in his schedule, this is one of about five courses he can win on and will have a great week.

Francesco Molinari

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
49 T22 T45 CUT

Never played that great in this event, but I can see him doing well this week. Would love to make up for not winning the Masters.

Luke Donald

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
CUT 2 T2 T15 2 T3 T37 2 T3 T2

This guy has an incredible record in this event, but he needs a win. Showed at Valspar he can play again so don’t be surprised to see him on top of a leaderboard.

Tommy Fleetwood

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
First time playing in this event

Guy finds a way to play well just about every week.

Solid contenders

Kevin Kisner

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T7 T11 T69 2 T38 CUT

Plays well in this event, just off his match play victory he will contend this week.

Webb Simpson

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T5 T11 T66 T51 2 T52 T14 T14 CUT

Guy plays great on short courses that demand great shotmaking.

Si Woo Kim

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
2 T14

Played well last year, he always finds a way to get back in the mix.

Jordan Spieth

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T11 T12 T9

Showed that he can play again at the Masters, has always played well in this event.

Billy Horschel

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T5 CUT T54 T51 T68 T9

Another of those guys that plays well at Harbour Town.

Branden Grace

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T11 Win T7

Has come close to winning here, look for another good week out of him.

Long shots that could come through:

Russell Knox

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T40 T11 T2 T18 T9

Has played well in 2019 making 11 straight cuts, is 32 under at Harbour Town since 2010.

Graeme McDowell

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T55 T29 CUT T26 T23 Win T61

Past winner on this course is playing well winning just a few weeks ago.

Brandt Snedeker

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T23 T11 CUT T26 T74 T59 T17 Win CUT CUT T53 T16

Has not had the best of years but could turn it all around this week.

Not on this course:

Dustin Johnson

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T16 CUT CUT

Playing in the event for a second straight year, yes he is a local South Carolina boy but he should save his energy on a course he is better suited on.

Xander Schauffele

2019 ’18 ’17 ’16 ’15 ’14 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07
T32

Also think this is not a very good course for him.

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