DraftKings PGA DFS Picks: RBC Heritage Cash and GPP Strategy

DraftKings PGA DFS Picks: RBC Heritage Cash and GPP Strategy

This article is part of our DraftKings PGA DFS Picks series.

RBC Heritage

Purse: $20M
Winner's Share: $3.6M
FedEx Cup Points: 700 to the Winner
Location: Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Course: Harbour Town Golf Links
Yardage: 7,213
Par: 71
2023 champion: Matt Fitzpatrick

Tournament Preview

April is the fourth month of the year and the RBC Heritage is already the fifth signature event. Plus there's been THE PLAYERS and of course the Masters. The PGA Championship is just a month away. Yet the best players in golf -- *on the PGA Tour,* for the bots who demand that qualifier -- will be back at it AGAIN this week.

The RBC Heritage at beloved Harbour Town has always been a popular Tour stop, even the week after the Masters, even before it was a signature event beginning last year. But the total purse of $20 million is also beloved, so virtually every eligible golfer will be in the limited, no-cut 69-man field.

Fresh off his second Masters win, Scottie Scheffler leads the way for 44 of the top 50 golfers in the world rankings. Of the remaining six, three are LIV Golf guys, meaning only No. 6 Viktor Hovland, No. 12 Hideki Matsuyama and No. 32 Min Woo Lee are taking the week off. If this week isn't enough, many top guys who are here will also play next week in the Zurich Classic two-man team event. Among those continuing on from Harbour Town are Rory McIlroy, who will team with Shane Lowry, the usual tandem of Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay, plus Matt Fitzpatrick, Collin Morikawa, Will Zalatoris and Sahith Theegala.

As with all the signature events, it's not only the top guys. The PGA Tour's desire to churn in the lesser guys means the Aon Next 10 and the Aon Swing 5, plus four sponsor invites, will round out the field. Some of those guys include Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Thomas Detry, Erik Barnes, Brice Garnett, Chandler Phillips, Erik van Rooyen and Alejandro Tosti. Recent Tour winner Akshay Bhatia will play in his first signature event. The four sponsor invites are Lowry, Gary Woodland, 2020 RBC winner Webb Simpson (who is becoming a regular sponsor's invite) and Kevin Kisner.

RBC -- the Royal Bank of Canada -- is also the title sponsor of the Canadian Open and sponsors numerous golfers or, as they like to call them, Team RBC ambassadors. There are a whopping eight of them in the field, including Canadians Corey Conners, Nick Taylor, Adam Hadwin, Mackenzie Hughes and Adam Svensson, plus non-Canadians Sam Burns, Cameron Young and Theegala, so none of them could really skip this week, either, had they wanted to.

Even before this became a signature event last year, you'd have thought the top players would've liked to break the week after a grueling major. But so many of them love, love, love this 1969 Pete Dye design that they come back year after year and year -- despite having to wear that hideous plaid sports jacket if they win. Harbour Town is the only course this tournament has ever been played on. In 1969, an aging Arnold Palmer, winless for more than a year, came to Hilton Head Island and captured the inaugural Heritage Golf Classic.

So why have so many greats made this an annual part of their schedule? Maybe because Harbour Town reminds of a bygone era, when golf courses weren't a-thousandy-billion yards long. No, this quaint little track checks in at 7,200ish yards, and the golfers will have to be more tacticians than bombers. Matt Kuchar has said the narrow, tree-lined fairways, dog legs, water hazards and tiny greens "make it exciting to try to truly play chess around this golf course." Kuchar got his checkmate when he won the tournament in 2014, but he will have to sit this one out for first time in 18 years.

Fitzpatrick and 2022 winner Jordan Spieth are the latest entries in a who's-who of champions here that could fill a wing in the Hall of Fame. Beginning with Palmer, who was 40 when he won, there was Jack Nicklaus (who consulted with Dye), Johnny Miller, Tom Watson, Hale Irwin, Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer, Greg Norman, Payne Stewart, Nick Price, Jim Furyk and five-time champion Davis Love III, who played here last year at age 58.
 
After years of lesser guys winning this tournament, the past two years have seen bigger names come out on top. Spieth (yes, still a bigger name) won at 13-under two years ago in a playoff over Cantlay before Fitzpatrick turned the tables and made Spieth a playoff loser after they ended regulation at 17-under. Right behind them on an leaderboard last year were Cantlay, Schauffele and Theegala. The scores might even be lower this year. The rough is "down" from last year's 2.5 inches, according to the official Golf Course Superintendents' fact sheet, though it did not say by how much.

Harbour Town's best defenses are wind, water on every hole and bermudagrass greens that average a mere 3,700 square feet, the smallest on Tour this side of Pebble Beach. As is always the case in April, the greens have been overseeded with poa trivialis. The tiny putting surfaces make getting on the green in regulation a challenge. This is traditionally one of the hardest GIR weeks of the season and therefore there is a premium on scrambling. There aren't many bunkers on the course, 54 in all. The signature hole is the 18th, a 472-yarder leading to the famed red-and-white-striped lighthouse and marina. Fittingly, it usually is the hardest hole on the course.

As for the weather, it will be warm all week, with high temperatures in the 80s. Thursday is forecast to be dry and Friday should be, but the chance of rain will increase as the tournament progresses. Right now, it's not looking too windy with moderate wind throughout. 

Fun Harbour Town factoid: The official Golf Course Superintendents Sheet advises that "wildlife on the course include deer, alligators, possum, rabbit, moles, otter, egret, heron, hawks, eagles, and osprey.

Key Stats to Winning at Harbour Town

The most important indicators every week are current form and course history. "Key Stats" follow in importance.

• Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green
• Strokes Gained: Approach
• Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green/Scrambling
• Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee
• Strokes Gained: Putting

Past Champions

2023 - Matt Fitzpatrick
2022 - Jordan Spieth
2021 - Stewart Cink
2020 - Webb Simpson
2019 - C.T. Pan
2018 - Satoshi Kodaira
2017 - Wesley Bryan
2016 - Branden Grace
2015 - Jim Furyk
2014 - Matt Kuchar

Champion's Profile

A truly long hitter hasn't won here in forever. Fitzpatrick and Spieth are far from short, but neither is considered a bomber. In looking at the stats, it's a bit surprising that Fitzpatrick even got into a playoff with Spieth, who had the far better numbers. They both finished inside the top-15 in driving and outside the top-50 in fairways hit. From there, Spieth ranked 11th in greens in regulation to Fitzpatrick's 23rd, fourth in SG: Approach vs. the Englishman's seventh, sixth in SG: Around-the-Green vs. third for Fitzpatrick and eighth in SG: Putting to Fitzpatrick's 20h. Cantlay finished third and ranked seventh in Putting. Theegala finished fifth in Putting and on the leaderboard. Schauffele, who finished only two shots back in fourth, might've won the tournament if not for a terrible week on the greens, losing strokes to the field and ranking 48th in SG: Putting. Two years ago. He ranked first in SG: Tee-to-Green, and the top guys in that stat almost mirrored the leaderboard. Eight of the top-10 in T2G finished among the top-11.

Two years ago, again, seven of the top-10 on the leaderboard ranked in the top-10 in T2G, while six were top-10 in Around. Spieth led the field in T2G, was fifth in Around, 10th in Approach and fourth in Off-the-Tee. The rub came on the greens, where he ranked only 60th. It's hard to imagine someone winning a PGA Tour event with such poor putting, but that's how good Spieth was everywhere else. What helps to level the playing field for the shorter hitters is the pinching of the fairways around the 300-yard mark.

This week generally results in the shortest average drives of any tournament and the worst greens-in-regulation numbers. Firing at the tiny greens, even the most accurate iron players will see their GIR numbers dip. Spieth ranked ninth in GIR, just another strong stat for him. The year before, Cink, in a masterful performance, led the field in GIR at nearly 78 percent.

As we often say, smaller greens tend to neutralize the better putters. That doesn't necessarily mean that putting doesn't matter this week; it's just that poorer putters have a better chance of having a good putting week. The over/under on the winning score as determined by golfodds.com was set at 266.5 --17.5 under par.

DRAFTKINGS VALUE PICKS

Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap

$10,000+

Scottie Scheffler - $13,300 (Winning odds at the DraftKings Sportsbook: +400)
It doesn't matter that the course is short, it doesn't matter that Scheffler just won the Masters. You'll have to decide whether being the top-priced buy by more than $2,000 over No. 2 McIlroy ($11,200) does matter. Scheffler finished tied for 11th here last year in his Harbour Town debut.

Xander Schauffele - $10,800 (+1000)
Schauffele had another top-10 last week at Augusta, and another non-win. He returned to Hilton Head last year after a two-year absence and finished fourth -- and that was with horrible putting. Schauffele ranks second in our model behind only Scheffler, and his biggest weakness is the putter. Could he possibly beat Scheffler this week? Only if he putts far better than he has been.

Ludvig Aberg - $10,400 (+1200)
Aberg has never played Harbour Town before. But since he never played Augusta National before and finished second, we'll go out on a limb and say he'll be able to figure it out. Perhaps the big question for Aberg is, how will he respond the week after his very first major? He was in the thick of things all the way to the end, so we'll see whether he can flip the switch to the next tournament. Actually, there's another question mark: Aberg's chipping. It's among the worst in the field over his past 24 rounds, and it's hard to navigate Harbour Town without superior wedge play. We guess Aberg will just have to put every approach shot on the green.

$9,000-$9,900

Matt Fitzpatrick - $9,600 (+2200)
Fitzpatrick has been quoted as saying he didn't think he played Harbour Town all that well before winning the title last year, that it doesn't fit his game. It must be nice to finish fourth, 14th twice and 23rd at a course that doesn't suit you, because that's what he did there in the past. The T4 was the most recent of those, in 2021. Fitzpatrick had a pretty good week at the Masters, where he tied for 22nd. That followed a top-10 at the Valero and a top-5 at THE PLAYERS.

Jordan Spieth - $9,400 (+3500)
Even though Spieth finished runner-up and winner here the past two years, we were prepared to bypass him this week until the last minute. Yes, he missed the cut at the Masters, continuing a stretch of poor play. And if he can't play well at his best track, how can he play at his second best? But we thought it over. Spieth was done in by one hole at Augusta, quadruple-bogeying the par-5 15th on Thursday. A mere bogey 6 instead and he would've made the cut.

Wyndham Clark - $9,200 (+3000)
This actually will be the sixth time that Clark has played this tournament, which seems a lot longer than he's been around. He's never missed a cut (when there was a cut) and got better his past two years, tying for 35th and then 29th. It was soon after last year's RBC that Clark's career took off. It came to a momentary halt last week with a missed cut at the Masters.

$8,000-$8,900

Cameron Young - $8,700 (+2500)
Young has shorter odds than some pretty fine players in Spieth and Clark. The oddsmakers have seen how well he has been playing this season, despite not possessing the greatest short game or putter. He finished ninth last week at Augusta National, and word on the street is that it's a pretty tough place to chip and putt. Young was runner-up at the Valspar, adding to his haul of runner-up finishes so far in his career. None of them came at Harbour Town, though Young did tie for third here in 2022.

Russell Henley - $8,100 (+3500)
Henley has an interesting history at this tournament: a bunch of good finishes and a bunch of missed cuts, with not much in between. He finished 19th last year and ninth in 2021, with a missed cut sandwiched in. We think this will be another good week (obviously) because Henley has been putting very well in addition to his always-strong ball-striking game. He played decently at the Masters, tying for 38th.

$7,000-$7,900

Brian Harman - $7,800 (+4500)
Harman missed the cut at the Masters, but that doesn't concern us because he rarely has played well there. As for Harbour Town, he's played very well there -- seventh last year, 13th three years ago, other top-10s through the years.

Denny McCarthy - $7,800 (+4500)
McCarthy has one of the best short game/putting combinations in golf, even in this elite field. The shorter track will help him overcome some of the weaker parts of his game. This will be McCarthy's sixth go-round at Harbour Town. He tied for 13th here three years and ago and 25th last year. He's coming off a made cut in his Masters debut.

Taylor Moore - $7,400 (+6000)
Moore checks in at No. 11 overall in our model, which covers his past 24 rounds. In his past three starts, he's tied for 12th at the Valspar, for second at Houston and, impressively, for 20th at the Masters. He also tied for 11th last year in his Harbour Town debut. That makes sense, since Moore has one of the better short games in the field, and his ball-striking has been very good of late, too.

$6,000-$6,900

Emiliano Grillo - $6,900 (+9000)
Grillo had not missed a cut all season and had never missed at the Masters -- until we picked him last week (it's a gift). As we always say, one of the hardest things in playing DFS is going right back to a guy who burned you the previous week. (Hey, at least Grillo can't miss the cut this week.) He has played very well here -- seventh a year ago in a loaded-field signature event, runner-up three years ago. And now this season he's putting better than he ever has.

Peter Malnati - $6,300 (+25000)
This has been quite a month for Malnati. A week after playing in his first Masters (MC), he'll play in his first signature event. But Malnati is quite familiar with Harbour Town. He's made the cut five of his eight tries, though of course he won't have to worry about that this week. He has a best of T16 here back in 2019. Malnati is ranked third in this field over his past 24 rounds in both SG: Putting and scrambling.

Have a wager in mind for the RBC Heritage? Head over to the latest Sportsbook Promo Codes!

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Len Hochberg plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DK: Bunker Mentality.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Len Hochberg
Len Hochberg has covered golf for RotoWire since 2013. A veteran sports journalist, he was an editor and reporter at The Washington Post for nine years. Len is a three-time winner of the FSWA DFS Writer of the Year Award (2020, '22 and '23) and a five-time nominee (2019-23). He is also a writer and editor for MLB Advanced Media.
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