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PGA DraftKings and FanDuel DFS Primer: RBC Heritage (2023)

PGA DraftKings and FanDuel DFS Primer: RBC Heritage (2023)

After watching Jon Rahm win his first Green Jacket at The Masters this past weekend, the PGA Tour will head eastward to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina at the newly designated RBC Heritage event. Harbour Town Golf Links has been a consistent stop on the Tour for decades, however, it is new to being a designated event, which draws more top players due to more FedExCup points and a bigger purse. Designed by legendary golf architect, Pete Dye, with assistance from golfing icon, Jack Nicklaus, Harbour Town has been a frequent destination for golfers and vacationers alike over the decades.

Last year at the RBC Heritage, Jordan Spieth won a playoff matchup over Patrick Cantlay, which required a -13-under-par effort to reach the winning podium. Both players are exceptional with their irons, which is emphasized at a course like Harbour Town, where the greens are some of the smallest on the PGA Tour. Narrow fairways are flanked by rows of trees, elongated and circular sand bunkers abound, and several water hazards tend to pop up, particularly on the four par 3 holes. Putting takes a back seat at this event, especially when comparing the Bermudagrass surfaces at Harbour Town to the slick Bentgrass at Augusta National. Despite donning his first Green Jacket and mounting a comeback over Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm enters RBC Heritage as a co-betting favorite at +850 alongside Scottie Scheffler. Few pieces of his game can be scrutinized, so he should fare well here, despite recording a T33 finish in his only previous appearance.

My recommended DFS plays last week had mixed results. Xander Schauffele logged a T10 finish, Justin Rose finished T16, while Cameron Smith (T34) and Jason Day (T39) fell outside of T25 finishes with disappointing performances across the final two rounds. Corey Conners, fresh off of his second career outright win at Valero, missed the cut, while the outright betting favorite, Rory McIlroy, joined him with a final scorecard of +5.

It wasn’t the strongest week on record, but I’ve dug into the field and the course to find six golfers who deserve to be prioritized in DraftKings and FanDuel lineups ahead of Thursday’s opening tee times from Harbour Town. Let’s check out a bit more detail with previous winners, relevant betting stats, and a course overview before diving into why each player can help us cash out DFS contests this weekend!

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Previous Winners

  • 2022 – Jordan Spieth (-13)
  • 2021 – Stewart Cink (-19)
  • 2020 – Webb Simpson (-22)
  • 2019 – C.T. Pan (-12)
  • 2018 – Satoshi Kodaira (-12)

Relevant Betting Stats

  • Strokes Gained Off-the-Tee
  • Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green
  • Scrambling
  • Greens in Regulation percentage
  • Sand Save percentage
  • Total Driving

Course Overview

Harbour Town is a par 71 that has been modified to run just over 7,200 yards. Players will only get one par 5 hole on the back nine but there are an evenly distributed number of par 3 holes on the course, while most of the par 4 holes demand precise tee shots and approach shots to stay at or below par. A lot of the fairways run straight, but there are a few doglegged fairways to navigate, while rows of Magnolia and Oak trees can create errant lies if they stray off of the fairway. The Calibogue Sound makes an appearance on the 18th hole with the iconic lighthouse creating a target for players off of the tee.

Bermudagrass is the primary surface at the tee box, on the fairways, and of course, on the greens, which run roughly 12.5 feet via the Stimpmeter. It’s a slower surface than Bentgrass, so it may take players a round or two to acclimate to the reduced putting speeds. The greens are among the smallest on the PGA Tour, averaging 3,700 square feet, which is twice as small compared to Augusta National and four to five times smaller than some of the links courses seen overseas in Scotland and England. Chipping and strokes gained around the green could wind up delivering red scores at Harbour Town, as there is an intermediate cut encasing most of the greens, while the rough has been allowed to grow out to three inches.

Recommended Plays: DraftKings

DraftKings maximum salary is set at $50,000

Patrick Cantlay: $10,300
One of the best iron players on the PGA Tour happens to be Patrick Cantlay, who nearly pulled off the outright win at Harbour Town a year ago. The 31-year-old native of California is ranked sixth in total strokes gained, including second in strokes gained off-the-tee and seventh in tee-to-green. He’s equipped with a strong, accurate driver, ranking second in total driving, while his putter is more of an asset to lean on than a liability. Cantlay hasn’t missed a cut in two months, has three T10s this season, and has delivered 74 – 101.5 DK fantasy points in each of his past four events played. He’s a value at $10.3K on DraftKings, so don’t hesitate to insert Cantlay into lineups.

Tom Kim: $8,500
It hasn’t been quite the start for Tom Kim in 2023 compared to the run he went on as a rookie in 2022, but the 20-year-old South Korean still has a game built for the RBC Heritage. Kim is a top-20 player in strokes gained tee-to-green and also ranks 19th in strokes gained approaching the green, which signals his efficient usage of irons. He’s extremely accurate with his driver, which is more important than distance at a shorter course like Harbour Town, while Kim manages to hit over 70 percent of greens in regulation. Even if he winds up missing a green, which will certainly happen due to the small surface areas, Kim is ranked sixth in scrambling, so he’s not a player to fade this week. At $8.5K, we’re getting massive value with Kim during his debut at RBC Heritage, so make sure he’s added into lineups ahead of Thursday’s opening round.

Tyrrell Hatton: $8,200
If you notice a trend here, it’s because Tyrrell Hatton is an unquestionably talented iron player. Ball striking is the name of the game in Harbour Town and the 31-year-old Englishman fits this mold, ranking 11th or better in strokes gained approaching the green, tee-to-green, and off-the-tee. Even Hatton’s putting and driving rank inside of the top 40, which explains why he’s been able to record three T10 finishes in nine events this season. Hatton has recorded previous finishes of T26 and T39, but he’s trending toward cracking a T25 with his skill set, so at a meager $8.2K on DraftKings, consider Hatton a must-add salary-saving prospect.

Recommended Plays: FanDuel

FanDuel maximum salary is set at $60,000

Scottie Scheffler: $12,100
It’s weird to hear that the World’s No. 1 ranked golfer, Scottie Scheffler, will be making his debut at a course, but it’s a reality. The 26-year-old Texan is the top-ranked player in strokes gained tee-to-green, which is arguably the most important metric at a course like Harbour Town, which is why so many sportsbooks have him as the outright betting favorite despite never officially competing here. Scheffler has produced T12 finishes or better in 11 of 12 events played this season and only tends to sputter when his putter flares up. The flat stick isn’t as important here as it was at Augusta, so Scheffler could wind up with his ninth T10 finish of the season. Pay up accordingly to land a nearly flawless prospect.

Sungjae Im: $10,300
Sticking with the theme of elite iron play, Sungjae Im is the next player who specializes in iron accuracy. The 24-year-old South Korean is ranked 12th in total strokes gained, including 13th in tee-to-green and 15th off-the-tee, while also ranking 30th in strokes gained around the green. Im has previous finishes of T21 and T13 at RBC Heritage, which is rock solid, as he’s managed a T25 finish in four consecutive events entering Thursday’s opening tee time. At $10,300, this feels like a bit of value on FanDuel, which gives fantasy managers an extra $10,000 salary compared to DraftKings. He may not wind up winning this event, but we’re only looking for a T15 – T25 finishing range, which Im has proven to deliver time and time again, making him worth the investment.

Russell Henley: $9,400
We’re taking on a bit of risk here with Russell Henley, who has missed the cut at RBC Heritage in three of his four previous appearances. However, he logged a T9 finish here in 2021, so we know that he’s capable of stringing together four below-par rounds to deliver solid production in DFS lineups. The 33-year-old Georgia native is fresh off of a T4 finish at Augusta and has the most accurate driver on the PGA Tour, which will help him avoid bad lies off the tee, which is imperative to succeed at harbour Town. Hitting 68 percent of greens in regulation also helps justify inserting Henley into FanDuel lineups at a discounted $9.4K rate.

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Whether you’re new to daily fantasy golf or a seasoned professional, be sure to check out our Daily Fantasy Golf Glossary. You can get started with The Stats That Matter Most or head to a more advanced strategy — like How To Use Vegas Odds To Generate Your Lineup  — to learn more.

Matthew MacKay is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Matthew, check out his archive and follow him @Matt_MacKay_.

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