By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy Insider
The RBC Heritage presents an interesting strategic challenge to one-and-doners this week. Its purse is $5.8 million, not the cool $6 million that many a veteran gamer demand to burn a top-shelf talent. However, it's not the purse that detracts me from guys like Brandt Snedeker, Jim Furyk and Luke Donald. It's the converging trends of two-time champion Boo Weekley.
Since going back-to-back in 2007 and 2008, he's 4-for-4 at Harbour Town with three top 15s, including a T6 last year. More recently, he capped off a spirited run to start the Fall Series with a solo second at the Tampa Bay Championship. And he's riding a consecutive cuts made streak of eight, longest in three-and-a-half seasons.
Harbour Town and Weekley are synonymous with ball-striking, which helps explain the affable Floridian's success. The 39-year-old former Ryder Cupper ranks seventh in total driving and ninth in greens in regulation. The 3,700-square foot greens not only enhance his pinpoint irons, they help hide his weakness as a putter. With that series of variables in his favor, I'm sold.
Loyal readers know that it's somewhat outside my philosophy to deviate from the elite in a one-and-done format. After all, games that include all 40 tournaments are unlikely to consider going off the board from what the chalk suggests because, well, there are <i>only</i> 40 tournaments. If you're in this crowd, read on.
Of the top nine in all-time earnings at the RBC Heritage, only Davis Love III (No. 1) is absent this week. He's still recovering from a neck injury from which he hopes to return very soon. Furyk sits second on the list. I'd plug him in this week but I already burned him earlier in the season (T7, Tampa Bay). There are number of sites where he'll qualify as a finalist, but Harbour Town may be the most logical as compared to your other options.
Stewart Cink (4th), Aaron Baddeley (5th) and Brian Gay (9th) are suitable possibilities in two-man one-and-dones, but that's only if you're leading with Furyk. Carl Pettersson (6th) is the defending champion, which excludes him from formats like the one to which I prescribe. Even so, his form isn't where it needs to be to warrant the investment.
Donald (7th) and Ernie Els (8th) have not won the RBC Heritage, but I'm saving both for later. Not sure when yet, but Donald will find a home without question. I wouldn't mind if he turned a corner, too. Despite his track record at Harbour Town, the sub-$6 million purse is the clincher for why I'm holstering him. I had Els circled for a spot on the Florida Swing, but he didn't resonate louder than all of my other choices that converted anyway.
Finally, Snedeker proved at the Masters that his strained oblique is no longer an issue. He's a former champion at Harbour Town (2011) and sits 11th in all-time earnings with a 5-for-7 record. But, like Donald, Snedeker will emerge as a more potent threat with a larger purse later on.
Last week: Phil Mickelson; T54; $18,320,00
Overall Record: 14-for-16
Top 5s: 5
Top 10s: 9
Top 25s: 12
Missed Cuts: 2