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Draws and Fades: RBC Heritage

10 Min Read

Draws And Fades



    Written by Rob Bolton @RobBoltonGolf

    All-time shots from RBC Heritage


    There were 10,356 entries in PGA TOUR Pick ‘Em Live for the Masters. It’s the largest group since the game launched at The Genesis Invitational. So, naturally, you’d think that the winner ran the table with 15 correct guesses and the $2,500 first prize.



    Nope.

    Pault27 won the week with 3,905 coins for which only three selections contributed – Scottie Scheffler to win at +1600, Charl Schwartzel (T10) to post a top 10 at +2200 and Rory McIlroy (field-low 64) to win his Sunday 2-ball at +105. That’s it!

    McIlroy’s 2-ball was the difference between first and second place ($1,000). Fuzzhead, who was the week’s runner-up, totaled 3,857 coins, also with only three predictions. He matched Pault27’s Scheffler and Schwartzel, and snagged Justin Thomas for a top 20 at (-174) worth 57 coins.

    I’ve been writing and advising that, to finish inside the top five, you need to go big on the 2-balls, but when you don’t pick a tie (valued anywhere from +750 to +850), selecting one to win a matchup, as Pault27 did with McIlroy, success can be manifested in conjunction with the weeklong wagers. This also helped determine the positions for prize money at the Valero Texas Open where J.J. Spaun opened at +12500 to win.

    Mike Glasscott and I will be back on Wednesday as usual for Pick ‘Em Preview for this week’s RBC Heritage. Glass will have the honor, so that oughta be a joy.

    Because next week’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans is a team event, it will be an off-week in Segment 3 of PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf, but PGA TOUR Pick ‘Em Live is a go. It will be fascinating to review the odds for two-man teams and how top 10s and top 20s will be defined in the context of betting.

    POWER RANKINGS WILD CARD

    Jordan Spieth (+175 for a Top 20) … Classic fit here. He’s 5-for-5 at Harbour Town with top-12 finishes in his first three appearances, albeit the most recent of those was seven years ago. Scuffling of late, but negative results at THE PLAYERS Championship, especially this year’s weather-impacted slog, and the Match Play can be dismissed. He’s still terrific on approach and around greens, so a return to something noisy is the expectation.

    DRAWS

    Kevin Na (+400 for a Top 10) … He’s covered this recommendation five times at Harbour Town from 2007 through 2019. He’s fresh off a T9 at the Match Play and a T14 at the Masters, so he’s locked in and presumably healthy enough to keep the rally rolling.

    Jason Kokrak (+225 for a Top 20) … He runs hot more than he runs cold, so we’re more interested in the fit over the form, but the form is just fine. His T14 at the Masters is his best finish since the win in Houston five months ago. In nine consecutive appearances at Harbour Town through 2020, he went for four top 20s among five paydays. Roster him in DFS.

    Tommy Fleetwood (+180 for a Top 20) … Even though the pressure essentially was off to perform as he navigated this season on conditional status while positioned inside the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking, he’s still needed to execute to regain fully exempt status. Suffice it to say that he is despite needing to rely heavily on his short game to rank 15th in adjusted scoring despite sitting T187 in greens in regulation. Currently 85th in the FedExCup with four top 20s, three of which in his last four stroke-play starts. Finished T25 in his debut at Harbour Town in 2019.

    Brian Harman (+225 for a Top 20) … Missing the cut at the Masters never is enjoyable, and particularly in what was his 300th PGA TOUR start as a professional, but it’s given him extra time to rest and prep for his 11th consecutive appearance at Harbour Town where he’s recorded a pair of top 10s among four top 20s, including a T13 last year. It’ll always hold a unique place in his heart because he made his TOUR debut as a 17-year-old amateur in 2004.

    Harold Varner III (+225 for a Top 20) … When he finished T2 at last year’s RBC Heritage, he crashed the top 100 of the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time in his career. He retained position into early 2022, and then won the Saudi Invite in February. That vaulted him inside the top 50 for the first time. After a couple of missed cuts on the PGA TOUR, he reengaged for a 4-for-4 run that included a trio of top 25s, including a T23 in his Master debut. His forward progress is entirely more encouraging than his prior course history at Harbour Town (2-for-5 without a top 55 from 2016-2020), so lean on that if you’re keen on thinking that last year’s performance was an anomaly.

    Kevin Streelman (+225 for a Top 20) … Converging trends alert! Since 2011, he’s 8-for-9 at Harbour Town with three top 10s and a T17. More recently, since The Honda Classic, he’s 4-for-5 with a T7 among four top 25s. Loyal readers know how careful I am in endorsing him, but there’s too much of a good thing handing him to us this week.

    Ian Poulter (+333 for a Top 20) … If the 46-year-old is going to pick off another PGA TOUR victory, Harbour Town sits logically on the short list of sites where it would happen. He still possesses a dangerous short game, his lights-out putting is the stuff of legend and you can’t ignore his 11-for-11 slate that includes five top 20s, including four straight from 2017-2020. Consider him in DFS and for your Top 20 in PGA TOUR Pick ‘Em Live.

    Dylan Frittelli Lucas Glover Adam Hadwin Russell Henley Tom Hoge Billy Horschel Charles Howell III Kevin Kisner Maverick McNealy J.J. Spaun Michael Thompson Erik van Rooyen


    Odds sourced on Tuesday, April 12 at 6 p.m. ET. For live odds visit betmgm.


    FADES

    Stewart Cink … Hopes were high last week but he missed the cut by three shots. He opened his third title at Harbour Town last year with a pair of filthy 63s and what was during a mini-heater. Prior to it in the event specifically, he went 11 consecutive appearances without a top 20. His price will be too high because of the combination of factors this week, but there hasn’t been enough form of late, either.

    Branden Grace … Harbour Town is a par 71, he’s captured his lone PGA TOUR title here in 2016, and he’s 6-for-6 in the tournament, but he’s done close to nothing in his last 10 starts spanning five months. He’s missed seven cuts, placed T33 in the 38-man Sentry Tournament of Champions and finished outside the top 45 in the other two paydays.

    Mackenzie Hughes … I’ve been expecting more from him and Cameron Champ in the last year or so. Each has delivered in doses, but while Champ was dealing with an injured left wrist, Hughes has regressed into bouts of inconsistency that were defining his career until early 2020. The Canadian has only one top-45 finish in stroke-play competition in 2022 and he’s failed to register a top 50 at Harbour Town in four tries.

    Cameron Tringale … He hasn’t appeared at Harbour Town since 2015. Given his 0-for-3 record back in the day, it’s understandable. It’s also fine to leave him be given a mini-slump since the PGA TOUR headed east. In his last three stroke-play starts, he’s cashed just once for a T62 at Copperhead. Also failed to advance from the Group Stage at the Match Play.

    Charley Hoffman … With Morgan Hoffmann returning (see below), fantasy commissioners are again advised to confirm which Hoffman(n) is desired in personal situations. The surnames are not spelled the same, but that doesn’t stop many from omitting the second “n” in Hoffmann in drop-add claims. Meanwhile, the one-“n” Hoffman continues to scuffle. Since Mayakoba in November, he’s 2-for-7 and without a top-65 finish. His record at Harbour Town is strong, but it’s the best at TPC San Antonio where he missed the cut for the first time two weeks ago.

    Anirban Lahiri … He’s been dynamite in his last two starts but with only a pair of T44s and three missed cuts at Harbour Town, not to mention the robust field on site, leave him for aggressive fractional considerations in DFS.

    Rickie Fowler Lanto Griffin Patton Kizzire Luke List Adam Long Carlos Ortiz Pat Perez Andrew Putnam Henrik Stenson Aaron Wise


    Joel Dahmen (+400 for a Top 20) … Couldn’t give it a go in the second round at Corales due to an illness. It was a disappointing outcome given his consistent form upon arrival and, of course, that it’s the only title he’s defended. Figures to play well again at Harbour Town, however, as he’s 2-for-2 with a T16 in 2019. He’s also one of the most accurate tee to green on TOUR.

    Chez Reavie … Called it quits after an opening 77 at TPC San Antonio two weeks ago with a sore neck. His skill set as an accurate bunter should set the stage for a payday at Harbour Town, but he’s connected for just five of those in 11 appearances, and he’s still in pursuit of his first top 25.

    Danny Lee … Back in action after an illness forced him to walk off TPC San Antonio during his opening round of the Valero Texas Open. You know the upshot – it doesn’t affect his swing, so consider him back at full strength for his ninth start at Harbour Town. He’s cashed five times and his form has been OK of late, but consider letting him go it alone, anyway, as he’s yet to record a top 35 in this tournament.

    Kevin Tway … After withdrawing early from Valspar and Corales, he succumbed to an injured wrist before his second round at Valero for a mid-tournament WD. Even if he was healthier, he’s just 2-for-4 at Harbour Town and without a top 45, so he already would have been a target in 3-balls. Low-hanging fruit.

    Morgan Hoffmann … You’ve read his story and are glued to how he’s going to perform upon return, so now it’s time to witness it. The 32-year-old hasn’t competed since the Shriners in early October of 2019. He has three starts remaining on his Major Medical Extension to earn 238.420 FedExCup points and retain status, but merely making the cut would be a monumental achievement as he continues to battle muscular dystrophy.

    NOTABLES WDs

    Abraham Ancer … He will be missed. He was the runner-up here in 2020 and he finished T18 last year. He also just reached the quarterfinals of the Match Play. At the same time, he’s played a lot of competitive golf in the last month, so early WDs from the Valero Texas Open and RBC Heritage make one wonder why he committed to either in the first place. Currently 77th in the FedExCup.

    Jimmy Walker … This is his fourth early WD of the season. He’s made 14 starts but has missed eight cuts and sits 189th in the FedExCup. His fully exempt status for winning the 2016 PGA Championship expires at the Wyndham Championship in four months.

    Vijay Singh … In his first PGA TOUR start of the season, the 59-year-old Life Member shot 78-80 at the Masters and missed the cut by 10 strokes. He’s two starts from his 100th on the PGA TOUR Champions where he has four victories.

    RECAP – MASTERS

    POWER RANKINGS

    Power Ranking Golfer Result

    1 Brooks Koepka MC 2 Justin Thomas T8 3 Jon Rahm T27 4 Cameron Smith T3 5 Scottie Scheffler Win 6 Dustin Johnson T12 7 Xander Schauffele MC 8 Jordan Spieth MC 9 Matt Fitzpatrick T14 10 Collin Morikawa 5th 11 Will Zalatoris T6 12 Rory McIlroy 2nd 13 Tyrrell Hatton 52nd 14 Viktor Hovland T27 15 Shane Lowry T3 16 Marc Leishman T30 17 Corey Conners T6 18 Patrick Cantlay T39 19 Kevin Na T14 20 Sungjae Im T8 Wild Card Kevin Kisner T44


    Golfer (Bet) Result

    Russell Henley (+150 for a Top 20) T30 Robert MacIntyre (+300 for a Top 20) T23 Keita Nakajima (+750 for a Top 20) MC Sepp Straka (+400 for a Top 20) T30 Erik van Rooyen (+350 for a Top 20) MC


    Bet: Viktor Hovland (Top 10), Cameron Smith (Top 20), Tommy Fleetwood (Top 30) and Kevin Na (Top 40) at +2600Result: Hovland (T27), Smith (T3), Fleetwood (T14), Na (T14)


    April 12 … Russell Henley (33); Matt Wallace (32) April 13 … Davis Love III (58) April 14 … Nick Taylor (34); Sebastian Cappelen (32); Kramer Hickok (30); Matthew Wolff (23) April 15 … Martin Trainer (31) April 16 … Michael Thompson (37); Doug Ghim (26) April 17 … none April 18 … none