Out of the Rough: The RBC Heritage
The Masters paid off for us. For four straight weeks we’re in the positive after fine-tuning our formula. This Masters was the weekend I’ve made the most off betting on golf ever, and I’ve been doing this for awhile. We were led by Shane Lowry who finished tied-for-third at minus-five. Collin Morikawa’s hole-out-of-the-sand on 18 cost me even more winnings, pushing Corey Conners out of the top five. I didn’t have anything including winner Scottie Scheffler however as I don’t often play the highest priced players on any given week. With The Masters behind us, we head to the RBC Heritage.
Justin Thomas (-1) - T8th
Xander Schauffele (+7) - MC
Tony Finau (+6) - T35th
Corey Conners (-3) - T6th
Gary Woodland (+8) - MC
Lineup 2 Jon Rahm (+4) - T27th
Hideki Matsuyama (+2) - T14th
Shane Lowry (-5) - T3rd
Russell Henley (+5) - T30th
Tom Hoge (+7) - T39th
Viktor Hovland (+4) - T27th
Will Zalatoris (-3) - T6th
Joaquin Niemann (+6) - T35th
Luke List (+8) - MC
Hudson Swafford (+5) - T30th
Post Augusta, the PGA turns its attention to the RBC Heritage at the Harbor Town Golf Links in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
Post-Masters, we normally see a less star-filled lineup than most tournaments as many take the week to take a step back from the biggest tournament in golf.
However, the field this year currently has five of the world’s top ten golfers with Cameron Smith, Patrick Cantlay, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas and Collin Morikawa.
This is a better field than we’re used to in this normal post-Masters slot with several other big names taking to the RBC Heritage.
Harbor Town Golf Links is somewhat of a rarity when it comes to PGA courses, as driving means next to nothing here. Strokes Gained: Off the Tee (SG: OTT) means less than Strokes Gained: Around the Green (SG: ATG) among recent winners.
It’s weird to say this, but on several holes, proper placement in the rough will present better birdie opportunities than sitting in the middle of the fairway. It also makes for a hard tournament to predict.
This is also due to the fact that this course has some of the smallest greens on tour, making it also boast one of the lowest greens in regulation percentage as well. This means taking the proper angles, may it be out of the rough, is more important than finding a fairway.
Due to all of this, we’ll see few drives over 300 feet and a lower than average, average driving distance among the field.
Strokes Gained: Approach (SG: APP) is easily the most important statistic here as your best ball strikers will be in contention throughout the weekend.
This is also a Pete Dye design course that features Bermuda greens.
Weather will most certainly be a factor as your typical coastal winds will be persistent. On top of that, we could see gale-force level winds as they are not an oddity here.
Important statistics to follow are SG: APP, Strokes Gained: Putting (SG: PUTT) and Good Drives Percentage.
We’ve already talked about the importance of SG: APP and how the tour’s best ball strikers will find success at Harbor Town Golf Links. You should see where this first suggestion is going by now. Collin Morikawa ($10,200) is elite when it comes to ball striking. He routinely is one of the best on tour when it comes to SG: APP but currently ranks 20th at this point of the season. He’s also 12th in good drives percentage and 31st in SG: PUTT. Morikawa quietly finished fifth last week at The Masters after following up Rory McIlroy’s hole-out-of-the-sand with one of his own. He’s also played this tournament twice before, finishing T7th at last year’s event. Also consider Cameron Smith ($10,800.) What a year Smith is having already. He has won The Players and placed third at The Masters in just over a month. He’s currently one of the tours’ best when it comes to attacking the greens as he’s third in SG: PUTT. He’s also eighth in SG: APP, again, the most important statistic here at the RBC Heritage.
I might have tunnel vision here after Shane Lowry ($9,800) went out and won me some decent money last week with his T3rd at The Masters, but I’m rolling with the Irishman again. Lowry actually sits at the top of this week’s tournament and course specific formula on his own. He’s currently 11th in SG: APP, 17th in SG: PUTT and 36th in good drive percentage. He’s obviously fresh off one of the best tournaments of his career with his -5 at Augusta. He’s back this week looking to come out on top after last week. Outside of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Lowry has gone on to place second at the Honda Classic, T13th at The Players and T12th at the Valspar Championship prior to The Masters. He’s one of the hottest on tour and fits this week’s bill. Also consider Matt Fitzpatrick ($9,500.) Fitzpatrick has been on one since early February. Since Feb. 6th at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Fitzpatrick has four top tens, five top 15’s and six top 20’s. On top of that, he’s 13th on tour in SG: APP, 20th in SG: PUTT and 43rd in good drives percentage. He is fresh off a T14th at The Masters last week and will look to keep his hot play going.
There is very little in this price range that interests me. I’m only going to suggest one golfer here in this price range due to that and give three in the $7,000’s following this. In this price range, I’m going to go with Billy Horschel ($8,700.) Horschel is one of the hottest golfers on tour right now. He did make the cut at The Masters, which is an accomplishment on its own, in route to a 48th place finish. He also placed T9th at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, T2nd at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, T16th of the Honda Classic, T6th at the WM Phoenix Open and T11th at the Farmers Insurance Open. On top of all of this recent run of success, he’s 11th on tour in SG: PUTT and 21st in good drives percentage.
Here’s a price range I’ll be playing heavily this week. A lot of great value here for the RBC Heritage. Let's lead off with Adam Hadwin ($7,600.) Hadwin is a guy we’ve had recent success with in this series, so why not run it back? In his last three tournaments he’s placed T9th at The Players, T7th at The Valspar Championship and T4th at The Valero Texas Open. He’s also currently 19th on tour in both SG: APP and good drives percentage. He’s also top 50th in SG: PUTT. Not only will Hadwin be in my DFS lineups this week, but I’ll be playing some outright bets on him as well. Also consider Mito Pereira ($7,700.) Pereira is a guy I’ve played a few times recently and it seems that the weeks that he hits, he’s not in my lineups, but we’ll try it again this week. He’s currently 17th on tour in SG: APP, 39th in good drives percentage and 85th in SG: PUTT. He’s placed in the top 30 of four-of-his-last-five tournaments and top 15 in two of them. Let’s hope we can hit on him this week at the RBC Heritage. Also consider Jason Kokrak ($7,900.) As promised with only one guy in the $8,000 price range, we have three in the $7,000’s. Kokrak quietly placed T14th at The Masters last week. He’s also made the cut in six-of-seven tournaments he’s played this year. He’s 31st in SG: PUTT, 72nd in SG: APP and 76th in good drives percentage.
I have two options in this price range I’m pretty excited about. First off is Joel Dahmen ($6,800.) Dahmen’s best results thus far this season is easily the T6th at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Including that event, he made five straight cuts before withdrawing from the Corales Puntacana Championship. He’s one of the best on tour in good drives percentage as he currently sits seventh. He’s also an above-average ball striker as he’s 55th in SG: APP. A lot is lining up for Dahmen to make some noise this weekend. Also consider Luke Donald ($6,300.) Donald is actually one of the best ball strikers on tour, currently ranked fourth in SG: APP. He’s also top 100 in good drives percentage. Donald did have a rough stretch of things a few weeks back but seems to be going in the right direction. He made the cut at both the Valspar Championship and Valero Texas Open, placing T16th at the Valspar. Let’s hope that elite ball striking carries Donald this week.
Strokes Gained: Proximity to Course
Strokes gained: Proximity to Course (SG: PTC) is the patented statistic developed by Lenny of the Out of the Rough Podcast. Each week, we will pick a golfer local to the course to be his SG: PTC choice. Last week it was Adam Long who actually didn’t do half bad. He finished tied for 35th at minus-five.
This week Lenny is going with Brian Harman. As Lenny puts it, he’s “Savannah Christian Prep’s second finest small boy.” Savannah Georgia, Harman’s hometown, is not too far from Hilton Head Island.
SG: PTC Past Results
The Honda Classic - Chase Seiffert (+1) - T25th
The Arnold Palmer Invitational - John Pak (+8) - T52nd
The Players - Billy Horschel (WD)
The Valspar Championship - Sam Ryder (-1) - MC
WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play - MC
The Valero Texas Open - Adam Long (-5) - T35th
The Masters - Patrick Reed (+6) - T35th
One and Done
*Rules: A golfer can only be played once all season unless the chosen golfer wins the respective tournament. If the chosen golfer wins, he can be used again. We will keep track of success via monetary earnings to add value to bigger tournaments. We will track my choices for the rest of the season below.
We started off strong as Shane Lowry finished T3rd at The Masters. This week I’m going to put my money where my mouth is and go with Adam Hadwin. Like I started above, he’ll be heavily involved in my DFS lineups and I will be placing some outright bets on him as well.
The Masters - Shane Lowry ($870,000)