The Cheat Sheet provides fantasy golf players with course info, player history and the most noteworthy trends of the week to help them with their roster selections.
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The millionaire slate locks at 6:45 a.m. ET on Thursday, June 18. Set your lineups here: PGA TOUR $2.25M Millionaire [$1M to 1st].
Like last week, we are getting an abnormally stacked field for this year’s version of the RBC Heritage. Normally this is an event that doesn’t draw a ton of big names due to its place in the schedule, directly after the Masters, but this year’s version will take place two months later than normal and only two events into the Tour’s restart. Much like last week, this field will see all five of the top-5 players in the world tee things up here with Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Brooks Koepka all making their official career debuts at Harbour Town Golf Links. Much of the rest of the field will remain the same as last week too, although we will be getting first looks at Charl Schwartzel (who was starting to play well prior to the stoppage), Hideki Matsuyama and a couple of younger players in Sam Burns and Tyrrell Hatton. The event this week will be larger than normal too, featuring a full-sized 154-man field with the normal cut rules — top-65 and ties make the weekend — applying.
Harbour Town Golf Links, Hilton Head, South Carolina
Par 71, 7,099 yards; Greens: TifEagle Bermuda
Harbour Town Golf Links is one of the most idyllic settings the players visit all year and should play somewhat firmer than normal on its new summer date. The course was designed by Pete Dye and has some characteristics about it that make it quite unique, including some of the smallest Bermuda greens on tour (avg 3,700 sq. ft.) and narrow fairways that make placement off the tee crucial. Missing on the wrong side of the green or fairway can mean getting blocked out of an approach or having little to no chance at an up and down, and the fact the course is set alongside the water means wind can often play a factor, although one would expect that a summer date would mean less chance of storms or gusty winds (see below for this year’s weather outlook).
As far as setup goes, Harbour Town contains a nice mix of challenging and score-able holes. Two of the Par 5s set up well under 550 yards in length and present extremely good birdie and eagle opportunities for the players (assuming their drives find the fairway). But there’s plenty of challenging holes here, too. Although the Par 3s all measure in at a range of just 175-200 yards, a mix of small greens, water hazards and overhanging trees make them all tough to maneuver and they can yield double bogies or worse in an instant. There’s plenty of long Par 4s at Harbour Town, as well, as nine of them measure over 400 yards in length, with five coming in at over 450 yards. The 472-yard finishing hole, which is right by the ocean, makes for one of the toughest in golf if the wind is up.
Over the past two seasons, Harbour Town has played as the 19th and 11th toughest course on the PGA Tour, respectively, although it should be noted that weather has played a big factor here each of the past few seasons and calm conditions could mean a lot more birdies this year. One final note: While there are still spots players can hit driver here, the course calls for a lot of clubbing down. The average driving distance of the field here is often 10-15 yards less than the average stop on Tour. Hence, emphasizing distance off the tee here is generally not a priority.
2020 Weather Outlook: As mentioned above, the change in calendar should help from a weather perspective this week. The April time slot often saw storms and cold weather dominate this event, but this year the temperatures look set to begin in the low 80s and reach highs in the low 90s by Sunday. There is some rain anticipated early in the week, so the course may not play as quick as Colonial, but Thursday to Sunday has mainly sunny skies in the forecast. Right now, the only trouble spot seems to be scattered thunderstorms that are “possible” for Friday afternoon. With wind pretty much insignificant the first couple of days, that could be a spot to watch as we get closer to lock this week as players forced to play through any bad weather of that sort could be at a disadvantage.
Last Five winners
2019—CT Pan -12 (over Matt Kuchar -11)
2018—Satoshi Kodaira -12 (over Si Woo Kim playoff)
2017—Wes Bryan -13 (over Luke Donald -12)
2016—Branden Grace -9 (over Luke Donald and Russell Knox -7)
2015—Jim Furyk -18 (over Kevin Kisner playoff)
– Seven of the past nine winners of the RBC had recorded TWO top 5 (or better) finishes worldwide in the year of their victory before their win at Hilton Head.
– Six of the past nine winners had recorded a T23 or better in a previous year at this event before winning (two of the past three winners have been first-timers at this event).
Strokes Gained: Tee to Green/Approach
Proximity 175-200 yards
Both Kevin Kisner and Jim Furyk ranked first and second in strokes gained: tee to green here for the week in 2015 and also finished first and second for the week in the event (Furyk beat Kisner in a playoff). The 2017 winner, Wes Bryan, ranked sixth in this stat while last year’s winner, CT Pan, ranked 11th. Additionally, this is very much a second shot course so emphasizing approach stats this week is a good idea. The 2018 winner, Satoshi Kodairi, finished seventh in SG: Approaches, while the 2017 winner Bryan finished second.
Scrambling can be a volatile stat, but solid around the green play is important this week. The past four winners have ranked 11th-1st-2nd-1st-13th-16th in scrambling for the week of their win at Habour Town. With small greens that can be easy to miss, a good short game could have a large impact on a player’s fortunes this week.
As mentioned above, Harbour Town is very much a second shot course so emphasizing Strokes Gained: Approach here makes sense and, distance-wise, the 175-200 yard range has been a key range to target. With several longer Par 4s and some shorter Par 3s mixed in, proximity from 175-200 yards should be a key stat to target.
Odds to win are one factor to think about when picking players (but not the only thing, so be careful putting too much weight on them). This section is going to detail a few of the players who have the best fantasy value comparative to their odds of winning this week.
Player Odds DraftKings Price Comparables Webb Simpson +3000 $9,000 – SungJae Im $9,700 and +3000
– Justin Rose $9,200 and +3000 – Collin Morikawa $10,000 and +3500 Tyrrell Hatton +4000 $8,000 – Matt Kuchar $8,300 and +4000
– Tony Finau $8,200 and +4500 – Rickie Fowler $8,100 and +6000
HORSES FOR COURSES
1. Luke Donald (best finishes: 2nd-2017, 2016, 2014, 2011, 2009): Donald shows up first on our horses list this week, and for good reason. In 10 straight starts here he’s amassed seven finishes of T5 or better and has ended up as the runner-up here an incredible five times and finished third twice! Over the past five years, he’s second here in SG: Total.
2. Matt Kuchar (best finishes: win-2014, 2nd-2019, T5-2015): Kuchar has played here 14 times since 2004 and never missed a cut. He won this event back in 2014 and has also finished second, T23 and T11 at Habour Town the past three seasons. Despite all that, he’s only won the event once but does rank first in SG: Total here over the past five years. Even coming off a bad missed cut at Colonial, he’ll likely be a popular pick this week.
3. Ian Poulter (best finishes: T10-2019, T7-2018): Poulter comes into this week having gained the third most Strokes Total at Harbour Town over the past five seasons of anyone in the field. The Brit has finished inside the top 20 here in four of the past five years and gained over 5.6 strokes with his putter on these greens last season. He’s coming off a T29 finish at Colonial last week.
4. Kevin Streelman (best finishes: T3-2014, T6-2019): Streelman is another straight hitter who has found consistent success at Harbour Town. He’s finished T6 and T7 at this event the past two years and also finished T3 here back in 2013. He was second in SG: Tee to Green stats here last year, gaining 7.7 strokes on approaches alone last year.
5. Webb Simpson (best finishes: 2nd [playoff loss]-2013, T5-2018): Webb rounds out our top 5 course horses this week as accurate hitters take center stage. He has not missed the cut at Harbour Town in nine straight starts now and has a playoff loss from 2013 here on his resume. Going T5 and T16 here the past two years, he’s coming off a bad missed cut last week, but has rarely disappointed at this venue.
Cash Games: With another deep field there’s plenty to like at the top this week on DK. The likes of Collin Morikawa ($10,000) and Webb Simpson ($9,000) look like solid enough starting targets here, as one showed world-class form last week while the other has seen a big price decrease and gets a chance at redemption at one of his favorite venues. I also like targeting the in-form Abraham Ancer ($8,000) again at his price, while also taking what looks to be a great price (see below) on Viktor Hovland ($7,600). Both make for solid mid-tier targets here. Some other players to consider for this format include the likes of Matt Kuchar ($8,300), Kevin Kisner ($7,700), Ian Poulter ($7,600) and Lucas Glover ($7,100).
Tournaments: Despite the poor ending to last week’s event, I love targeting Rory McIlroy ($11,300) this week, especially in large GPPs. McIlroy has displayed a great short game this year, has won multiple times on Pete Dye venues in the past, including a major at Kiawah Island. He should be motivated after an embarrassing Sunday at Colonial. While I’m more confident in Rory, I also don’t hate the idea of going back to Jon Rahm ($10,500), who is coming off a MC but has handled Dye venues well in the past, as well. I feel similar about Matthew Fitzpatrick ($7,900), who had a decent enough week at Colonial and has been solid at this venue the past two seasons. Some other potential big field GPP targets to consider here include the likes of Jason Day ($7,600), Bud Cauley ($7,200), Russell Henley ($7,100) and Cameron Tringale ($6,400).
Top Recent Form
1. Bryson DeChambeau ($10,700; Recent finishes: T3, 4th, 2nd): DeChambeau picked up pretty much exactly where he left off prior to the break. He gained over 10.5 SG: TTG last week and led the field in SG: TTG and OTT stats, but missed a birdie on the last to finish T3. He’s finished inside the top 5 in four straight starts now.
2. Daniel Berger ($8,900; Recent finishes: win, T4, T5): Like DeChambeau, Berger continued to show great form despite the layoff and was able to finish things off on 18 to gain his first win on the PGA Tour in over two years. He’s finished inside the top 10 in four straight starts now and has gained over five strokes putting in two straight starts.
3. SungJae Im ($9,700; Recent finishes: T10, T3, win): Im never got himself in contention at Colonial, but he was hovering around the top 10 all week. He finished with two rounds of 67 and landed his third straight top 10, ending the week fifth in SG: TTG.
4. Collin Morikawa ($10,000; Recent finishes: 2nd, T9, T42): Morikawa was extremely unlucky not to get the win last week, missing a couple of short putts down the stretch and one in the playoff. He did record his second straight top 10, however, and gained over six strokes on approaches with his irons.
5. Jason Kokrak ($7,900; Recent finishes: T3, T18): Kokrak was a surprise contender last week, ending the week in T3 and narrowly missed a birdie on the last to get himself in the playoff. He gained over five strokes putting for the week and recorded his second straight top 20.
MY PICK: Viktor Hovland ($7,600)
Hovland already has a win on Tour this year at the Puerto Rico Open and has put up some other stirring results over the past year or so, including a T4 at the Wyndham and a T12 at the U.S. Open last season. What really has me interested in Hovland this week, though, is the emerging form he showed at Colonial and a DraftKings price that makes him a superb mid-tier value. The 22-year-old landed himself in T23 last week, but ended the tournament on a strong note, shooting a final round 66 where he gained 2.5 strokes with his irons on the day. It’s also worth noting that his often lackluster around the greens game showed some signs of life, as he gained strokes ATG for the event, finishing in 29th place in that stat, the first time he’s gained strokes in that category in 10 starts where Strokes Gained: ATG has been tracked.
He’s shown an affinity for some classic, “coastal” tracks thus far in his career too, landing the aforementioned T12 at Pebble Beach last season against one of the toughest fields in golf and also picked up his first win at a coastal venue in Puerto Rico. This will be his first visit to the tricky Harbour Town GL, but his history suggests he may take to this venue right away and his current form suggests that taking a shot with him here, at well below $8K in price this week, has the chance to pay huge dividends.
MY SLEEPER: Bud Cauley ($7,200)
With another trickier venue in play, where experience and perseverance has paid off for many Tour veterans, Cauley becomes an interesting DFS target in week two of the restart. Cauley started off the second half of the season with a decent enough T29 effort at Colonial, that saw him rank second in SG: Around the Green stats for the week. While the reliance on his short game last week may turn off some of the hardcore DFS crowd, Cauley’s sharpness around the greens should come in handy again at Harbour Town, where the top 10 finishers typically gain more strokes around the green against the field than at a regular stop.
Harbour Town’s smaller Bermuda greens have been kind to Cauley in the past too, as he ranks 14th here in SG: Total over the past five seasons and gained over seven strokes putting on the greens in 2018. While his ball-striking was inconsistent at Colonial, it’s worth noting that he was 27th in SG: Approaches on Tour, prior to the stoppage and gained over 0.8 strokes in both rounds two and three with his irons. The American opened here with a 63 in 2017 and will be playing Harbour Town GL competitively for the fourth year in a row. He sets up as an interesting GPP flyer this week at his low $7K price-tag on DraftKings.
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