Pat Mayo and Geoff Fienberg preview the course and run through the odds while making their 2022 RBC Heritage Picks. The guys give their fantasy golf picks, provide their one and done strategy for the event from Harbour own GL.
2022 RBC Heritage: Field
132 Players | Top 65 & Ties Make the Cut
First Tee Time: Thursday, April 18
Defending Champion: Stewart Cink
When the PGA TOUR returned from the COVID-19 hiatus in 2020, The Heritage was a big benefactor. It was the second event out of the gate and drew its strongest field in history. Last year, back in its usual post-Masters position on the schedule, the field went back to being simply “good.” Things appear to be back on the upswing in 2022, however. While there’s certainly still time for the top names to pull out, five of the world’s top 10 — Cameron Smith, Patrick Cantlay, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas and Collin Morikawa — are currently expected to be in attendance at Harbour Town Golf Links.
It doesn’t end there, though. Daniel Berger, Sungjae Im, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Russell Henley, Shane Lowry, Tyrrell Hatton, Billy Horschel, Corey Conners, Webb Simpson, Abraham Ancer, Joaquin Niemann, Jason Kokrak, Kevin Kisner, Tommy Fleetwood, Harold Varner, Kevin Na, Jordan Spieth and Luke List join them in the field of 132.
PGA TOUR journeyman Rickie Fowler also received an invitation. If that’s something you’re interested in.
2022 RBC Heritage: Key Stats
- Strokes Gained: Approach
- Good Drives Gained
- Strokes Gained Putting
Mayo’s Key Stats powered by FantasyNational.com
2022 RBC Heritage: Course
- Course: Harbour Town GL
- Par: 71
- Yardage: 7,121
- Greens: Bermuda
2022 RBC Heritage: Past Winners
- 2021: Stewart Cink -19
- 2020: Webb Simpson -22
- 2019: CT Pan -12
- 2018: Satoshi Kodaira -12
- 2017: Wes Bryan -13
- 2016: Branden Grace -9
2022 RBC Heritage: Notes
Harbour Town is one of the few courses on TOUR where driving means relatively little. That’s not to say you can be terrible off the tee and win, but looking at the Strokes Gained history from this event, SG: Off The Tee means less than SG: Around the Green among top 10 finishers. That’s a rarity. Like most Pete Dye courses, overall course strategy from tee to green needs to be on display more so than an average tournament. Hitting fairways is great and all, but a lot of these holes are structured in a way where being in the right rough generates a better birdie opportunity than being situated in the left section of the fairway. With its tiny greens, the field only hits greens at a 58% rate, making it one of the lowest average GIR rates of any course, so taking advantage of the proper angle will be imperative to scoring. Focusing on approach and putting is the path this week. Which makes the leaderboard accessible to all skill sets.
Pete Dye Courses on the PGA TOUR
- TPC Sawgrass (The Players Championship)
- Harbour Town (RBC Heritage)
- TPC River Highlands (Travelers Championship)
- TPC Louisiana (Zurich Classic)
- Austin Country Club (WGC Match Play)
- TPC Stadium Course at La Quinta (Two rounds at The American Express)
- Crooked Stick (2012/2016 BMW Championship)
- Whistling Straits (2015, 2010, 2005 PGA Championship)
- Kiawah Island (2012 PGA Championship)
— c/o FantasyNational.com
Along with other Dye tracks, nearby Sea Island Resort (RSM Classic) and The Wyndham Championship are the courses with the most crossover success. Beyond those two, similar length, Bermuda grass green courses which have produced similar names at the top of leaderboards include the Sony Open and Honda Classic.
Harbour Town features tree-lined fairways and measures on the short side of PGA TOUR courses, coming in at around 7,100 yards. Even with three par 5s, eagles are tough to come by for the field, regardless of distance.
Harbour Town annually ranks as the course with the fewest drives over 300 yards and shortest average driving distance on TOUR; just 268 yards off the tee, compared to the TOUR average of 284 yards. For example, on the par 4s at Harbour Town in his career, Johnson is averaging around 286 yards per drive. That is well below his average driving distance at almost any other course.
Over the past six years, Strokes Gained: Approach has been almost three times more impactful than Strokes Gained: Off The Tee and Strokes Gained: Around-The-Green among the top 5 finishers at The RBC Heritage. Last year, of the top nine leaders in SG: APP, seven appeared in the top 10 on the leaderboard.
Prior to the past two years, the seven champions before that had entered Sunday with at least a two-stroke deficit. Stewart Cink entered the final round up five on Collin Morikawa. Webb Simpson, the 2020 winner, was one of four tied for the lead entering Sunday. C.T. Pan was two behind DJ two years ago; Satoshi Kodaira trailed Ian Poulter by six strokes entering the final round in 2018. Five of the past 12 years The RBC Heritage has gone to a playoff, as well. Overall, only four co-leaders after three rounds have gone on to win since 2010.
Yes, the course is difficult, but the elements always end up playing a factor. On Hilton Head Island, while there is usually a consistent, coastal breeze, certain rounds at Harbour Town can be played in full-on gale-force winds. One of the reasons Simpson was able to break the tournament record last summer was due to an unusual lack of wind all four days. Of the previous 12 rounds at The Heritage, more rounds have been played in winds greater than 17 mph than under 10 mph.
2022 RBC Heritage Picks
The stats don’t really tell the full Kisner story. A scan of his recent stats reveals a player who is surviving solely on chipping and putting, having lost on approach in three consecutive events. However, shot link data isn’t widely accessible for the Match Play or The Masters. Kisner lost in the final of the Match Play and despite a horrendous Sunday at Augusta National, was still ninth in approach for the week. It was actually the chipping and putting that was the issue. The other key is where Kisner’s played well in 2022. All places where he’s experienced success in the past: Sony Open, THE PLAYERS Championship and Match Play. With a playoff loss and two other top 11 finishes on his resume, Harbour Town is another spot for him to pop up.
It’s been feast for famine for Na at The Heritage in his career. Which is pretty similar to most venues, tbh. He’s posted four top 10 finishes in his past seven starts accompanied by three missed cuts. He comes in playing solid golf, though. He advanced from his group at the Match Play and followed it up by leading all players in approach at The Masters en route to a T14 finish. Plus, if you look at the three closest comp courses — Sony, Colonial and Wyndham — Na has a win at the first two and has never finished outside the top 10 in three starts at Sedgefield.
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Pat Mayo is an award-winning video host and producer of long and short-form content, and the host of The Pat Mayo Experience daily talk show. (Subscribe for video or audio). Mayo (@ThePME) won the 2020 Fantasy Sports Writing Association Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year and Golf Writer of the Year awards, along with the Fantasy Sports Trade Association Best Sports Betting Analyst award, and was a finalist for four FSWA Awards in 2020 (Best Podcast, Best Video, Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year). His 21 FSWA nominations lead all writers this decade and are third-most all-time. Mayo has been recognized across multiple sports (Football, Baseball & Golf), mediums (Video, Writing & Podcasting), genre (Humor), and game formats (Daily Fantasy and Traditions Season Long). Beyond sports, Mayo covers everything from entertainment to pop culture to politics. If you have a fantasy question, general inquiry or snarky comment, ship it to Mayo at ThePatMayoExperience@gmail.com and the best will be addressed on the show.
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