Golf Rankings for RBC Heritage
The Masters is past us, but that doesn't mean fantasy golf has stopped.We stop this week for the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links. Group A has Jason Day and then a whole lot of question marks. I have a feeling that the winner actually comes from Group B and Group C has two studs at the top and then a lot of scrubs.
Harbour Town is a 7,099 yards, par 71 layout – the first course from the mind of Jack Nicklaus (with design by Pete Dye). The course is short, but still offers lots of challenges to golfers long and short. It is a tight course that tests players' accuracy everywhere. And those who can't stay on the course will have to scramble their way out of the woods.
There have been some slight renovations since last year with the biggest being the installation of new TifEagle Bermudagrass on the greens. There have been some subtle changes to a number of holes, but none represent a big changes from the past. The RBC Heritage has been played at Harbour Town since its inception in 1969.
As for the stats for the week, let's take a look at:
Greens in Regulation (GIR) – With narrow fairways leading to tiny greens, you want players who can get onto those greens as quickly as possible.
Driving Accuracy – With tight fairways I want golfers that can keep the ball in the fairways and out of the trees, bushes and pine needles that line the fairways throughout the course.
Par 4 Scoring – With 11 par 4s on the course, I'd like to see a player who can score on the par 4s as there won't be as many opportunities on the par 5s.
Scrambling – If you can't stay clean, you need to get out of the mess you made.
I'm focused on 2016 stats now and I'll use 2015 stats as a reference point.
And of course, we examine Strokes Gained: Putting and Strokes Gained: Tee to Green each week.
As always, check back on the weather Wednesday to see the final forecast. This weekend it looks like the weather will play a role. We will have showers every day leading up to the tournament's start on Thursday. Then, we'll have more showers Thursday and Friday with the wind picking up Friday into Saturday. It's possible that the Friday afternoon tee times may have a disadvantage due to the wind.
Jason Day [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #4
The clear class of the field, Day comes off a “disappointing” T10 at the Masters last week. He’s played the tourney four times in the last eight years with three weekends and a T9 in 2011. He’s currently 162nd in driving accuracy and that’s the knock on the Aussie this week.
Paul Casey [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #16
Casey is in excellent form coming in with three top 10 finishes in his last four events. He withdrew in the other tournament so he never had a chance to make it four straight top 10s. His three appearances at the RBC Heritage have all come in the last seven years. The Englishman hasn’t missed the cut and has two top 20 finishes including a T18 two years ago. The profile fits the course (63rd in driving accuracy, 21st in SG:T2G, 92nd in scrambling and 33rd in par 4 scoring.
Brandt Snedeker [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #32
Snedeker’s accuracy off the tee (120th this year) has been poor, but the rest of his profile works as he’s 52nd in SG:T2G, 15th in scrambling and fifth in par 4 scoring. He won here in 2011 and backed that up with a T17 the following year. He has back to back top 10s on Tour entering the RBC.
Bill Haas [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #39
Haas looks like a good value this week as he’s 25th in driving accuracy, 38th in SG:T2G, 23rd scrambling, and 64th in par 4 scoring. He’s played the course 11 times and has only made the cut in five of those trips and he’s without a top 10 finish. His current form is solid with two top 10s in his last three starts.
Matt Kuchar [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #15
Kuchar is likely the safest play on the board this week. The former Yellow Jacket has made 11 straight cuts at the RBC with a WIN and T5 in the last two years. In 2016 he’s 42nd in driving accuracy, 47th in SG:T2G, 75th in scrambling and 97th in par 4 scoring.
Kevin Kisner [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #22
When you are as accurate off the tee as Kisner (seventh this year), you don’t need to be a great scrambler (155th overall). Kisner finished second here last year after a T38 two years ago. Kisner’s form has been off lately after a hot start to the year (four of six cuts made with only one top 25 finish).
Kevin Na [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #64
Na has made seven of 10 cuts at Harbour Town with three top 10s including back to back in 2011 and 2012. The profile fits the course - 51st in driving accuracy, 15th in SG:T2G, 39th in scrambling and fifth in par 4 scoring in a field that's relatively thin.
Graeme McDowell [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #92
McDowell won here in 2013 and backed that victory up with a T23 and T26. The current form is off having missed five cuts in nine starts. However, the Northern Irishman's profile is a solid fit (ninth in driving accuracy, 78th in SG:T2G, 45th in scrambling, and 112th in par 4 scoring.
Fitz looked great on Sunday at the Masters to finish T7. He’s accurate off the tee (tenth last year on the European Tour) and finished last year seventh in GIR% on the European Tour. This seems like a pretty lofty price for the British youngster, but he finished T23 here two years ago in his debut.
Sean O'Hair [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #72
O’Hair is fifth in par 4 scoring and eighth in scrambling this year and that combo could be dangerous at Harbour Town. He won here in 2011 and followed that up with a T17. He hasn’t finished in the top 25 in his last three visits, but ended the Masters at T10 and was T9 at the Match Play.
Russell Knox [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #41
Knox has finished in the top 20 in his first two trips to the RBC Heritage over the last two years. The Scotsman missed the cut last week at the Masters and doesn’t have a top 25 in 2016, but this should be a course where his results improve. Knox is currently 22nd in driving accuracy, 72nd in SG:T2G, 31st in scrambling and 33rd in par 4 scoring.
Scott Brown [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #132
Brown has three top 10 finishes in his last five Tour events. His profile is middling, but he has made the cut in each of his three starts at the RBC Heritage including a T5 two years ago. I'm banking on his solid from carrying into this week.