It's hard to get pumped back up after what just went down at the Masters last week. That is why most in the RBC Heritage don't even try. Instead, this event becomes a relaxing, vacation-like atmosphere where money happens to be earned at week's end.
The field is just 132 golfers and they wil go head-to-head with Harbour Town Golf Links. A Pete Dye design played right on Hilton Head Island.
The cut will be made after two rounds with top 70 and ties moving on to play rounds three and four.
Let's have a look at the weather and then jump into a few stats to ponder for the week...
Thursday (R1): Sunny with a high of 77 degrees. Winds SSE at 9 to 13 MPH.
Friday (R2): Cloudy with a strong chance (70%) of storms. Winds at 20 MPH with gusts reaching 30 MPH.
The current forecast looks brutal for Friday. It looks like a very high probability that Friday will get pushed back and round two will take place on Saturday. Of course, the forecast can shift so keep an eye out over the next few days.
The best part about season-long leagues is the draft. You don't get that same rush with normal DFS contests but there is hope still. DRAFT has come along to fill that void and I'm having a lot of fun playing in their weekly golf drafts.
The first place to start is to build your pre-draft rankings for the week. I will point out a few golfers I think are overvalued in the raw rankings and a few that are undervalued in the raw rankings.
Adam Hadwin (63.03 Projected Pts): The Canadian would normally set up well at Harbour Town and he's improved on each visit (MC, T30, T22). However, his form has gone missing lately. He's lost 11.2 strokes tee-to-green over his last four starts. He's also lost strokes putting in three of his last four starts. It's hard to rely on that kind of form so I will wait for a spark before I jump back into a Hadwin investment.
Beau Hossler (62.66 Projected Pts): I still love the long-term potential here but I can't get on board in the short term. He arrives with negative strokes gained on approach in seven of his last eight starts. He's hit fewer fairways than the field in six straight starts. Those are two of the key stats I'm targeting this week so I will take a pass on Hossler this week. His putter is a lethal weapon so never count him out ot pop for a single round but it's hard to rely on that for all four rounds.
Russell Knox (59.93 Projected Pts): Playing on the coast, winds will likely be a big factor this week. The Scot is someone that doesn't mind the tough conditions. In fact, he's said that exact thing when contending here in 2016, "I love playing in the wind. The conditions this week were extremely difficult. This course is tough. But it’s perfect for me. It’s one of my favorite courses. "
Sungjae Im (40.11 Projected Pts): He continues to crush it, despite having to learn new courses each week. He arrives with three straight top 20s and five top 10s this season.
We had a quick glance at bentgrass last week at Augusta National Golf Club but we return to bermuda this week at Harbour Town Golf Links.
Looking at sample-adjusted performance on bermuda since the start of 2014, the top 15 performers on a per-round basis looks like this:
Other than raw performance, we can also look at who shows the biggest improvement on Bermuda (versus their baseline). Using that as the criteria, the following names pop:
These four have combined for 12 top 20s at Harbour Town Golf Links and I'd expect a few more this week.
Rafa Cabrera Bello: There are a few routes to success at Harbour Town Golf Links. You can be steady off the tee and try to pepper fairways and greens or you can scramble the course to death. RCB doesn't thrive in the scrambling department but he's extremely accurate and very strong with his irons. The Spaniard missed the cut here last year in his debut but he improved four shots from round one to round two. Hopefully, he figured some things out after that poor opening round. What's most appealing is his elite hole-by-hole scoring. Looking at the percentage of rounds where a golfer posts more fantasy points than the field, RCB ranks 4th in this field over the last year. As long as he makes the cut, we should expect Cabrera Bello to easily outpace this low salary across the industry.
Best of luck in all your contests this week!