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Fantasy Preview: 2018 RBC Heritage

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It’s back to the grind this week as the 2018 RBC Heritage gets underway. Harbour Town Golf Links will host the event once more, and unlike last week at Augusta National, it’s a short course measuring less than 7,100 yards.

Harbour Town demands accuracy and good ball striking, so players will often not feel the need to hit driver off the tee this week. Instead, they will prioritize finding the fairway and rely on their iron play and putting to score. As always, expect wind to be a factor at Harbour Town. Last year, Wesley Bryan shot a final-round 67 to take the title by one stroke over Luke Donald.

Selected Tournament Odds (via Bet365)

  • Dustin Johnson 17/2
  • Paul Casey 14/1
  • Matt Kuchar 20/1
  • Cameron Smith 28/1
  • Marc Leishman 28/1
  • Webb Simpson 33/1
  • Brian Harman 33/1

In his eight starts this year, Adam Hadwin (33/1, DK Price $8,100), has finished in the top-25 five times. Four of those top-25 finishes have come in his last four events. The Canadian is hitting the ball as well as ever at the moment, and despite the fact that Augusta National is far from his ideal course, his solid play still allowed him to perform well last week.

Hadwin’s excellent play at the moment is down to many areas of his game being in great shape, particularly his approach play. Over his last 12 rounds, Hadwin ranks first in Strokes Gained Approaching the Green and first in Strokes Gained Tee to Green. He ranks second in Ball Striking and third in Strokes Gained Around the Green over the same period.

It’s a course that should suit Hadwin, and his results at Harbour Town have been trending in the right direction. In 2016, he finished T-30, and he followed that last year with a T-22. If he can regain the touch with the putter that he displayed last year when he finished 18th for Strokes Gained-Putting, then it could be the week where it all finally clicks for the Canadian.

My second pick for the week also performed well at the Masters last week. Kevin Kisner (35/1, DK Price $8,700) had been struggling for form when he turned up to Augusta National, having missed three of his last four cuts. But a T-28 at a course that you wouldn’t think would suit the South Carolina native may just have given him a much-needed boost of confidence.

Unlike Augusta, Harbour Town is the ideal course for Kisner. His penetrating ball flight, combined with his accuracy and solid short game, is perfect for tricky tests such as this one. It’s no surprise that he’s played the course so well in the past. In his four starts here, he’s made the cut four times and posted a second-place finish as well as a T-11 last year. It’s difficult to imagine Kisner not playing well on a golf course such as this, and with last week’s good play fresh on his mind another good showing may well be in the offing.

Just like Hadwin and Kisner, Zach Johnson (50/1, DK Price $7,900) has the ideal game for Harbour Town. Lately, Johnson has struggled here, but the Masters champion looked in good shape last week. Just like Hadwin, he has been playing some beautiful golf as of late. The American is nine for nine in cuts made this season and has finished in the top-25 in six of those events.

Johnson’s game is looking solid across the board lately. In his last 24 rounds, Johnson sits fifth in Strokes Gained Approaching the Green, 18th in Ball Striking, 25th in Strokes Gained Around the Green and 11th in Strokes Gained Tee to Green. Johnson also possesses the ability to play well in the wind, which we saw when he won the Claret Jug back in 2015 at St. Andrews. He’s going in under the radar this week despite his excellent play as of late, and there is a sense that Johnson is due to win again soon. It may be this week that he adds another jacket to his collection.

Making up my foursome of picks this week is Brandt Snedeker (66/1, DK Price $7,400). Snedeker would have been very disappointed not to have made the field for the Masters last week, but he has the game to excel around Harbour Town. He has backed this up with his performance here down the years. The Nashville native has made five of six cuts in his last six outings and last year he finished T-11th.

Snedeker’s lack of length won’t be an issue this week, and his ability to score with the flat-stick is a desirable quality. This year has been no different for him with the putter in hand. In his last 24 rounds, Snedeker sits 20th in Strokes Gained Putting. As solid and reliable as ever. He also has the ability to play his best golf in the wind, and should it blow this week then it may even help him. A combination of his pedigree on the course and his undervalued price means Snedeker is the last man to make my line up for this week.

Recommended Plays

  • Adam Hadwin 33/1, DK Price $8,100
  • Kevin Kisner 35/1, DK Price $8,700
  • Zach Johnson 50/1, DK Price $7,900
  • Brandt Snedeker 66/1, DK Price $7,400
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Gianni is a freelance writer. He holds a Bachelor of Arts as well as a Diploma in Sports Journalism. He can be contacted at gmagliocco@outlook.com. Follow him on Twitter @giancarlomag

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Patrrick Day

    Apr 11, 2018 at 8:37 pm

    Looks like Adam Hadwin is out for RBC according to Draft Kings

  2. ogo

    Apr 10, 2018 at 10:30 pm

    Even Flow or Evenflo ??!!
    https://www.evenflofeeding.com/

  3. Man

    Apr 10, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    One of the best courses on Tour. Takes out the bombers and brings in the accurate hitters, the course managers. More courses like this are needed on Tour

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Podcasts

The 19th Hole (Ep. 51): Golf Channel’s Matt Ginella on why Phil shoots guns to improve his golf game

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Golf Channel’s Matt Ginella joins host Michael Williams to talk about Phil Mickelson using shooting sports to prepare for the Ryder Cup, and the crop of golf destinations that include 5-star golf and outdoor sports facilities. Also featured are Jason Gilbertson of Winchester and Justin Jones of Sandy Creek Sporting Grounds at Reynolds Lake Oconee (GA).

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes!

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TG2: Bryson DeChambeau’s longtime teacher Mike Schy tells crazy stories of Bryson experiments

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Mike Schy, Bryson’s longtime golf teacher and the “real” mad scientist, joins the Two Guys Talking Golf podcast for nearly an hour to talk how he got started with Bryson, building his single-length iron sets, what makes him different, their crazy experiments, what a Bryson practice session is like, and why he believes everyone should use single-length irons.

Check out the full podcast below, or click here to listen on iTunes!

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Hidden Gem of the Day: Wolfridge Golf Course in Angora, Minnesota

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These aren’t the traditional “top-100” golf courses in America, or the ultra-private golf clubs you can’t get onto. These are the hidden gems; they’re accessible to the public, they cost less than $50, but they’re unique, beautiful and fun to play in their own right. We recently asked our GolfWRX Members to help us find these “hidden gems.” We’re treating this as a bucket list of golf courses to play across the country, and the world. If you have a personal favorite hidden gem, submit it here! 

Today’s hidden gem was submitted by GolfWRX Member eboettne, and it’s called Wolfridge Golf Course located in Angora, Minnesota. Why did it make the list? Here’s what eboettne had to say:

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According to Wolfridge’s website, it’s $39 to play 18 holes with a cart any day or time of year, or $26 to walk. Twilight is $23 for unlimited holes (presumably before dark).

Do you have a favorite Hidden Gem course you think belongs on this list? Click here to submit it!

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