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Opinion & Analysis

WIN GOLF CLUBS! DraftKings Fantasy Contest at Colonial



The brief Texas swing commences Thursday with the Crowne Plaza Invitational, an event that falls solidly middle pack among PGA Tour fields.

But there’s nothing middle pack about our DraftKings fantasy game this week.

Per usual, there’s the DraftKings $100,000 draft pool game with a $3 buy-in and a grand prize of $10,000 (along with money for the top 7,850 scorers). If you enter your rosters through the link below, you can earn your entry fee back if you beat my main lineup.

Enter the $100K Contest HERE

That’s not all, though!

If your roster is among the three best through the link above, you’re getting one of the following three prizes:

1st Place


First place will get these awesome Mizuno JPX-825 irons with True Temper Dynamic Gold S300 shafts! You will receive the full iron set, 4-GW. That’s a FREE full set of high-performance irons just for picking the right fantasy roster!

2nd Place


Second place gets the TaylorMade SLDR S MINI (12 degrees, TP S-Flex). This metal wood is a unique product that combines the forgiveness of a driver with the versatility of a three-wood, and has been popular with certain Tour pros. For amateurs with driver woes, this is the club for you.

3rd Place


Third place will get Cobra’s Limited-Edition Rickie Fowler Tour Trusty 55-degree wedge. Only 1600 of these were made, and each wedge features special hand stampings designed by Fowler himself!

Cool prizes, right?! All you have to do is enter through the link above and finish in the top three. IMPORTANT: ONLY NEW ACCOUNTS ARE ELIGIBLE FOR THE GIVEAWAY!

Now that you have all this in the ether, here is my advice to help you secure those prizes.


Click to enter.

The Course

Mild winds and softer conditions are expected this week at Colonial Country Club, one of the more respected Tour tracks among the players.


Photo credit:

Nicknamed “Hogan’s Alley” for the great success The Hawk had at Colonial, you would expect the course to get a “ball-striker’s paradise” reputation considering Hogan’s legendary tee-to-green play.

That would be accurate. Colonial is a shorter course with narrow, tree-lined fairways that gets lumped in with layouts like Riviera and Harbour Town for its ball-striking demands and ability to really test players even at a shorter yardage.

Once again looking to key in on these assumptions, I did my usual analysis of the top-10 finishers of the last five events at the course, adding in top 54-hole performers who imploded in the final round to the sample.

The assumptions did well this week. As one would expect with difficult fairways to hit, good driving was the most important predictor of success by a healthy margin at Colonial. The fairways aren’t only narrow, but the dogleg-heavy nature of this layout sets up to cut off attempts to overpower the track, which means a dent to the bomber’s advantage.

That proved true in the sample, with driving accuracy far outperforming length among the group. Almost as many short hitters showed up in the sample as long-hitters, which speaks to a large (but not complete) neutralization of the long ball at Colonial.

Approach play and short game performance proved equally important, not far behind driving. Putting was the least valued party, but not by much. The flatstick isn’t insignificant this week.

Still, like last week, I would steer toward players who tend to be good in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green. Accurate drivers are highly encouraged picks, and there’s really no need to worry about length off the tee.

Some minute factors: Colonial has a lot of green side bunkers, so players with some touch from the sand could be useful. Also, with just two par-fives and a pretty benign set of par-3s, players high in par-4 performance are also something to look out for.

Six-Man Roster (Last Week: 385.5 points, 14697th of 38315)

  • Zach Johnson — $12,000
  • Ryan Palmer — $9,600
  • Graham DeLaet — $8,100
  • William McGirt — $7,100
  • Bo Van Pelt — $6,600
  • John Huh — $6,400

There are a lot of really intriguing, cheaper options in the field, so go ahead and select one of the most expensive players without worry.


No offense to Jordan Spieth and Jimmy Walker, but Zach Johnson has to be the guy here, right? I mean here are Johnson’s list of finishes at this event from 2009-2013: T9, 1, 4, 1, 3.

This is pretty much a Luke Donald at Hilton Head situation, and Johnson is in excellent form with five top-20s in his last six starts. Clearly the course fits him well,; he’s one of the most accurate drivers in the game and perennially among the top-40 in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green. Yeah, he finished 73rd here last year, but that included an uncharacteristic final-round 76 and is outlier performance that is now out of the way.

Palmer is also a bit of a no-brainer pick this week. His recent history at Colonial isn’t Johnson-level, but it’s pretty good, with three consecutive top-15s. Oddly, his game doesn’t scream Colonial with a mediocre short game and a long, inaccurate driver. I’m trusting the results, though, and he’s in the midst of a fine season too.

DeLaet and Van Pelt fall in the same category, both are generally master drivers with high value in Stroke Gained: Tee to Green. Van Pelt is the safer pick. After struggling early this season, he’s really hit a groove making four of his last five cuts, and he’s placed top 20 in four of his last five trips to Colonial. Actually, kind of a steal. DeLaet’s game is admittedly in tough shape right now, but again, that fit is key, especially when you consider that he historically loves par-4s.

McGirt’s had two good performances this year at Riviera and Hilton Head, similar courses to Colonial. He has a decent history here, he’s 37th in Strokes Gained: Tee To Green in 2015 and is a very accurate driver. His game hasn’t been clicking of late, but he closed in 67 at Quail Hollow to finish top 30, which means he may have found something.

As for my bottom guy, I know I picked Huh last week to little avail. But he loves this course, as a T5 and T11 in his first two starts here proves.

Overpriced Player to avoid

Adam Scott — $9,400

The Aussie is actually the sixth-highest salaried player this week, which would usually be a steal, especially with him winning at the Crowne Plaza last year.


I’m staying clear, though. Scott actually has a very mediocre record at Colonial aside from the win and he still seems to be in a massive funk. His putting woes won’t turn around this week.

Cash-Strapped Pick to take a chance on

Scott Piercy — $5,900

This is the kind of guy that Colonial would most like to chew up. Piercy is a wild driver and not a good ball-striker. In spite of that, though, he has a decent record at the Crowne Plaza.

He’s missed his last three cuts, but Piercy’s never been a guy who needs to show any form before a big performance.

Alternate Six-Man Roster (Last Week: 246 points, 37112th of 38315)

  • Paul Casey — $9,300
  • Charley Hoffman — $9,300
  • Brendon Todd — $9,100
  • Brian Harman — $7,700
  • Chris Stroud — $6,800
  • Jonas Blixt — $6,800

Casey, Hoffman, Todd and Harman are my four guys here who’ve shown that they can be excellent Strokes Gained: Tee to Green players. I’d say Hoffman and Todd are the best course fits among the quartet. Casey hasn’t player here much of late, but his old course history is outstanding, and nobody among this group has had a downright awful slate at Colonial. All are in good form as well.

Stroud and Blixt are similar players in that they rely heavily on their play on and around the greens to save them. They both have great histories at this event, and Stroud is playing solid of late. Blixt has missed his last four cuts, but I’m willing to take a flyer on him because his record at this course is so good.

Enter here to win $100K and a chance at our GIVEAWAYS.

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Kevin's fascination with the game goes back as long as he can remember. He has written about the sport on the junior, college and professional levels and hopes to cover its proceedings in some capacity for as long as possible. His main area of expertise is the PGA Tour, which is his primary focus for GolfWRX. Kevin is currently a student at Northwestern University, but he will be out into the workforce soon enough. You can find his golf tidbits and other sports-related babble on Twitter @KevinCasey19. GolfWRX Writer of the Month: September 2014



  1. Adam

    May 19, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    As far as the prizes go, the wedge should go to 2nd place and the driver to third. Just my opinion, I think the wedge is more desirable.

  2. DC3

    May 19, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    Draft Kings just throwing money at everybody.

  3. Ace Underhill

    May 19, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    OK so to be clear, the “we get our $3 back if we beat you” is only good for new accounts thus can only happen one time? What if we opened a Draft Kings account before these contests started? There needs to be more clarity on these contests and appreciate the all caps statement above to win clubs you must open a new account. Another thing that would be helpful is some sort of confirmation on the Draft Kings website that we’re entered in a GolfWRX contest or something. When you click the link and fill out a roster, there’s nothing showing we’re linked correctly.

    • Brian

      May 19, 2015 at 3:26 pm

      Agreed I think it’s only for new accounts. I haven’t gotten my money back ever. Though I did finish in the top 2000 last week so I got paid the big bucks! $11 of them. 🙁

      • Zak Kozuchowski

        May 19, 2015 at 4:16 pm


        As I relayed on email, the Beat The Writer contest is for all users who have created a DraftKings account through one of our provided links. If anyone believes that they have not been awarded their money back in error, please email [email protected] with the email address you used for DraftKings signup and we will have your account audited.

        Thanks for reading, guys, and good luck.

        • Jeremy

          May 19, 2015 at 4:24 pm

          Oh so it works all the time but only if we created the account through a WRX link?

        • Brian

          May 19, 2015 at 4:27 pm

          Hmm… Maybe it’s because I didn’t create an account with this link. I created it that same day but through a direct URL. What’s Kevin’s DK name? I’m brokenlogic. I’m baller. 😉

          • Kevin Casey

            May 19, 2015 at 11:17 pm

            Hey Brian, I’m kcasey1993 on DK. Maybe not the most creative name, but pretty easy to search for when checking in on my score.

    • Jeremy

      May 19, 2015 at 4:08 pm

      Agreed. Think I should’ve gotten my money back a couple times here, but haven’t. That promo must be for new accounts.

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Opinion & Analysis

The Wedge Guy: What really makes a wedge work? Part 1



Of all the clubs in our bags, wedges are almost always the simplest in construction and, therefore, the easiest to analyze what might make one work differently from another if you know what to look for.

Wedges are a lot less mysterious than drivers, of course, as the major brands are working with a lot of “pixie dust” inside these modern marvels. That’s carrying over more to irons now, with so many new models featuring internal multi-material technologies, and almost all of them having a “badge” or insert in the back to allow more complex graphics while hiding the actual distribution of mass.

But when it comes to wedges, most on the market today are still single pieces of molded steel, either cast or forged into that shape. So, if you look closely at where the mass is distributed, it’s pretty clear how that wedge is going to perform.

To start, because of their wider soles, the majority of the mass of almost any wedge is along the bottom third of the clubhead. So, the best wedge shots are always those hit between the 2nd and 5th grooves so that more mass is directly behind that impact. Elite tour professionals practice incessantly to learn to do that consistently, wearing out a spot about the size of a penny right there. If impact moves higher than that, the face is dramatically thinner, so smash factor is compromised significantly, which reduces the overall distance the ball will fly.

Every one of us, tour players included, knows that maddening shot that we feel a bit high on the face and it doesn’t go anywhere, it’s not your fault.

If your wedges show a wear pattern the size of a silver dollar, and centered above the 3rd or 4th groove, you are not getting anywhere near the same performance from shot to shot. Robot testing proves impact even two to three grooves higher in the face can cause distance loss of up to 35 to 55 feet with modern ‘tour design’ wedges.

In addition, as impact moves above the center of mass, the golf club principle of gear effect causes the ball to fly higher with less spin. Think of modern drivers for a minute. The “holy grail” of driving is high launch and low spin, and the driver engineers are pulling out all stops to get the mass as low in the clubhead as possible to optimize this combination.

Where is all the mass in your wedges? Low. So, disregarding the higher lofts, wedges “want” to launch the ball high with low spin – exactly the opposite of what good wedge play requires penetrating ball flight with high spin.

While almost all major brand wedges have begun putting a tiny bit more thickness in the top portion of the clubhead, conventional and modern ‘tour design’ wedges perform pretty much like they always have. Elite players learn to hit those crisp, spinny penetrating wedge shots by spending lots of practice time learning to consistently make contact low in the face.

So, what about grooves and face texture?

Grooves on any club can only do so much, and no one has any material advantage here. The USGA tightly defines what we manufacturers can do with grooves and face texture, and modern manufacturing techniques allow all of us to push those limits ever closer. And we all do. End of story.

Then there’s the topic of bounce and grinds, the most complex and confusing part of the wedge formula. Many top brands offer a complex array of sole configurations, all of them admittedly specialized to a particular kind of lie or turf conditions, and/or a particular divot pattern.

But if you don’t play the same turf all the time, and make the same size divot on every swing, how would you ever figure this out?

The only way is to take any wedge you are considering and play it a few rounds, hitting all the shots you face and observing the results. There’s simply no other way.

So, hopefully this will inspire a lively conversation in our comments section, and I’ll chime in to answer any questions you might have.

And next week, I’ll dive into the rest of the wedge formula. Yes, shafts, grips and specifications are essential, too.

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Golf's Perfect Imperfections

Golf’s Perfect Imperfections: Amazing Session with Performance Coach Savannah Meyer-Clement



In this week’s episode, we spent some time with performance coach Savannah Meyer-Clement who provides many useful insights that you’ll be able to implement on the golf course.

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19th Hole

Vincenzi’s 2024 RBC Heritage betting preview: Patrick Cantlay ready to get back inside winner’s circle



Just a two-hour drive from Augusta National, the PGA TOUR heads to Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head Island, S.C. Hilton Head Island is a golfer’s paradise and Harbour Town is one of the most beautiful and scenic courses on the PGA TOUR.

Harbour Town Golf Links is a par-71 that measures 7,121 yards and features Bermuda grass greens. A Pete Dye design, the course is heavily tree lined and features small greens and many dog legs, protecting it from “bomb-and-gauge” type golfers.

The field is loaded this week with 69 golfers with no cut. Last year was quite possibly the best field in RBC Heritage history and the event this week is yet another designated event, meaning there is a $20 million prize pool.

Most of the big names on the PGA Tour will be in attendance this week with the exceptions of Hideki Matsuyama and Viktor Hovland. Additionally, Webb Simpson, Shane Lowry, Gary Woodland and Kevin Kisner have been granted sponsors exemptions. 

Past Winners at Harbour Town

  • 2023: Matt Fitzpatrick (-17)
  • 2022: Jordan Spieth (-13)
  • 2021: Stewart Cink (-19)
  • 2020: Webb Simpson (-22)
  • 2019: CT Pan (-12)
  • 2018: Sotoshi Kodaira (-12)
  • 2017: Wesley Bryan (-13)
  • 2016: Branden Grace (-9)
  • 2015: Jim Furyk (-18)

In this article and going forward, I’ll be using the Rabbit Hole by Betsperts Golf data engine to develop my custom model. If you want to build your own model or check out all of the detailed stats, you can sign up using promo code: MATTVIN for 25% off any subscription package (yearly is best value).

Key Stats For Harbour Town

Let’s take a look at key metrics for Harbour Town Golf Links to determine which golfers boast top marks in each category over their past 24 rounds.

Strokes Gained: Approach

Strokes Gained: Approach is exceedingly important this week. The greens at Harbour Town are about half the size of PGA TOUR average and feature the second-smallest greens on the tour. Typical of a Pete Dye design, golfers will pay the price for missed greens.

Total SG: Approach Over Past 24 Rounds

  1. Scottie Scheffler (+1.27)
  2. Tom Hoge (+1.27)
  3. Corey Conners (+1.16)
  4. Austin Eckroat (+0.95)
  5. Cameron Young (+0.93)

Good Drive %

The fairways at Harbour Town are tree lined and feature many dog legs. Bombers tend to struggle at the course because it forces layups and doesn’t allow long drivers to overpower it. Accuracy is far more important than power.

Good Drive % Over Past 24 Rounds

  1. Brice Garnett (88.8%)
  2. Shane Lowry (+87.2%)
  3. Akshay Bhatia (+86.0%)
  4. Si Woo Kim (+85.8%)
  5. Sepp Straka (+85.1%)

Strokes Gained: Total at Pete Dye Designs

Pete Dye specialists tend to play very well at Harbour Town. Si Woo Kim, Matt Kuchar, Jim Furyk and Webb Simpson are all Pete Dye specialists who have had great success here. It is likely we see some more specialists near the top of the leaderboard this week.

SG: TOT Pete Dye per round over past 36 rounds:

  1. Xander Schauffele (+2.27)
  2. Scottie Scheffler (+2.24)
  3. Ludvig Aberg (+2.11)
  4. Brian Harman (+1.89)
  5. Sungjae Im (+1.58)

4. Strokes Gained: Short Game (Bermuda)

Strokes Gained: Short Game factors in both around the green and putting. With many green-side bunkers and tricky green complexes, both statistics will be important. Past winners — such as Jim Furyk, Wes Bryan and Webb Simpson — highlight how crucial the short game skill set is around Harbour Town.

SG: SG Over Past 24 Rounds

  1. Jordan Spieth (+1.11)
  2. Taylor Moore (+1.02)
  3. Wyndham Clark (+0.98)
  4. Mackenzie Hughes (+0.86)
  5. Andrew Putnam (+0.83)

5. Greens in Regulation %

The recipe for success at Harbour Town Golf Links is hitting fairways and greens. Missing either will prove to be consequential — golfers must be in total control of the ball to win.

Greens in Regulation % over past 24 rounds:

  1. Brice Garnett (+75.0%)
  2. Scottie Scheffler (+69.9%)
  3. Corey Conners (+69.0%)
  4. Shane Lowry (+68.3%)
  5. Patrick Rodgers (+67.6%)

6. Course History

Harbour Town is a course where players who have strong past results at the course always tend to pop up. 

Course History over past 24 rounds:

  1. Patrick Cantlay (+2.34)
  2. Cam Davis (+2.05)
  3. J.T. Poston (+1.69)
  4. Justin Rose (+1.68)
  5. Tommy Fleetwood (+1.59)

The RBC Heritage Model Rankings

Below, I’ve compiled overall model rankings using a combination of the five key statistical categories previously discussed — SG: Approach (24%), Good Drives (20%), SG: SG (14%), SG: Pete Dye (14%), GIR (14%), and Course History (14%)

  1. Shane Lowry
  2. Russell Henley
  3. Scottie Scheffler
  4. Xander Schauffele
  5. Corey Conners 
  6. Wyndham Clark
  7. Christiaan Bezuidenhout
  8. Matt Fitzpatrick
  9. Cameron Young
  10. Ludvig Aberg 

2024 RBC Heritage Picks

Patrick Cantlay +2000 (FanDuel)

With the exception of Scottie Scheffler, the PGA Tour has yet to have any of their star players show peak form during the 2024 season. Last week, Patrick Cantlay, who I believe is a top-5 players on the PGA Tour, took one step closer to regaining the form that’s helped him win eight events on Tour since 2017.

Cantlay limped into the Masters in poor form, but figured it out at Augusta National, finishing in a tie for 20th and ranking 17th for the week in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking. The former FedEx Cup champion will now head to one of his favorite golf courses in Harbour Town, where he’s had immaculate results over the years. In his six trips to the course, he’s only finished worse than 7th one time. The other finishes include three third places (2017, 2019, 2023) and one runner-up finish (2022). In his past 36 rounds at Harbour Town, Cantlay ranks 1st in Strokes Gained: Total per round at the course by a wide margin (+2.36).

Cantlay is winless since the 2022 BMW Championship, which is far too long for a player of his caliber. With signs pointing to the 32-year-old returning to form, a “signature event” at Harbour Town is just what he needs to get back on the winning track.

Tommy Fleetwood +3000 (FanDuel)

I truly believe Tommy Fleetwood will figure out a way to win on American soil in 2024. It’s certainly been a bugaboo for him throughout his career, but he is simply too talented to go another season without winning a PGA Tour event.

At last week’s Masters Tournament, Fleetwood made a Sunday charge and ended up finishing T3 in the event, which was his best ever finish at The Masters. For the week, the Englishman ranked 8th in the field in Strokes Gained: Approach, 10th in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking and 16th in Strokes Gained: Putting.

Harbour Town is a perfect layout for Fleetwood, and he’s had relative success at this Pete Dye design in the past.  In his four trips to the course, he’s finished inside of the top 25 three times, with his best finish, T10, coming in 2022. The course is pretty short and can’t be overpowered, which gives an advantage to more accurate players such as Fleetwood. Tommy ranks 8th in the field in Good Drive % and should be able to plot his way along this golf course.

The win is coming for Tommy lad. I believe there’s a chance this treasure of a golf course may be the perfect one for him to finally break through on Tour.

Cameron Young +3300 (FanDuel)

Cameron Young had a solid Masters Tournament last week, which is exactly what I’m looking for in players who I anticipate playing well this week at the RBC Heritage. He finished in a tie for 9th, but never felt the pressure of contending in the event. For the week, Young ranked 6th in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee and 6th in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking.

Despite being one of the longest players off the tee on the PGA Tour, Young has actually played some really good golf on shorter tracks. He finished T3 at Harbour Town in 2023 and ranks 20th in the field in Good Drive% and 16th in Greens in Regulation in his past 24 rounds. He also has strong finishes at other shorter courses that can take driver out of a players hand such as Copperhead and PGA National.

Young is simply one of the best players on the PGA Tour in 2024, and I strongly believe has what it takes to win a PGA Tour event in the very near future.

Corey Conners +5500 (FanDuel)

Corey Conners has had a disappointing year thus far on the PGA Tour, but absolutely loves Harbour Town.

At last week’s Masters Tournament, the Canadian finished T30 but ranked 20th in the field in Strokes Gained: Approach. In his past 24 rounds, Conners ranks 3rd in the field in Strokes Gained: Approach, 3rd in Greens in Regulation % and 24th in Good Drive %.

In Conners’ last four trips to Harbour Town, his worst finish was T31, last season. He finished T4 in 2021, T12 in 2022 and ranks 8th in Strokes Gained: Total at the course over his past 36 rounds.

Conners hasn’t been contending, but his recent finishes have been encouraging as he has finished in the top-25 in each of his past three starts prior to The Masters, including an impressive T13 at The PLAYERS. His recent improvement in ball striking as well as his suitability for Harbour Town makes Conners a high upside bet this week.

Shane Lowry (+7500) (FanDuel)

When these odds were posted after Lowry was announced in the field, I have to admit I was pretty stunned. Despite not offering much win equity on the PGA Tour over the last handful of years, Shane Lowry is still a top caliber player who has the ability to rise to the top of a signature event.

Lowry struggled to score at The Masters last week, but he actually hit the ball really well. The Irishman ranked 1st for Strokes Gained: Approach on the week and 7th in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking. As usual, it was the putter that let him down, as he ranked 60th in the field in Strokes Gained: Putting.

Harbour Town is most definitely one of Lowry’s favorite courses on the PGA Tour. In his six starts there, he’s finished in the top 10 three times, including third twice. Lowry is sensational at Pete Dye designs and ranks 7th in Strokes Gained: Total in his past 36 rounds on Dye tracks. 

Lowry is perfect for Harbour Town. In his past 24 rounds, he ranks 5th in Strokes Gained: Approach, 2nd in Good Drive% and 5th in Green in Regulation %. If he figures it out on the greens, Shane could have his first win in America since 2015.

Lucas Glover +12000 (FanDuel)

This is one of my weekly “bet the number” plays as I strongly believe the odds are just too long for a player of Glover’s caliber. The odds have been too long on Glover for a few weeks now, but this is the first event that I can get behind the veteran being able to actually contend at. 

Glover is quietly playing good golf and returning to the form he had after the understandable regression after his two massive victories at the end of 2023. He finished T20 at The Masters, which was his best ever finish at Augusta National. For the week, Lucas ranked 18th for Strokes Gained: Approach and 20th in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking.

Over his past 24 rounds, Glover ranks 9th in Strokes Gained: Approach and 13th in Good Drive %. Harbour Town is a short course that the 44-year-old will be able to keep up with the top players on Tour off the tee. He’s played the course more than 20 times, with mixed results. His best finishes at Harbour Town include a T7 in 2008, but recently has a finish of T21 in 2020.

Glover has proven he can contend with the stars of the Tour on any given week, and this number is flat out disrespectful.

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