WATCH: COURSE PREVIEW – HARBOUR TOWN GOLF LINKS
There is a lot of data to digest when researching for golf. Course characteristics can tell us whether we want to favor long hitters, great putters or the best scramblers. Weather is crucial as strong wind early on Thursday would mean we want players teeing off later in the day. Figuring out exactly how good a golfer is relative to his DraftKings salary and the field sounds simple but is crucial.
The two topics I’ll be focusing on in this weekly article are course history and recent form. Like every other stat in every DFS sport, these two topics are a piece of the puzzle rather than the whole pie. But knowing who historically plays well at a certain course and who comes into the event in good form correlate significantly with DFS success as long as we have a solid sample size.
*The RBC Heritage has been played at Harbour Town since 1969.
Harbour Town Course History: The Good
1. Luke Donald, $7,800
Donald’s course history here is exceptionally strong on its own. It’s outrageous when we factor in his sub-$8K salary. Donald has made seven straight cuts here, a run which includes a whopping five top-three finishes and a second place in both 2016 and 2014. Note that Donald has just three top-three finishes in his last 68 PGA Tour events, but two of them came here.
2. Pat Perez, $8,100
Perez missed last year’s RBC due to a severe shoulder injury. Prior to that, he had made the cut in his four trips to Harbour Town and never finished worse than 26th. It should also be noted that Perez has returned from the injury in good form this season, making the cut in all 13 events he’s played. That includes a third at the Tournament of Champions, fourth at Farmers, 17th at Arnold Palmer and 18th at the Masters last week.
3. Branden Grace, $10,000
We have a small sample here as Grace has only played the event two times. But we can’t ignore what he’s done, winning in 2016 and finishing seventh in 2015. Grace also comes off a strong weekend at the Masters, shooting 71-70 on Saturday-Sunday to finish 27th.
Harbour Town Course History: The Bad
1. Russell Henley, $10,700
Henley comes in as one of the hottest golfers on tour with an 11th at the Master, a win in Houston and a 9th at Valspar within the last month. So we have to weigh that against his history here, which is middling at best relative to his price point. Henley’s last four trips to Harbour Town have resulted in 23rd, MC, MC and sixth.
2. Brandt Snedeker, $10,500
Snedeker is another high-priced golfer with shaky history here. He did book a win in 2011, but since then he’s gone, 17th, 59th, 74th, 26th, MC. It’s concerning when we’re paying over $10K in a field where the punt-price options have low floors.
3. Charles Howell III, $8,200
Howell, aka “Chucky Three Sticks,” has been consistently underpriced on DraftKings this season. But this week he’s finally priced correctly relative to his implied odds and he’s underperformed at Harbour Town. Howell’s last six trips here have resulted in 23rd, MC, 53rd, MC, 29th and MC.
COMING IN HOT: RECENT FORM
1. Matthew Fitzpatrick, $8,300
Fitzpatrick shot an ugly 78 last Friday in tough conditions at the Masters. But he still made the cut and finished a solid 32nd as 22-year-old Englishman continues to impress. Fitzpatrick has also booked a 13th at Arnold Palmer, 16th at the WGC Mexico and fifth at the tough-field Dubai Desert Classic this season.
2. Jason Dufner, $8,500
Dufner has been rock-solid this season, making six straight cuts and finishing 33rd or better in all of his stroke play events. He was 25th at the CareerBuilder, 14th at the Honda, 11th at Valspar and 12th in Houston. Dufner is yet to top-10 this year though, something he’s consistently done in the past. The veteran had 25 top-10s in his previous 110 events leading up to this season.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is AdamLevitan) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.