The Power Fade
- Tournament: RBC Heritage
- Course: Harbour Town GL (Par 71, 7100 yards)
- Location: Hilton Head, SC
- Greens: Bermuda
- Defending Champion: C. T. Pan (-12)
- Corollary Courses: Port Royal GC (Bermuda Championship), TPC Scottsdale & Colonial CC (for the need for accuracy and short)
Well, we have one week in the books!! I knew last week would be tough, given that most of these guys hadn't played a competitive round for three months. But, now we have a baseline. From last week I learned/remembered:
- Even the “chalk” can miss the cut (Webb Simpson & John Rahm)
- Justin Rose seems to have righted the ship after the club change and is back! He is usually one of my favorites, but I couldn't make myself do it last week.
- I learned that the "Power Fade" doesn't mean I should go zero ownership. I did last week. Going forward, if I feel the "Power Fade" should be zero percent, I'll tell you, and I will do just that in my lineups.
- We have a lot of talent on the Tour!
This is a shorter course. It’s about 100 yards shorter than Colonial was last week, and you get one more stroke to Par (71 as opposed to 70). With that being said, this is a Pete Dye design and has historically ranked lower in scoring. Before last year's tournament, Harbour Town gave up the 14th-fewest birdies on the regular Tour schedule.
Wind usually plays a factor in this tournament, at least at some point in the four days. It's a seaside course, so high winds, and wind gusts can affect scoring.
We need to remember this year because we are playing at HTGL in June instead of the usual April position after the Masters. It is currently looking as if the winds and temperatures will be more favorable. If you like to stack AM-PM rounds based on weather, you need to check it on Wednesday night. I don't anticipate it to play the typical role that we've seen in the past.
The fairways are narrow, which will help the shorter hitters somewhat. Greens are small and, if the players in fact club down off the tee, approach shots may come more from the 150-200 yard range. This means higher ball flights will hold the small greens better. This is another reason for the low birdie total noted above. Unlike what I've seen on Dye courses that I've played, the greens don't have a lot of undulation. Therefore, some "bad" putters may fare better here than on most Dye layouts.
You won’t see as many wedges and 9 Irons into greens as at most courses. Bombers will be less inclined to take risks this week as missing fairways are more penalizing, and fairways are narrower. They may still do it, but the risk is more significant.
Now, for those of you that have read my articles before, you know I'm a current form, course history, and "gut" player. Golf is so variant, and statistics do matter, but I've always found that the way a guy has been playing can flip a statistic on its head (Justin Rose positively and John Rahm/Webb Simpson negatively last week).
For those who like statistics, Alex White will give you a great statistical breakdown with his "The Burning Edge" article. We have different approaches, and I think that adds value to our fans.
With my current time constraints, I'm going to keep this article as straightforward as I can for you. I'll give you three to five players in each salary range that I pick (it may vary by week depending on pricing). This may be broken down into Tier 1 & 2 in the top price range because, on any given week, any of these guys are capable of winning. I'll also give you my
- Pick to Win
- Gut Pick to Win
- Salary Relief
- Power Fade
$9,000 & Up
- Bryson DeChambeau ($10,700 DK; $11,900 FD)
- Justin Rose ($ 9,200 DK; $11,200 FD)
- Webb Simpson ($ 9,000 DK; $11,400 FD)
- Xander Schauffele ($10,200 DK; $11,600 FD)
- Justin Thomas ($10,900 DK; $11,800 FD)
- Jon Rahm ($10,500 DK; $11,700 FD)
Remember, you have 20-percent more salary on FanDuel than you do on DraftKings. As a rule of thumb – if you want to look at equivalent dollars in their pricing models – you can multiply the DK salary by 120-percent. It's not perfect, but a $2,400 gap on Webb Simpson can look misleading. Doing this to Webb’s salary would make it $10,800 on DK compared to $11,400 on FD.
- Tony Finau ($8,200 DK; $10,300 FD)
- Gary Woodland ($8,400 DK; $10,500 FD)
- Matt Kuchar ($8,300 DK; $10,400 FD)
- Tyrrell Hatton ($8,000 DK; $ 9,800 FD)
- Abraham Ancer ($8,000 DK; $ 9,600 FD)
These guys fall at the lower end of the salary scale that I think will offer you a substantial likelihood of making the cut and a productive amount of points. In the past, I think I've even picked some of these guys as my "Gut Pick to Win."
- Branden Grace ($7100 DK; $10200 FD)
- Ian Poulter ($7600 DK; $ 9400 FD)
- Viktor Hovland ($7600 DK; $ 9900 FD)
- J. T. Poston ($7500 DK; $ 9200 FD)
- Joel Dahmen ($7500 DK; $ 9500 FD)
Deep Salary Relief
- Bubba Watson ($7400 DK; $ 9700 FD)
- Rafa Cabrera Bello ($7400 DK: $ 9000 FD)
- Rory Sabbatini ($7200 DK; $ 8900 FD)
Pick to Win
Gut Pick to Win
($8,000 or lower on DK)
Rory McIlroy ($11,300 DK; $12,200 FD)
He's not my favorite fade any week. However, if I'm going to fade someone in the five-figure price range this week, it will be him on DK. I don't think he's worth $12,200 on FD either. We all know Rory can explode at any given time, but with these prices, he'd better win or, at worst, Top 5 if we want the value we can get from guys below him.
Rickie Fowler ($8,100 DK; $10,100 FD)
I don’t like the way he is playing right now. Even at $8,100 on DK, he is still the 19th highest-priced golfer on the site. I'd take any of the first five (5) guys I listed under "Salary Relief" above him. With so many guys around that price playing better than him, I don't see a reason even to take a shot at that price. One lineup maybe, but that's it. At $10,100 on FD, I'm definitely out on that site.
While I’ve listed several guys in the various price ranges, I want to provide a few more names and insight for you guys that enjoy the site.
Bryson DeChambeau ($10,700 DK; $11,900 FD) – I'm all-in on this guy as a player. He's a bit quirky, yes. I don't care if he comes out wearing a tinfoil hat to keep away the gamma rays. The Scientist will be in probably 30% - 40% of my lineups.
Collin Morikawa ($10,000 DK; $11,500 FD) – If you didn’t read my article last week, see if you can pull it up. If you want as close to a guaranteed weekend play as you can get, this young man is the closest thing to Yoda (Baby Yoda since he’s so young) that you’ll see on the Tour. Even courses he hasn’t played, just seem to fit his game. Or, better yet, it appears to me he can make his game “fit” just about anywhere.
Jon Rahm ($10,500 DK; $11,700 FD), Webb Simpson ($9,000 DK; $11,400 FD) & Matt Kuchar ($8,300 DK; $10,400 FD) – All three of these guys missed the cut last week which was a complete shock! Now, if we had more current history and this seemed to be becoming a pattern, I'd worry. I'm not worried! Simpson (no MC in his last nine appearances here) and Kuchar (six Top 25s, four Top 10s, and a win) can be referred to as "Course Horses." Rahm? Well, a missed cut by him has been nothing more than an anomaly since joining the Tour.
Ian Poulter ($7,600 DK; $9,400 FD) – OK, for those who have followed me the last couple of years, you know my feelings toward Ian Poulter. I have respectfully named him the "Honey Badger." Look at this guy's history. Any time he tees it up, it's "no quit"! When his pricing is down as it is on DK, I'm loading up. He's $700 below what your average golfer needs to be on DK if you perfectly balance your lineup ($8,333 per golfer). Even if he misses a cut, he usually provides enough in birdies, etc. to give you a good “floor” score in a lineup with 5/6.
Viktor Hovland ($7,600 DK; $9,900 FD) – He's a little more volatile version of Morikawa to me. I went between him and Poulter for my "Gut Pick to Win." At the last minute, I went with Viktor. On DK, they are the same price, and Vik has more upside potential than Ian, which could make him a winner this week. However, if they both end up in a playoff, not only will I be pounding my chest, I'll be waiting for Poulter to bark at him after Poulter makes the winning putt. Barking golfers! Who said golf couldn't be exciting?
Bud Cauley ($7,200 DK; $8,800 FD) – His scrambling was T2 at Colonial. With the small greens, he is in play. A T29 last week at Colonial bodes well here.
Christiaan Bezuidenhout ($7,200 DK; $8500 FD) – I'm going back to the well here. Last week, I stated what his play had been like before the shutdown, and last week, he didn't play badly. He was -1 but missed the cut at -2. Much like Rahm, Simpson, and Kuchar, I can't hold that against him. I'm looking at him as a "substantially cheaper" version of those guys.
Plus, if you start a lineup with Poulter & Bezuidenhout, you can average $8,800 per golfer on your remaining four players. With DK pricing, you can get some big names in those four slots. Start with Poulter, Bezuidenhout, Hovland, and go from there.
I saw a lineup the other day with Koepka, Simpson, DJ, Fowler, Finau, and Day. Who would have ever thought that you could fit all 6 of those guys in a DK lineup? The pricing will allow it, but I don't think three of these guys are playing very well. I'm not faulting the lineup. I'm just simply stating that I think the pricing has been more flexible since coming back simply to get more people playing. The casual player will play when they can use names they know. They usually will not "deep dive." This is what we are hoping to help you do!
READ MORE: 2020 RBC Heritage Value Bets & Longshots