Fantasy PGA Preview: RBC Heritage
Well the first major is in the books. What a brutal week it was for the bigger names. I heard that 8 of the top 15 favourites from Vegas were eliminated on Friday afternoon. If people were not aware of it before, they now know that picking 6 players just to make the cut is not always easy to do. It only gets worse at majors since the field is so strong.
My picks were solid considering the landmines that were exploding all over the field. Jason Day was a bit disappointing but still managed to make the cut. Dustin Johnson/Bubba Watson was a big miss and a bit hit. Though I did say if I had to choose between DJ and Bubba I would lean towards Bubba. Charl Schwartzel and Harris English were my missed cuts while Rickie Fowler and Kevin Stadler exceeded value. Congrats to those who won the two big events from DK and DS.
As for the Masters it was a decent showing. Once Spieth faulted mid-round on Sunday, Bubba had smooth sailing to his second Green Jacket in three years, proving to the masses that his game is ideal for Augusta. If he isn’t at least 3rd highest salary next Masters it will be criminal. As for Spieth and Jonas Blixt, great effort from both to tie 2nd in their maiden trips to Augusta. Both cementing their places in next years Masters by finishing in the top 12.
One disappointment for me was Jason Dufner, he had made 8 cuts in a row in majors with an average finishing position of 17th. He got there early and just played flat both Thursday and Friday. Also Matt Jones and Matt Every broke streaks this week as well. Jones became the first winner of the Shell Houston not to make the cut at the Masters since that event was moved to a Masters lead up event. Every became the first player since 2006 that won the Arnold Palmer and failed to make the cut at the following Masters. Nice job lads.
Now that the Masters is over we can get back to grinding. I’ve always enjoyed the stretch between the Masters all the way to the Deutsche Bank event. This week the lads are at Harbour Town Golf Links in South Carolina. It runs 6,973 yards and is a Par 71 track. Overhanging limbs of trees, water hazards that come into play on five holes, small greens and strong winds make this a challenging course even though it is small to PGA standards. Bombers need not apply here.
A bit of carnage maybe seen on day 1. As the forecast predicts winds of 22 mph. It is expected to die down a little by tournament’s end but never to reach below double digits. Like always though, check the weather prior to the start of the tournament.
|Like him or hate him Patrick Reed has shown that not only does he have great talent, he has confidence to match that game. Sure he missed the cut at The Masters, but so did six players priced above him. Also, let’s not forget that the RBC Heritage winner of 2013 (Gmac) missed the cut at the Masters that year as well. Dating back exactly one year, the only time Reed has missed back-to-back cuts was when he WD from the Shriners earlier this season.|
|So far this season the Hoff has only missed one cut; the AT&T Pebble Beach. So when you think about how that tourney plays 3 rounds before the cut is made, he has really only missed one round this season. Plus, who really cares about the AT&T Pro Am anyway? Well, besides the amateurs that is. The Hoff has had three top 10’s this season and three of the last four tournaments he has entered has finished top 25 or better. He has had two top 10 finishes in his last two trips to the Heritage. Overall he has made three cuts in four trips here.|
|MacKenzie has been on a tear as of late. In his last four starts he has notched three top 10 finishes, including a 2nd place finish at his last event (Valero). Since 2010 MacKenzie has racked up five top 10 finishes on the PGA tour and he has made the cut in all five of the following events, with 60% of those being top 25 finishes. MacKenzie has also made four cuts in five trips to the Heritage. I expect another strong performance from Will this week.|
|Coming off a solid performance at Augusta Henley is riding some momentum. He placed 7th the week before The Masters at the Shell Houston. He now comes to the Heritage, where in his maiden start at this tournament last year he placed 6th. Henley in just his second season is already a two time PGA winner with his last victory coming this year at the Honda Classic.|
|Don’t look now but Gonzo been stringing some decent finishes together as of late. He has made the cut in his last four stroke play events (that had a cut line) and is still priced fairly cheap. He is coming off a 26th place at The Masters last week. Gonzo should be able to plod around on this course and put up a decent score.|
|Gallacher has been steadily rising up the golf world rankings and now sits at 39th. He has placed inside the top 10 three times this year (twice in Europe and once in the US). He placed 6th at the Cadillac (an event that was hit with strong winds) and is coming off a 34th at The Masters. Being Scottish, you might find he will be able to handle some of these strong winds that are in the forecast. He is starting to come on and is playing well on this side of the pond.|
There you have it folks, just a few picks to help you get over the Masters hangover.
Good luck to all.