Paulie's Picks: 2017 RBC Heritage

So, last week’s fade of Jon Rahm might have paid off for you if you happened to fill your lineup with the correct players as Rahm was 30% owned in the Millionaire Maker on DraftKings and finished outside the top 20. Even though the picks I provided didn’t produce a gigantic winner, the strategy was sound and would have possibly led to a massive payday had you rostered Sergio Garcia who was similarly priced to Rahm (and Thomas) and was only owned by 18% of people.

The week after a major always produces weird results as many guys are often exhausted following the toll a major places on a player physically and mentally. We also tend to see elevated levels of ownership on players who played well at the major (talking to you Kuchar and Hoffman this week). This means that we should zig while the common player decides to zag. Here are some picks to center your lineup around in hope of winning a contest this week:

Wesley Bryan $7,700

Bryan, the South Carolina native, is very familiar with Harbour Town. Even though he was born in Columbia, SC which is not close to Harbour Town, he played a lot of junior golf here. He would stay in a place each year adjacent to the first tee when visiting Harbour Town. Bryan is also a great statistical fit for this golf course as his strong suit is iron play and short game. Harbour Town is very similar to the courses for the Valspar Championship and Honda Classic as the courses are not overly long but place a premium on iron play and managing your game. Bryan finished top 10 in both of those events this year. You add all that up and this seems to be the perfect place for Bryan to snag his first victory. He may be overlooked this week in terms of ownership due to being priced similarly as Donald, Furyk, Cabrera Bello, McGirt, Knox, Leishman, McDowell and Perez all of whom will be popular options this week. More on Wesley Bryan.

Note: His odds opened this week at 80-1 which is way too high for him. He is the best value on the board in terms of odds to win. Enjoy your winnings when you cash that 80-1 ticket this weekend.

John Peterson $6,900

Peterson has been battling back from injury and is finally starting to produce results like he was a few years ago as evidenced by top 25s in two of his last three starts. He also finished 18th a year ago and his game suits this course. He is only one of seven golfers with a GIR of at least 68% and a scrambling percentage above 60% (List, Reavie, Haas, Pan, Spaun, Anderson). This is needed due to the small greens at Harbour Town.

Patrick Cantlay $7,600

Cantlay is 6th in the field in GIR which should help him maneuver his way around the course this week. Cantlay also has a very tidy short game which will be put to use this week. Cantlay finished second at the Valspar which as mentioned is very similar to this week’s event. More on Cantlay.

One-and-Done:

This week is a proverbial crapshoot as no golfer has better than 14-1 odds to win, yet 22 players have a 40-1 chance or better of winning. There are so many options to choose from this week. You can go with the hot hand from the Masters, try picking a player who maybe struggled last week but may go under owned in your league this week or go with a player who historically overachieves at this course.

Matt Kuchar

Kuchar backdoored his way to a top five at Augusta and comes in as the favorite this week at 14-1. I look for him to be the most popular play of the week. He has three straight top 10s at Harbour Town highlighted by his victory in 2014.

Tyrrell Hatton

If you want to capitalize on recency bias then Hatton is your guy. He blew up at Augusta and finished near the bottom of the leaderboard and missed the cut. This will make some people shy away from him this week. Prior to the Masters, he had six straight top 13s in stroke play events. Look for him to return to form this week.

Luke Donald

In the last seven years, Donald has five top threes at this event (that is not a typo!!!). Nothing else needs to be said.

Longshot to Win: Mark Anderson 300-1

If you are looking for the ultimate longshot and dark horse look no further than Mark Anderson. He is another South Carolina native that is familiar with Harbour Town. He has made the cut in his last two appearances at this event highlighted by a 13th in 2012. Anderson has showed some game this year as evidenced by his top 10 in Puerto Rico. His metrics fit this course perfectly as he is one of the seven golfers with a GIR of at least 68% and a scrambling percentage above 60%.

 

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