This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Golf series.
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Harbour Town Golf Links - Par 71 - 7,121 yards
Field - 135 entrants
Purse - $7.1M
A freshly-tailored green jacket rests upon the shoulders of a maiden major champion. Hideki Matsuyama refused to cede his lead throughout Sunday's final round at Augusta National en route to a one-shot victory over Will Zalatoris, who was a runaway favorite for 2020-21 Rookie of the Year honors well before experiencing a colossal inflation in popularity in his Masters debut. Zalatoris will be among the notable contingent of those making the short trek from Augusta to Hilton Head Island. The crew of RBC Heritage entrants includes 10 representatives from the top 20 in the Official World Golf Ranking, creating an abnormally-robust strength of field at Harbour Town.
The Pete Dye design, famous for its lighthouse beyond the 18th green, features tight landing areas off the tee and some of the smallest Bermuda greens on Tour. Harbour Town's short rough isn't penalizing to wayward drives, but proper angling into such puny putting surfaces requires precision in order to boost proximity stats, and therefore maximize par-breaker opportunities. Possibilities of a Thursday afternoon thunderstorm are evident, preceding expectations of scattered showers Saturday and Sunday. However, a breeze off the Atlantic coast appears to remain mild throughout the final 36 holes of the tournament.
Key Stats to Victory
SG: Putting (Bermuda)
Yahoo Value Picks
Based on $200 salary cap
Cream of the Crop
Webb Simpson - $46
The defending champion racked up 25 birdies and an eagle to just five total bogeys on the way to his 2020 victory here, and Simpson now ranks third in SG: Total at Pete Dye venues over his last 50 rounds. He's also top-10 in SG: Putting on bermuda during this span, while he stands ninth in proximity from 125-150 yards over his past 24 rounds and sixth in P4: 400-450 efficiency over his last 36. In addition to last year's win, Simpson has placed T16 or better in four consecutive trips to Harbour Town.
Collin Morikawa - $45
A layout that rewards supreme iron play sets Morikawa apart from the mortals, so hopefully gamers see his T64 at the 2020 RBC Heritage and fade the No. 1 player in SG: Approach, proximity from 125-150 yards and proximity from 175-200 yards over his last 24 rounds. The 24-year-old's debut on a strategy-driven Harbour Town blueprint may not have gone exactly to plan last June, but he's now fourth in the OWGR with a trio of wins under his belt since then. Morikawa's elite approach game has led to a ranking of eighth in birdie or better percentage over his last 36 rounds, combating the occasional lousy putting performance.
Matthew Fitzpatrick - $37
Fitzpatrick's flat stick has been an absolute weapon over his past 50 rounds on bermuda, ranking first in SG: Putting and third in putting from 5-10 feet on this surface. He's finished T14 twice in three appearances at the RBC Heritage since 2018, but the Englishman's recent form is even more impressive with a win at the DP World Tour Championship in December foreshadowing six straight results of T18 or better from the Omega Dubai Desert Classic through the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. Rare short-game issues caused Fitzpatrick to fall into a tie for 34th at the Masters, but I'd expect his conduct on and around the greens to revert back to normal in Hilton Head.
Will Zalatoris - $36
Zalatoris is going to get a lot of love at just $36 on the heels of his runner-up effort at the Masters, but it's too difficult to fade someone who'll remain motivated for a much-needed victory that would qualify him for the FedEx Cup Playoffs. The Wake Forest product has rapidly become a top-tier ball-striking asset, ranking fifth in SG: Approach and seventh in SG: Tee-to-Green over his past 24 rounds. Although Zalatoris grew up in Texas, the 2017 ACC Player of the Year should feel comfortable at this Carolinian site.
Cameron Smith - $35
Smith seems undervalued at $35 as he likely belongs higher on the salary board than names like Lee Westwood ($37), Tommy Fleetwood ($37) and even Harris English ($44) at this point. The Aussie is coming off another top-10 performance at the Masters, which marked his fourth consecutive finish of T17 or better in stroke-play settings dating back to a solo-fourth at the Genesis Invitational. Smith ranks eighth in overall putting average, ninth in one-putt percentage and 12th in birdie average this season.
Corey Conners - $34
Conners has improved to the No. 2 slot behind only the aforementioned Morikawa in my custom stat model this week, as the Canadian paces the RBC Heritage field in GIR percentage over his last 36 rounds while residing second in P4: 400-450 efficiency, third in birdie or better rate and fourth in driving accuracy along this stretch of brilliance as well. His approaches were on point en route to a T8 at Augusta National last week, and Conners finally turned his Harbour Town course history narrative around by notching a top-25 here in 2020.
Matt Wallace - $24
Wallace, who gained 9.3 strokes on his approaches at the Valero Texas Open, where he finished solo-third, also ranks 15th in SG: Around-the-Green over his last 36 rounds. The Englishman has been above-average from 100-175 yards as of late, which should aid in improving his outcomes on the par-4s at Harbour Town after he played them in a collective two-over-par last summer.
Matthew NeSmith - $23
He's been fairly atrocious with the putter since late February, but we'll pray for positive regression on the greens back home in his native South Carolina. NeSmith carries intriguing DFS upside, ranking top-10 in both SG: Approach and SG: Tee-to-Green over his last 24 rounds. He is also third in GIR percentage and 24th in driving accuracy throughout his past 36 rounds, accompanying five top-40s in seven events dating back to his T7 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. He tied for 33rd at 12-under-par in his RBC Heritage debut last year.
Chase Seiffert - $20
Seiffert remains relatively unknown to the casual consumer as he finds himself outside the top-200 in the OWGR, but he's picked up steam in DFS circles with four straight cuts made from the Puerto Rico Open through the Valero Texas Open. His 2021 campaign is highlighted by a T3 at the Honda Classic where he gained nearly eight strokes on his approach shots, but Seiffert's season-long metrics include top-quartile rankings in SG: Approach, scrambling, proximity and par-4 scoring average.