RBC Heritage Recap

04-17-17

You hate reading the recap.

I hate writing the recap.

After two weeks not writing it, it hasn’t helped me so I’m going back to writing it.

Don’t read it!

This MAY BE my new hero. Check out where he went for his celebration dinner!

He went to Taco Bell. #Legend.

Wesley Bryan won three times on the Web.com Tour last year to win his battlefield promotion so his name shouldn’t be foreign to gamers.

If it is, PLEASE LET ME JOIN YOUR LEAGUE.

It took him only 18 PGA Tour starts to break into an exclusive club that will keep him on Tour through the 2018-19 season.

It also gives him 51 weeks to prepare for the Masters. Funny, he now lives in Augusta…

Time to get your futures bet down!

Bryan, who was already full exempt this season, now finds himself No. 37 in the OWGR after being outside of the top 1,000 just eight months ago. This will put him in the the rest of the majors (based today on OWGR) and the final WGC event at Firestone.

This is a FANTASY golf column so if you want to hear his cool back story or read about the trick shot years, check out Adam Schupak:

I’ll remind you that he entered the week on streak of six events in a row where he hasn’t left early.

His light bulb didn’t turn completely on until the final three rounds at TPC Scottsdale after three consecutive MCs. Those three consecutive rounds in the 60’s spurred at T-4, T-4 and T-7 run over his next three events.

Sure, everyone gets hot but it’s WHERE he got hot that gets my attention.

Riviera.

Innisbrook.

PGA National.

Those aren’t places where inexperienced players usually shine unless they’re special.

We can add RBC Heritage to that list as well as he’s the first, first-time winner since Boo Weekley in 2007. He joins Weekly and Branden Grace, last year’s winner, as the only recent winners of this event to break their maiden on Tour.

He’s also the first rookie to finish inside the top five since 2001 (Heath Slocum). Bryson DeChambeau was T-7 last year.

He’s an excellent putter and has proven he’s a quick learner. In only his third start last year he hit the top 10 (T-8) at the John Deere Classic.

 

Tournament Hindsight:

Defending champ Branden Grace finished T-11, his worst finish in three starts in the last three years.

Bryan becomes only the seventh player since 1983 to NOT play the week prior at Augusta before winning at Harbour Town Golf Links.

He joins Cody Gribble and Mackenzie Hughes as the rookie winners this season.

Brian Gay’s tournament record of 264 (2009) was safe again this week.

David Frost and Troy Merritt’s course record never saw anything closer than Bud Cauley’s 63 on Thursday.

With the perfect weather, there were 20 bogey-free rounds this season but only five on the weekend.

Matt Kuchar shot the low round of the weekend with 64 on Sunday, the most difficult scoring day of the week.

Youth was served this week with rookies Bryan, Cantlay and Schniederjans cashing on the podium plus J.J. Spaun just missing out by a shot at T-6.

Perfect weather all week made for excellent scoring conditions.

The only gripe that was prevalent was the greens weren’t running as quickly as some thought they should have. I’ll remind gamers that this is just year No. 2 of the new TifEagle Bermudarass so that’s hardly surprising.

 

The Best of the Rest

Luke Donald (T-2): I faded Donald as he didn’t fire at a couple of other events where he’s usually ace (Honda, Valspar) and burned me. I jokingly wrote on Twitter AFTER he overcame an early double yet still finished second that he’s going into my lineup even if he shows up here with only one arm next year.  The lesson here is if you bang your ahead against the wall enough times a guy will finally find it.

Patrick Cantlay (T-3): His major medical exemption was covered in two events. In four events he’s hit the top three twice. He’s healthy and needs to be on your radar, especially at TPC River Highlands where he shot 60 as an amateur. Like Bryan and Donald, it was his short game and putter that put him in the mix this week.

Ollie Schniederjans (T-3): The hat jokes with Ollie will never get old with me but there’s nothing funny about this guy’s game. A big deal was made this week about how important short-game is at HTGL. Schniederjans has proved that excellent iron players can thrive here as well. He led led the field SGATG and was T-2 GIR. His best finishes this year are on some of the most difficult tracks on Tour so there’s no funny business with his ball-striking. He was T-9 at Torrey Pines and T-8 at Riviera and added another top 10 at RSM on Sea Island last fall (T-6).

William McGirt (T-3): This one is pretty easy. His last four years including this week are T-9, T-31, T-9 and T-3. He’s a South Carolina native and should be automatic annually.

Brian Gay (T-6): The 2009 record setter looks to finally be healthy and playing well again. His 21 birdies were the second most on the week and the reason for his success isn’t hard to find. He was T-5 fairways and second in putting. He’s a bit of a course horse next week at Valero.

J.J. Spaun (T-6): Of 11 starts in 2017 the San Diego native and rookie has made eight weekends. He also hit the top 10 at Torrey Pines with with T-9 so this connection is bizarre! His third top 10 of the season also checked the putting box as he was T-9 SGP. He also ranked in the top half in both fairways and greens as well.

Graham DeLaet (T-6): The Canadian took time off last year because he had the chipping yips. They were on display Sunday but thankfully for only one hole, a triple on No. 8. He played the rest of his holes even par to hit the top 14 for the second year in a row. His three rounds in the 60’s were the first time he’s done that in six trips. Keep an eye on the Canadian as he’s now cashed T-22 or better in five of his last seven and that includes three top 10’s. #Noted.

Bud Cauley (T-9): Those of you following since the Rotoworld days, thank you, know about my love for Cauley. His torn labrum set him back but there’s no question the talent is there. His 2013 rookie year he was making cuts left and right and is starting to get back into that form. This is his second top 10 of 2017 and pushes him inside of the top 80 in the FEC in mid-April. I’m hoping this frees him up for the rest of the year and his 20 birdies this week shows he’s close.

Brian Harman (T-9): THE STREAK IS OVER. I REPEAT, THE STREAK IS OVER! Entering the week, he had cashed 16 top 10 checks all on DIFFERENT TRACKS. This is his first duplicate top 10 so know he’s official “course horse” from now on. His 134 was the low total of the weekend and that’s impressive seeing he came home with 37 of them on Sunday.

 

What Happened to the Chalk??

Matt Kuchar (T-11): Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Kuchar goes low on Sunday to sneak in a big finish. His 64 this week saved Yahoo! players and OAD players alike. Thanks, Matty! Oh, and this is his worst finish in the last four years, (WIN, fifth and T-9).

Russell Henley (T-26): His closing 68 also helped in the Yahoo! but not as much as his opening 66. It was his middle two rounds (73–71) were the two that drove gamers crazy but his WIN, T-11 and T-26 last three weeks are very solid.

Branden Grace (T-11): As mentioned above, he really likes it here (T-7, WIN and T-11).

Charley Hoffman (MC): The ONLY bright side of him shooting a million this week is getting a few extra days to prepare to defend at Valero later this week. His record at Valero is beyond ridiculous so he’s right back into the lineup again on Thursday. This was his first MC in his last seven events at HTGL.

Martin Kaymer (T-32): What’s German for “Matt Kuchar” then? Kaymer went out Sunday in 30 and birdied No. 10 just to freak everyone out. He then threw almost all of it away with five bogeys and three pars on his next eight holes. He’s never MC in three trips and seven of his 12 rounds are in red numbers but it could have been better than T-32!

Kevin Kisner (T-11): I’m exhausted. He lost almost FOUR STROKES with the putter on Thursday before his coach John Tillery sorted that issue. The result was 43 holes in a row without a bogey. He was the leader on 13-under on Sunday after his birdie on No. 5. He played his final 12 holes in five-over to finish T-11 and squash gamers everywhere. There’s plenty to like recently as he’s killing it from tee-to-green as well.

Bill Haas (MC): Wut. He used to be an automatic fade here. He tricked me last year with T-14. He lured me into a sense of false hope with T-3 at Match Play and T-36 at Augusta.

Pat Perez (T-70): His 68-67 to get it started got him right in the fight. He could have sold his 71 on Sunday to anyone in the final three groups. Now about that 81 on Saturday…

William McGirt (T-3): See above.

Marc Leishman (T-44): He also had a case of the “Pat Perezes” but not as severe. His 68-69 positioned him well heading into the weekend before 74 on Saturday wiped him down the board. His 71 on Sunday was a nice recovery so I’m not letting a round here or there chase me away. There have been too many good ones recently.

Matthew Fitzpatrick (MC): I’m going to keep track of a new category: “My Favorite Track” or “My Favorite Week” guys on Tour. Fitzpatrick claims this is his favorite week on Tour but MC X 2 the last two seasons suggests, at least for gamers, it’s surely not.

Adam Hadwin (T-22): Another week, another four rounds at par or better so it’s clear he’s not satisfied with just winning at Valspar. He was in the bottom five in SGP but No. 1 in SGTTG.

Russell Knox (T-11): Current form be damned! The Scotsman is 28-under the last four years with nothing outside of T-18. He’s the homeless man’s Luke Donald here as his form entering the week was dire.

Jim Furyk (MC): And the buck stops here as not even his outstanding course history here could overcome his nothingness currently on the links. Age is never a friend on the PGA Tour and when guys don’t start firing on courses they’ve handled for YEARS, I get worried. And I lose interest. Quickly.

Luke Donald (2nd): Lesson learned. Ruler onto the knuckles. Time with the nose in the corner. Running some killers.

 

I See You

 

Sung Kang (T-11): Backed up his solo second in Houston with T-11 at HTGL to continue his solid form. His streak of rounds at par or better is now 10 in a row. He’s 33-under in his last three events.

Ryan Palmer (T-11): It must be difficult having to concentrate on golf when your wife is battling cancer but Palmer posted three rounds of 67-68-68 to show that he’s finding a way. It was announced last week he’ll partner up with Jordan Spieth at the Zurich and, as always, he’ll be a factor in the Texas swing over the next month. His T-11 is his best since Crooked Stick last fall.

Tyrell Hatton (T-29): Nice bounceback after 76-80 MC at Augusta. Now imagine if he hadn’t have bogeyed five of his last nine coming home Sunday! He only made two bogeys in the first three rounds so he’s still making almost everything!

Rafael Campos (T-32): With no status, each week is going to feel like a major. He backed up his pair of top 10’s with another check this week and parlayed this streak into a sponsor’s exemption at Valero. Hot golf is hot golf.

Francesco Molinari (T-22): Good weekend for the Molinari brothers as Eduardo won a playoff in Morocco and Francesco pasted another top 25, his eighth in 11 events this season. #Lire.

Rafael Cabrera-Bello (MC): It was a hell of a run but like most things, it has come to a crashing halt. His three consecutive MCs are more than he had the last 10 months worldwide.

 

Stay Tuned:

Tomorrow I’ll have my preview for the Valero Texas Open.

Wednesday I’ll have all my picks for specific fantasy formats and the results of last week’s selections.

Check @MikeGlasscott and mikeglasscott.com for more details.

 

 

 

 

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