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RBC Heritage DFS picks 2024: Why I'm concerned about Rory McIlroy

April 16, 2024
Rory McIlroy during the second round of the 2024 Masters Tournament held in Augusta, GA at Augusta National Golf Club on Friday, April 12, 2024.

After a historic week at the Masters, many of the best players in the world will be making the trip to Hilton Head Island for the RBC Heritage, one of the longest-running events on the PGA Tour. In the past two years, the Heritage has taken on a ’signature’ banner, and it now features over a $20-million purse and a field of just 69 players. There will be no rest for World No. 1 (despite his wait for baby No. 1), as reigning Masters champion Scottie Scheffler will be looking for his fourth win in his past five starts. The pricing is finally beginning to catch up to Scheffler’s run of domination, as he is now priced above $13,000 for the first time this season.

Best and Worst Value Bets for the 2024 RBC Heritage

An intriguing crop of challengers await, as Ludvig Aberg looks to build upon his runner-up finish at the Masters, while Xander Schauffele continues to feel ever so close to another major breakthrough. More serious questions loom around players such as Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy. While Spieth is a former winner of the Heritage, he shockingly missed the cut last week at the Masters. McIlroy was slightly more impressive at Augusta, but he has yet to find any form at Harbour Town, a course that will largely take driver out of his hands and mitigate his only reliable weapon.

Though some might take a collective exhale after the season’s first major, there is still plenty to be excited about in Hilton Head. Let’s dive into the slate.

RBC Heritage 2024 DFS Picks:

$10,000 range

Play: Xander Schauffele, $10,800:

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Ben Jared

While Xander Schauffele still found a way to disappoint many with his eighth-place finish at the Masters this week, this would not be the first time that Schauffele won the week after he was heavily tipped to collect his first major. Schauffele was an incredibly popular selection at the 2022 U.S. Open at Brookline. He played well, recording a top-15 finish, but never really possessed a chance to win. In the following week, on a Pete Dye course, Schauffele won the Travelers Championship. Harbour Town is still an incredible fit for Schauffele, and he finished fourth there last year, gaining 12 strokes from tee to green. Those who hang on one more week with Schauffele will be rewarded.

Fade: Rory McIlroy, $11,200:

There’s one thing I’ve learned from watching a lot of Rory McIlroy over the years, he cannot be consistently trusted to execute a game plan on strategic golf courses. There’s a reason why McIlroy hasn’t spent much time at Harbour Town over the years (he only has a 58th in 2009 and a 41st in 2020). Harbour Town is a short, positional, less-than-driver golf course that doesn’t emphasize McIlroy’s best skills: driving the ball with reckless abandon. McIlroy will be forced to rely exclusively on his course management and short to middle iron play to succeed at the RBC Heritage. At this current moment, he is elite at neither.

$9,000 range

Play: Tommy Fleetwood, $9,800:

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Warren Little

Now coming off back-to-back top-10 finishes at the Valero Texas Open and Masters, Tommy Fleetwood returns to a golf course where he’s found a tremendous amount of success. In four appearances at the Heritage, Fleetwood has recorded three top-25 finishes, including a 10th in 2022. As one of the most accurate drivers and strong middle iron players in this field, the narrow corridors and small greens are right up Fleetwood’s alley. Expect the Englishman to build upon his momentum last week and play a major factor at Hilton Head.

Fade: Wyndham Clark, $9,200:

I’m willing to forgive Wyndham Clark for a missed cut in his first Masters appearance. Yet similar to my concerns about him at Augusta based on his affinity for the big miss and his high, spinny ball flight, Harbour Town’s over-hanging tree-limbs may present similar problems. Clark has still yet to record a top-25 finish in five appearances at the RBC Heritage. While he is a much better player now than in years past, Harbour Town is a very singular and quirky style of golf course, and similar to McIlroy, I still need to see results before I blindly trust the talent.

$8,000 range

Play: Si Woo Kim, $8,000:

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Raj Mehta

I wrote about this during Players Championship week, but Si Woo Kim was truly built for this style of golf. Of his four PGA Tour victories, three have come on short, positional courses, and the other (American Express) was at a Pete Dye course. Kim is one of the most accurate drivers of the ball in this field, and he possesses an incredibly underrated short game. Coming off a 30th-place finish at the Masters, I expect the former Players champion to record another high-end finish at Harbour Town.

Fade: Sam Burns, $8,200:

Sam Burns always has the potential to catch lightning with his flat-stick, but I have major concerns about the state of his ball-striking. Burns is coming off a MC where he lost more than three strokes on approach, and he has now looked shaky from tee-to-green in back-to-back starts. While Burns has had success at the RBC Heritage in the past, there are still players in this price range in far better ball-striking form that I would rather look to.

$7,000 range

Play: Brian Harman, $7,800:

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Jamie Squire

While Brian Harman certainly disappointed at Augusta National, Harbour Town should be way more his speed, and I love the price tag we are getting on the reigning Open Championship winner. Harman finished seventh at the RBC Heritage last year, and when we add in his success at TPC River Highlands, PGA West and TPC Sawgrass, the major winner ranks second in this field on Pete Dye courses over the past five years. Harman remains one of the most accurate drivers of the ball in this field, and his discipline and craft around the greens deem him a consistent threat on this style of architecture.

Fade: Akshay Bhatia, $7,700:

I am still a long-term believer in Akshay’s talent, but this feels like a natural letdown spot. This will be Bhatia’s fifth tournament in a row, and he is coming off his first Masters appearance, where the ball-striking began to trend in the wrong direction. After two excellent iron weeks in Houston and San Antonio, Bhatia lost over 4.5 strokes on approach. Now he travels to a golf course that he has very little experience at, and the vast majority of his best PGA Tour results have come on driver-heavy, wide-open golf courses. While Bhatia is sure to provide more strong finishes in 2024, this is an excellent spot to fade.

$6,000 range

Play: Adam Svensson, $6,400:

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Brennan Asplen

This is far too cheap of a price tag for the upside that Adam Svensson provides. In two appearances at Harbour Town, Svensson has made both cuts, gaining over five strokes on approach in both occurrences. This golf course clearly fits his eye from tee to green, and Svensson has also won at Sea Island, another short, positional Southeastern Bermuda course. The Canadian has now gained over 2.5 strokes on approach in three straight starts, and I expect his iron play on one of the most exacting second-shot courses to shine once again.

Andy Lack is a PGA Tour writer and podcaster from New York City who now resides in Los Angeles. He hosts Inside Golf, a twice weekly podcast focused on the PGA Tour, betting, daily fantasy, golf course architecture, and interviews, as part of the BlueWire podcast network. As well as contributing to Golf Digest, Andy is also a data analyst and writer for Run Pure Sports, where he covers PGA Tour betting and daily fantasy. He came to Golf Digest’s betting panel after previously writing for RickRunGood.com, the Score and GolfWRX. In his free time, Andy can likely be found on a golf course. Follow him on Twitter: @adplacksports