The year's first Major Championship has come and gone and the green jacket has been awarded but The PGA Tour schedule rolls on with another title at stake. Excluse golf picks inside.
RBC Heritage Golf Preview
A Masters hangover? No, not in the least. The RBC Heritage, played at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head, South Carolina is one of the classic golf events on The PGA Tour and played at one of the best golf courses in The United States. The RBC Heritage tournament has been a staple on Tour since 1968 and will be hosting its 48th edition this week. It is a Pete Dye design, seaside venue with gorgeous views and the lighthouse just off of the 18th hole is one of the more indelible landmarks on The PGA Tour rotation of golf courses.
Harbour Town is nearly a polar opposite from last week's venue in Augusta, Georgia. At The Masters, the big hitters typically flourish as distance off of the tee is paramount while at The Heritage, it is driving accuracy that is much more important. Harbour Town will play between 7000 and 7100 yards, while Augusta tips out to around 7500 yards. An entire golf hole shorter will the course play this week and par has been reduced from Augusta's 72 to 71 this week in Hilton Head. Continuing the theme of a reduction in size and length, Harbour Town has some of the smallest greens on Tour. Hitting these small putting surfaces by Tour standards, in regulation, will go a long way in determining this week's winner. Six of the last eight winners here at The RBC Heritage, have ranked inside the top 10 for the week in Greens In Regulation and six of the last seven winners have ranked inside the top 10 for Driving Accuracy.
So look for accurate drivers of the golf ball who can shape their iron shots around doglegs, hit greens, and get up and down from off of the greens, to be successful this week as this course demands exactly that.
Jason Day (6-1) at William Hill - A pre-tournament favorite at The Masters, Jason Day could never really get things cooking last week but while Day's game is perfectly suited for Augusta, not so much here as he is extremely long but not very accurate off of the tee. This will be Day's first time playing The RBC in three years. Prior he has finished 22nd, 9th, and 30th.
Paul Casey (15-1) at Ladbrokes - Casey finished The Masters in a flurry on Sunday and does have good accuracy off of the tee but his weaknesses tend to be around and on the greens. His past finishes at Harbour Town have been decent, 11th, 22nd, and 18th.
Brandt Snedeker (20-to-1) - Snedeker won this event in 2011 but missed the cut the two years prior to that and has not been outstanding here since. He is not extremely accurate off of the tee but is a wizard around the greens.
Matt Kuchar (20-to-1) - Kuchar has all of the tools for this course, accuracy off of the tee, scrambling, and putting. He won here just two years ago in 2014 and finished 5th last year. His form doesn't seem to be peaking right now but this course could turn that around for him in a hurry.
Zach Johnson (20-to-1) - Like last year's winner, Jim Furyk, Johnson seems to have the perfect skill set for this golf course. He has two Top 10-finishes here but has missed the cut three times including last year.
Kevin Kisner (25-to-1) - Kisner has been progressing nicely here at Hilton Head, missing the cut in 2011 and then going 38th and 2nd in the last two years. He's accurate, hits greens, and can putt. After finishing 37th last week in his Masters debut, his form could be at the right place at the right time.
The Long Shots
Graeme McDowell at Bet365 Graeme McDowell (40-to-1) - McDowell is off to a good start this season, really recommitting himself to getting back to the level of the Major Champion he is. His accuracy off of the tee is one of the best in the world, as is his work around the greens. He won this event in 2013.
Sean O'Hair (60-to-1) - A mixed bag of results at this event for Sean O'Hair but he does fit well in the numbers with accuracy off of the tee, excellent scrambling and putting. He has two Top 10's here, including a 6th last year but he's also missed the cut four times.
Chez Reavie (60-to-1) - The Arizona State Sun Devil is extremely accurate off of the tee and putts and scrambles with the best of them. Given that, his results here are surprising, missing 4-cuts in 6-tries but he has been playing excellent as of late with two Top 10's and a 22nd at The Valspar, all coming in his last four events played.
Kevin Na (40-to-1) - Kevin Na has been playing very well this year and even hung around for the weekend at Augusta, a course that does not suit his game. Hilton Head does however, as he has three Top 10 finishes here along with another three Top 10's at The Players Championship, another Pete Dye design.. and yet another Dye design, Austin Country Club, where The World Match Play was held three weeks ago, Na finished 17th. 40-to-1 seems like a nice price given his track record at courses of this style, so add Na to your betting picks.