What a weekend in golf it was as Tiger Woods claimed his fifth Green Jacket in one of the most exciting Masters tournaments in history! Four of our top five picks for the tournament in Jason Day, Matt Kuchar, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy all finished inside the top 25 for a decent weekend of betting.
No rest for the wicked in the PGA as the tour continues this weekend in South Carolina for the annual RBC Heritage!
The 2019 RBC Heritage will see Japan’s Satoshi Kodaira back to defend his title from last season alongside what looks to be a fairly strong field given we are just a few days removed from The Masters.
A 7,099 yard, Par 71, the Harbour Town Golf Links in South Carolina is the only site that the RBC Heritage, formerly known as the Heritage Classic, has ever known. It makes the tournament one of the longest running single course tournaments on the PGA Tour, dating all the way back to 1969 when the great Arnold Palmer claimed the first Heritage Golf Classic crown.
Renowned golf course designer Pete Dye is responsible for the layout of the Habour Town Golf Links with help from Jack Nicklaus. Narrowness is a major theme of the course throughout the 18 holes. The fairways are skinny and tough to hit and the putting greens are famously small. Strategic bunkers line the course as well as spectacular oaks that give the feel of a course in Scotland or the UK.
The course is a good all-round test for golfers and though it has never really favoured any one style of golfer, its players who are strong from tee-to-green that we’ll be targeting this week after targeting the putters at The Masters on the weekend.
As we mentioned above, the field is shaping up to be quite a strong one given that players will be in need of a break after The Masters. Fed Ex Cup leader and T12 finisher at The Masters, Matt Kuchar, headlines the field along with other Top 30 players in the world in Xander Schauffele, Francesco Molinari, Bryson DeCahmbeau, Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth.
Along with the top guys, the field also boasts a number of interesting story lines. Englishman Luke Donald has been a runner up at Harbour Town on five different occasions and will be back to attempt to break the hoodoo this year while Davis Love III has won the title on five occasions. The Heritage is one of only five tournaments given the ‘invitational’ status by the PGA Tour, meaning there is a reduced field and plenty of names that have been successful or have played well at Harbour Town in the past.
There’s a bunch of strong tee-to-green players in the field this weekend, but one in particular catches our eye and that’s youngster Xander Schauffele ($19). The 25 year old ranks 15th in shots gained from tee-to-green so far this season, 14th in shots gained on approach and 26th in shots gained off the tee. He had a fantastic tournament at The Masters shooting -13 under over the final three rounds to see him finished tied for 2nd. He is one of just two players this season to have won two events with wins at the WGC-HSBC and the Sentry Tournament of Champions and along with the wins, has picked up nine top 25 finishes through 11 tournaments. Great value this week.
How can you look past stalwart Matt Kuchar ($23) at the moment? Week in, week out, the 40 year old just goes about his business with no fuss. Kuchar is the only other player to win two tournametns this season with victories at the Mayakobo Golf Classic and the Sony Open earlier in the year. Has had a fantastic last few weeks with a 2nd place finish at the WGC-Matchplay followed by a t7 at the Valero Texas Open and a T12 at The Masters. Ranks 11th in shots gained from tee-to-green, 7th in shots gained on approach and is one of the most consistent players on tour. Top 20 is a lock, top 10 is as good as and a win is great value.
He might have pulled off one of the all-time choke jobs in The Masters on Sunday, but that should only fire up Francesco Molinari ($15) to play even better this weekend. The king of consistency makes golf look a little too easy at times, as he played out the first three rounds at Augusta with just one bogey. The capitulation on Sunday was something you rarely see from Frankie and while he doesn’t sit very high in any stats this season, he does sit 12th on the Fed Ex Cup standings with just seven tournametns under his belt. A win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational was backed up by a 3rd place finish at the WGC-Matchplay and of course, the T5 at The Masters.
One aspect of that players need to be strong in at Harbour Town is scrambling. Even if you are a fantastic tee-to-green player, the demanding fairways and small greens are going to mean even the best will sometimes need to scramble. This is why we like the look of Korean Si Woo Kim ($41) this week. Has had an underrated last few weeks after finishing T4 at the Valero Texas Open and T21 at The Masters. He is one of the best scramblers in the world, currently tied 8th in shots gained around the green. In two trips to Harbour Town, he has finished T14 (2016) and 2nd last season.
Looking for pedigree at Harbour Town? Look no further than Englishman Luke Donald ($61). The former top 10 ranked player in the world, Donald returned from injury earlier in the year and has already put up some impressive performances in the PGA Tour, most recently a T9 finish at the Valspar Championship late last month. Is a bit a of a dark horse at $61 but his record at Harbour Town from 2009-2017 before he missed the cut last season reads: T2 (2009) T3 (2010) 2 (2011) T37 (2012) T3 (2013) 2 (2014) T15 (2015) T2 (2016) 2 (2017).
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