Preview: RBC Heritage 2021

Welcome back to April!

42 players who played in the Masters are here this week.

You’ll be surprised to see the last winner who teed it up at Augusta the week prior.

(Hint: It’s been a while).

Hang on to your hats this week as NO LEAD IS SAFE!!!

53rd RBC Heritage

Harbour Town Golf Links

Hilton Head Island, SC

  
Yards (per official scorecard):7,121
Par:71 (36-35)
Greens:TifEagle Bermuda over-seeded with Poa trivialis; 3,700 square feet.
Stimpmeter:11.5′.
Second cut:Over-seeded Celebration Bermuda (ryegrass) less than one inch.
Bunkers/Water Hazards54/all 18 holes have water in play.
Architects:Pete Dye (1969).
Course Record (last):61; Troy Merritt (2015).  
Tournament Record: Tournament Record April:22-under; Webb Simpson (2020). 20-under; Brian Gay (2009).
Purse:$7.1 million; $1.278 million and 500 FedExCup points (winner).

Notes:

  • Field of 134 as of Noon Wednesday.
  • Top 65 and ties play the weekend.
  • 42 players from the Masters in the field this week.

2020-2021 Season Winners

*- First-time winner

**- First-time winner AND rookie winner

EventWinner
Safeway OpenStewart Cink
120th United States OpenBryson DeChambeau
Corales Punta Cana ChampionshipHudson Swafford
Sanderson Farms ChampionshipSergio Garcia
Shriners Hospitals for ChildrenMartin Laird (playoff)
CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEKJason Kokrak*
ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIPPatrick Cantlay
Bermuda ChampionshipBrian Gay
Vivint Houston OpenCarlos Oritz*
84th Masters TournamentDustin Johnson
The RSM ClassicRobert Streb
Mayakoba Golf ClassicViktor Hovland
Sentry TOCHarris English
Sony Open in HawaiiKevin Na
The American ExpressSi Woo Kim
Farmers Insurance OpenPatrick Reed
Waste Management Phoenix OpenBrooks Koepka
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-AmDaniel Berger
The Genesis InvitationalMax Homa
WGC – Championship at The ConcessionCollin Morikawa
Arnold Palmer InvitationalBryson DeChambeau (2)
THE PLAYERS ChampionshipJustin Thomas
The Honda ClassicMatt Jones
WGC- Match PlayBilly Horschel
Corales PuntacanaJoel Dahmen*
Valero Texas OpenJordan Spieth
85th Masters TournamentHideki Matsuyama

Check out HORSES FOR COURSES for more details and angles for this week.

Previous Winners

(*Playoff)

YearWinnerScoreComment
2020Webb Simpson-22Perfect weather = tournament scoring record.
2019CT Pan-12Fourth consecutive first-time TOUR winner at the event.
2018Satoshi Kodaira-12*Defeated Si Woo Kim in a playoff to win in just his 15th TOUR start.
2017Wesley Bryan-13First South Carolina native to win; first time playing the event.
2016Branden Grace-9Came from three shots off the pace to win for the first time on TOUR.
2015Jim Furyk-18*Defeated Kevin Kisner in a playoff for his second win this decade.

Facts and Figures:

Lowest Rounds – June 202062; Dylan Frittelli, Round 4.
Defending Modern Champion(s) Event:Only Boo Weekley this century (not entered).
Multiple Champion(s) Entered:Jim Furyk (2010, 2015) Stewart Cink (2000, 2004) Davis Love III (5 times; last 2003).
First Time – TOUR:See above.
First Time – EventKodaira, Bryan this decade. Cink, Jose Coceres, Weekley this century.
Oldest winner:Hale Irwin, 48, 1994.
Youngest winner:Davis Love III, 23, 1987.
Odd Fact:Last defending champ to miss the cut was Davis Love III in 1993.
Odd Fact II:Only Bernhard Langer has won the Masters and the RBC Heritage back-to-back.

Quick Thoughts

The annual CHILL OUT BRO tournament after the Masters is back in its normal spot on the calendar.

Fans are back at Sea Pines unlike last June when they were just happy to host a tournament.

42 players from Augusta make the short trip for some rest, relaxation and some golf.

The three winners BEFORE Webb Simpson last June were completely off the radar.

April sees the winds blow from multiple directions and no lead is safe. The last seven winners before Simpson all overcame two or MORE shot differences entering the final round.

First time winners do well here because they usually don’t play the Masters the week before!

Boo Weekley is the last repeat champion and that’s going on 14 years.

The Course

Short, sweet and sweet greens.

Off the radar guys love it here because they don’t have to hit it 360 on every Par-4 and Par-5 hole.

Only Pebble Beach has smaller greens so a tidy short game goes a long way.

Wild and long cedes to strategic and dry.

Advantage to those who hit GIR, as always, but scrambling for par is just as valuable as two putts.

Pete Dye is back! After The American Express it was TPC Sawgrass followed by Austin Country Club. Next week is even MOAR PETE DYE in New Orleans!

If Harbour Town plays “normally” good luck this week. Running to chalk never hurts but it doesn’t exactly pay off at the top of the leaderboard here annually.

2019: CT Pan holds off Matt Kuchar.

2018: Satoshi Kodaira beats Si Woo Kim in a playoff.

2017: Wesley Bryan defeated Luke Donald.

Lotsa of shapes and sizes in there!

Chalk – Betting favorites and my opinions on them

Dustin Johnson (+1200): Better odds than Augusta in a worse field! Should have won here in 2019 but 77 in the final round knocked him to T28; T16 on debut. RBC ambassador can win any week but his last four are all T28 or worse. Nah. I’ll save a look for Kiawah Island in May.

Webb Simpson (+1400): Don’t love the price but his horse for course runs hard and fast here regardless of last June. Connects all the dots. Win ticket, top 10 and top 20.

Patrick Cantlay (+1800): Another whose form has not translated from the west coast to the east coast. MC at Sawgrass and AGNC subdues the three top 10s from three starts at HTGL. Not reaching.

Collin Morikawa (+2000): Any price in the 20s with him probably deserves a look. I still can’t get it out of my mind that he was asking Azinger for tips on how to play Bermuda before he won at The Concession. He’s a machine tee-to-green but his wild swings on his own ball scare me off.

Daniel Berger (+2200): Love that it’s Bermuda and small greens as the Pebble Beach winner this year has already proven it in these conditions. Solid Match Play and T9 at TPC Sawgrass confirms he can play Pete Dye. Across the board: win, Top 10, Top 20.

Matthew Fitzpatrick (+2200): Didn’t make anything at ANGC so I’d expect that club to help out this week. Top 10. Top 20.

Tyrrell Hatton (+2500): Should be chuffed after finally figuring out how to get four rounds at the Masters. Top 20.

Cameron Smith (+3000): Like the price, the hair, the moustache and the attitude. Too many solids in a row in stroke play. Across the board: win, Top 10 and Top 20.

Paul Casey (+3000): Plays well at Pebble but never here. Form was fire before DAMP FART at Masters. Something gives. Top 20.

Others 33-1 or worse and My Long Shots

Abraham Ancer (+3300): Hit 65/72 GIR in June. Wind won’t let that happen again. Top 20.

Will Zalatoris (+3300): The Greek God of Skinny gives zero hoots. Where’s the first tee and what’s the course record! Top 20.

Corey Conners (+3500): T14 or better in stroke play in his last four. Top 10 and Top 20.

Brian Harman (+3500): T12, T5 and T3 in his last three. Across the board: win, Top 10 and Top 20.

Si Woo Kim (+4000): Pete Dye master always gets a sniff but just top 20 this time around.

Shane Lowry (+5000): Tried to go wire to wire in 2019 before fading on Sunday. Top 10.

Charley Hoffman (+5000): Also threw one away here a few years back. In sizzling form. Top 10. Top 20.

Kevin Kisner (+5500): Last across the board: Win, Top 10 and Top 20.

Matt Kuchar (+6000): Course historians will see that number and salivate. I’ll keep my money.

Lucas Glover (+9000): I remember that top five at Valero. Top 10.

JT Poston (+11000): Bogey free last time on the weekend in April plus led the field in scrambling.

Top 20 plays

CT Pan

Matthew NeSmith

Rory Sabbatini

Ben Martin

Maverick McNealy

Camilo Villegas

Mark Hubbard

To Make The Cut

Wesley Bryan

Troy Merritt

Martin Trainer

Peter Malnati

Last Week’s Recap – Masters

Chalk – Betting favorites and my opinions on them

Dustin Johnson (+9000): “Defending” champ has racked up five straight in the top 10 so I’m heading there. Laying 9-1 against the top 50 OWGR isn’t the value that EYE am seeking. You seek you. Remember, only Nicklaus, Faldo and Woods have defended here. That’s SERIOUS honkin’ company. Top 10 and Top 20.  MC and plenty of ripped tickets!

Bryson DeChambeau (+1100): For a guy whose best finish here is T16 as an amateur, this is the definition of a public number. The book has to set it here to protect their arse and I don’t blame them. I don’t think his robotic melds with the artistry needed here. Pass. T46.

 Jordan Spieth (+1100): He playing a lot and he’s playing well. He loves it here and has the history to back up his affinity. As I wrote earlier in the week, he’s created enough history in his young career so adding to it won’t be an issue. His victory last week isn’t the finish line but a starting point for Act II. Win ticket. Top 10. Top 20. Too many back on Sunday to factor but easy top 10 and top 20 money. Boom.

Justin Thomas (+1100): Last time out when they counted every shot he claimed his first PLAYERS Championship. Match Play he was dumped out after group play so he’s had time to prep. Not having Tiger around this week won’t help but he’s gotten closer each time he’s teed it up. #Trending. Top 10. Played it safe but T21 doesn’t help.

Jon Rahm (+1200): Baby is born, concerns are out the window about how that is going to play out so it’s time for golf. Fantastic debut here in less-than-ideal conditions doesn’t hurt either. Neither does three top 10s from four starts. Add another. T5 after closing 66. Hey, you get four rounds. Another winner.

Rory McIlroy (+1800): There was a time he would be the 9-1 choice so this number will shout value to some players. He hasn’t won a major since 2014 and has the career grand slam on the line every time he cruises down Magnolia Lane. Pete Cowen says the approach is going to be different this time. His last win on US soil was the 2019 TOUR Championship. Didn’t touch it. Glad I didn’t. MC.

Patrick Cantlay (+2000): I’m the wrong guy to ask on Cantlay because I never catch him on the right week. I thought he’d be great at THE PLAYERS, wrongo, MC. I like his full bag but I’ve never been in love with his putter. Yep, we’re splitting major hairs so BEEF HAIR. Be fair indeed. MC.

Xander Schauffele (+2200): The firmer, the faster, the better. History shows he can shine in these conditions and he should be excited if that’s the case this week. Led the field in birdies here in 2019 and had a chance to win. Only concern is his West Coast form didn’t follow him east. Top 20. Gave it a run late on Sunday before swimming lessons. Another major top five (T2) but I’ll take my winner and run.

Brooks Koepka (+2800): Dude can barely walk and all we get is 28-1??? Hahahaha. Up and down the hills just 3 weeks after knee surgery? What am I missing here? I know he said he wouldn’t show up if he couldn’t win… I’m not reaching in a field of this magnitude. MC. Said he wouldn’t have played after it wasn’t the Masters. Beware the injured golfer? Sure. Beware, superheroes don’t exist.

Collin Morikawa (+3000): He showed us at TPC Harding Park that the moment isn’t too big for him. I also remember he had played that course more than enough times to understand it. That’s not the case here. Danny Willett, Charl Schwartzel and Jordan Spieth all won on their second visit so we’re not rewriting history here but I’m not diving in just yet. I’m not sure playing the first one in November will help anything compared to what he’ll see this week. Better than November, T18.

Others 33-1 or worse and My Long Shots

Patrick Reed (+3300): His best results have been his last few visits, included his win in 2018. Worst stroke play finish recently is T22 and he’s won at Torrey Pines. Premium short game and putters have my attention. Skinny win ticket, Top 10, Top 20. 70-69 weekend vaulted him to T8 and two more winning tickets.

Viktor Hovland (+3300): I like that he didn’t play in November and I like that. Low Am 2019 so life has come at him FAST. Of his last nine, five are top 10. His short game, HE HAS ADMITTED, is not great. This isn’t the week to figure that out. T21 as he continues to absorb more information. Factor for years to come.

Sungjae Im (+3500): Nothing seemed to bother him on his solo second debut in November. His worst finish in stroke play in the last two months is T32. I’m going to let him navigate a spring event without my money on line. Crashed and burned as he only beat three players before MC.

Cameron Smith (+3500): Top five here in the spring, T4 in February at Riviera. Plenty of boxes checked including being 30th in the OWGR, the worst ranking of the last 11 champions. Skinny win ticket, Top 10, Top 20. Nowhere to go but up here as he plucks his third top 10 here in five starts (T10). Cash two more tickets.

Tony Finau (+3500): His best two are in the spring and are both top 10s. His recent form scares me away. If he turns his ankle during the Par-3 contest, call me. Oh, wait… Played the weekend 1-over and still hit the top 10, his third in four starts.

Paul Casey (+3500): Mark O’Meara is the oldest first-time winner at 41 so it’s possible. His form is lit with six straight T12 or better in stroke play worldwide. Top 10 and Top 20. T26 so I give two back. Wrong old Englishman!

Lee Westwood (+4000): Only time he didn’t fire was after back-to-back tough Sunday seconds and a trip to Augusta haha. He’s cashed 12 straight and 16 and of 20. Top 20. Easy to see how the gas tank quickly empties and is slow to refill at 47. Wrong old Englishman!

Sergio Garcia (+5000): Flashed at another track he loves, TPC Sawgrass, and won his group at Match Play. Didn’t play November. Top 10. Top 20. He’s been dire here since winning. Loves the event and hoopla more than the golf it appears. Give two more tickets back.

Jason Day (+5000): It’s no secret this is his holy grail. He’s quietly healthy, which is also a plus. Top 10. 11th start. Interesting to see it was Rose and Matsuyama who found their form here and not the Australian. MC. Loss.

Matt Kuchar (+9000): If there’s a heater, we’re in it. I thought last week would be a clue and T12 after a grueling Match Play shows the fire is still burning. Top 20. Or MC. Big question this week at Harbour Town.

 Jason Kokrak (+10000): Last three stroke play, all top 10s. Won on Tom Fazio bentgrass at Shadow Creek. Top 10. Top 20. As usual, once we get down here, I usually give most of it back. There’s a reason why this is hard.

Top 20 plays  – O FER OGUSTA

Ian Poulter T26

Gary Woodland T40

Michael Thompson T34

Matt Jones T26

Victor Perez MC

To Make The Cut

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out through Twitter (@mikeglasscott) or email me: mikeglasscott@gmail.com.

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