54th RBC Heritage Week

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54th RBC Heritage

Harbour Town Golf Links

Sea Pines

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Weekly Readers:

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Yards (per official scorecard):7,191
Par:71 (36-35)
Greens:Poa Trivialis over-seeded Bermuda; 3,700 square feet.
Stimpmeter:11.5 feet.
Second cut:Over-seeded Ryegrass at 3/4 of an inch.
Bunkers/Water Hazards54/18 (in play on every hole).
Architects:Pete Dye (1969).
Course Record (last):61; Troy Merritt, 2015. 61; David Frost, 1994.
Tournament Scoring Record:262; Webb Simpson, 2020 (June). 264; Brian Gay, 2009 (April).
2021 Purse:$8 million; $1.404 million and 500 FedExCup points (winner).

Notes:

  • Field of 132
  • Top 50 and ties play the weekend.

Previous Winners

YearWinnerScoreComment
2021Stewart Cink-193rd win at event; 2nd highest April winning total.
2020Webb Simpson-22Tournament scoring record set in June (no overseed). One of four players 20-under or lower.
2019CT Pan-12Won for the first time on TOUR after closing with 67 to beat Matt Kuchar by a shot.
2018Satoshi Kodaira-12Sponsor’s Exemption defeated Si Woo Kim in a playoff to win for the first time on TOUR and his first time in the event.
2017Wesley Bryan-13Only native of South Carolina to win; First TOUR win as held off Luke Donald.
2016Branden Grace-9Started the streak of first time TOUR winners. Closed with 66 to win by two of Donald.
2015Jim Furyk-18Picked up his second victory here defeating Kevin Kisner in a playoff.

Facts and Figures:

Back-to-Back Champions:Boo Weekley, 2007-2008.
Multiple Champion(s) Entered:Davis Love III (5), Stewart Cink (3), Jim Furyk (2).
Oldest winner:Hale Irwin, 48.
Youngest winner:Davis Love III, 23.
Odd Fact:Brian Gay won by 10 shots in 2009.

OAD

Spotter’s Game 2022

2022 EventsGolferPlaceTotal $$
    
Sentry Tournament of ChampionsMarc LeishmanT10188,000
Sony Open in HawaiiKeith MitchellT7227,812
The American ExpressSeamus PowerT14119,700
Farmers Insurance OpenJon RahmT3445,200
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-AmMaverick McNealyT3343,548
WM Phoenix OpenHideki MatsuyamaT8248,050
The Genesis InvitationalPatrick CantlayT3364,000
The Honda ClassicSungjae ImMC0
Arnold Palmer InvitationalRory McIlroyT13228,000
THE PLAYERS ChampionshipDaniel BergerT13327,222
Valspar ChampionshipKeegan BradleyMC0
WGC – Dell Match PlayPaul CaseyT6041,000
Corales PuntacanaEmiliano GrilloMC0
Valero Texas OpenCorey ConnersT3541,925
Masters TournamentJordan SpiethMC0
    
Total Events: 15Top 10: 4MC: 4      $1,974,457
    

This Week – 54th RBC Heritage

THE CHOICE: Matt Fitzpatrick (+2000)

Perfect combo of what’s needed is provided by the Englishman. Fairway finder, super on the greens and won’t have to chase distance all week. First time winners pop here as well.

Stewart Cink showed us last year that solid finish at the Masters doesn’t empty the tank. Plus MattyFitz ain’t 47. Remember, guys are not ASSIGNED their schedules; they make ’em. Nobody is forced to play this week.

Warm Blankets: The guys who should. Safe selections that will help maintain leads. Opinions on why or why not for this event or save for later.

Matt Kuchar: Fantastic last few weeks and a course that matches his game perfectly. Fantastic play for guys looking to save bigger names for down the road.

Shane Lowry: I should just copy and paste this until he wins as his 2022 has been superb. Went close here in 2019 as well as he led after 18 and 36 and played in the final group (T3).  Last win was 2019 Open Championship.

Kevin Kisner:  Would seem an automatic choice on a Pete Dye in his native state.  T4 at THE PLAYERS and T3 at Sony are the highlights so far so this isn’t a stretch.  Went close in 2015 as he lost in a playoff to Jim Furyk. Grabbed T7 in 2018.

Dustin Johnson: I’m not running him on a track where he’s never had a top 10. If you’re trailing and need to throw caution to the wind, good luck.

Corey Conners: Brand ambassador for RBC so there’s that angle, just like DJ. I’ll remind you the Canadian Open returns this summer. I’ll remind you no Canadian has won it since Pat Fletcher. Better look that one up, kids!

Spicy: This might be a week for sending out an “unknown” and saving a start. You just might get lucky. Or MC.

Russell Henley: Plenty of experience in this part of the world and his stat sheet does nothing to suggest he’s flailing.  Only top 10 this year was Sony but he hasn’t MC since The Open last summer.

Adam Hadwin: Rolls in on T4-T7-T9 and even Scheffler thinks that’s hot! His success in Palm Springs suggests he’s not adverse to Pete Dye tracks either. Odd his best here is just T22.

Si Woo Kim: Beaten finalist in a playoff in 2018, he loves Pete Dye (PLAYERS, AMEX) and has been bang in form cashing in his last 11 of 12.

Justin Thomas: His best was T8 in the free for all in June of 2020. He didn’t play last year after the Masters but he’s back this time around. Too many moving parts for a guy who has bigger fish to fry.

Patrick Cantlay: No need to run to this course form this week after another finish outside the top 25. That’s four straight so I’ll let him sort his bag out before jumping in again (Memorial).

Ian Poulter: The old man and the sea sounds like a classic tale and it fits here as the Englishman hasn’t MC in 11 tries. He’s had a sniff on a few Sundays but has ran out of gas and his form is less than stellar recently.

3 AM at the Blackjack Table: Caution is thrown to the wind. Maybe not the best for this format but what the hell, right? Might throw these in if you’re in need of a miracle.

Matthew NeSmith, Doug Ghim, Brendon Todd, Brian Stuard, Michael Thompson, Bill Haas

Last Time – Masters Tournament

THE CHOICE: Jordan Spieth (+2200) – MC

Pick summed up my week, sadly.

Never like to lay an egg in a big event, especially the first major of the year, but I’m not deleting the post or sticking my head in the sand either.

Did I over think it?

Here’s was the OWGR Top 10 last week:

1Scottie SchefflerWIN
2Jon RahmT27
3Collin Morikawa5th
4Viktor HovlandT27
5Patrick CantlayT39
6Cameron SmithT3
7Justin ThomasT8
8Dustin JohnsonT12
9Rory McIlroy2nd
10X. Schauffelemc

The two hottest golfers on the planet took half of the podium so I guess so.

Shit happens. Back picks happen. Time to learn from it and move on.

Big field this week will open plenty of doors as well so time to bounce back.

Warm Blankets: The guys who should. Safe selections that will help maintain leads. Opinions on why or why not for this event or save for later.

Cameron Smith (+1600): Wonderful converging trend as he’s pocketed back-to-back top 10s here (3 in 5 visits) and has won twice in 2022 (Sony, THE PLAYERS). Magician on and around the greens and has plenty of room to move it off the tee. Looking to join Adam Scott as the only Australian green jacket recipient.T3 after looking like he was the class of the field on Thursday. Majors are hard to win but he seems awfully comfortable around this place.

Dustin Johnson (+1600): 63 in the final round at THE PLAYERS, final four at Match Play sounds like somebody is warming up. The halcyon days of bachelor/bachelorette parties are in the rear view and now it’s time for business. Streak of top 10s busted last spring at five straight. I’d expect him right back in the mix again this year. T12 after opening with 69. Thought the tough wind/conditions would be right up his alley.

Justin Thomas (+1200): Hanging with LARGE CAT the last few years should have his confidence around here at an all time high. The weakness, if you can call it that, is the putter but not many hit it better on approach. Only finish in 2022 outside T20 was his defense at THE PLAYERS. This will be his seventh attempt, just slightly over the average of six for winners. T8 as 76 in Round 1 made the mountain too tall to scale. The weakness, putting, was the strength as he only needed 107, least in the field.

Xander Schauffele (+2200): The last two spring editions he’s posted 25 and 19 birdies and hit the podium both times. His track record in majors is stunning and  is just missing one element: a win. Full bag, fantastic disposition, and has no problem going about his business. Did not see MC on the cards this week but it happens annually at this event. See below:

Brooks Koepka (+2000): Something is brewing here and this is an event to grab his full attention. Bristling at Tiger Woods questions in his press conference was fantastic to see. He’s made it no secret that he prefers difficult courses in difficult conditions. If the wind dries out the course on the weekend and gusts pick up, he’ll be licking his chops. Most importantly he’s healthy. This is now an EJECT at THE PLAYERS on a windy Friday coupled with an EJECT 75-75 at the Masters.

Spicy: This might be a week for sending out an “unknown” and saving a start. You just might get lucky. Or MC.

Jon Rahm (+1100): Never a fan of the betting favorite here unless his last name was Woods. I wasn’t inspired by what I saw at THE PLAYERS and Match Play is just that. In a vacuum he should never lose with the way he hits it but it seems his focus is a bit distracted by his baby and the another on the way! 3 more majors, FedExCup, WGC event, Memorial, you’ll have time to wait for him to heat up if you don’t think this is the week. T27 as he moved up with a 69 on Sunday. Still the pre tournament favorite at the PGA Championship in May.

Scottie Scheffler (+1600): The Sun thinks he’s hot right now! With three wins in five he’s approaching “Tiger Levels” of ridiculousness. While not there yet, he’s won at  TPC Scottsdale, Bay Hill and Pete Dye’s Austin Country Club. Those are three stunningly different layouts compared to each other and he’s conquered them all. Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas both showed up with three wins in 2016. Danny Willett won the event. Making his third appearance (T18, T19). WINNER and yep, Tiger level. Not sure what planet he’s on but he’s been nothing short of impressive in all facets of the game. He took history, wadded it up and stuck it in the pocket of his green jacket. Fantastic run of form and execution under MAJOR stress. Bravo.

Shane Lowry (+3500): Feels like he’s been in this column plenty in 2022! Already has a major in his closet so that’s crossed off the list and golf is the focus. Another who is hitting it great and won’t mind a bit of elements if it comes to that on the weekend. Making his seventh start he should have the week, practice and game plan figured out by now.  I’d say he has it figured out with T3, his best finish yet. Joined Scheffler as the only other player who posted two rounds in the 60s for the week.

Rory McIlroy (+2000): Will the eighth time be the charm? He told Amanda Ballionis-Renner this morning that if he wins great, if not, he’s at peace with it. Maybe that’s exactly the attitude he needs. He’s also suggested the MC last week helped him get it sorted out on the range Saturday and Sunday. Nobody shows up here playing like shit or lost. Everyone has found something.  IN THIS FORMAT he might make the most sense at Quail Hollow. Again. Joined the 64 on Sunday club with his hole out from the bunker at 18. Never in it but gave investors a joy ride on Sunday to finish solo second and cash $1.6 million.

Tiger Woods (+4500): This number wildly varies depending on where you look so find the biggest one possible if that’s your angle. Tiger has divided everyone into two camps this week: No way and DUDE HE’S NOT HERE FOR THE CHAMPIONS DINNER AND TO SOCIALIZE.  I’m in the latter. Getting the golf ball where he wants it to go isn’t the problem. He could putt here blindfolded and contend.  Does he have the stamina to handle this week? He’s told you the answer by showing up. He didn’t stroll into flat Bay Hill and “try”. He’s gone to Mount Everest instead. While 47th won’t be celebrate in the annals of the game it was celebrated on every green and tee box over 72 holes last weekend. Amazing gumption, guts and spirit and appeared to have found a different love for competition.  See you at St Andrews LARGE CAT!

3 AM at the Blackjack Table: Caution is thrown to the wind. Maybe not the best for this format but what the hell, right? Might throw these in if you’re in need of a miracle.

Adam Scott (+4500): Winning your FIRST one in your 40s is rare (Mark O’Meara, 41 in 1998) but adding to the collection isn’t.  Leaning on a former winner, veteran ball-striker who has cashed in 12 straight isn’t the craziest theory on the board. The spicy angle is he hasn’t hit the top 10 since 2017. With four top 10s from seven events in 2022 I’m not hoping he finds form this week. Smooth 80-74 on the weekend for T-whocares.

Tony Finau (+4500): Not crazy about this price but he’s 3-3 in the spring here, all in the top 10. Another streak ends with T35.

Tyrrell Hatton (+5000): Super super super putter making his sixth appearance and trying to crack the top 20 for the first time. Too many consistent results this season both here and in the Middle East to completely omit. Dead last and apparently hates the place. Fantastic.

Marc Leishman (+7000): Streak is at five straight and T5 last spring in his ninth visit doesn’t push me away. No buzz in his direction except from my boss Ben Everill but he knows his countrymen better than most. T30 with T5 GIR. Made only eight birdies in 72 holes!

Max Homa (+10000): Anybody who wins Riviera and Quail Hollow goes in here. Big ballparks need big hitters. The putting stats for the winners here aren’t as dominating as you think. NOBODY fakes it tee to green. T48 and another learning experience chalked up.

WHAT ABOUT???

You have questions, it appears, and I’ll give you MY angles, answers

Let’s just go down the board, ok?

Collin Morikawa (+2000): I’m still skeptical of his chipping and putting but surely that will improve as he learns more here each year. Solo 5th after 67 to close.

Viktor Hovland (+2000): See above. Both stripe it but handling these speeds and undulations is the deal breaker. T27 with 15 bogeys and three doubles!

Patrick Cantlay (+2200): MC-T9-MC in his last three spring editions keeps me scratching my head. T39 continues the head scratching.

Will Zalatoris (+3300): Only Danny Willett and Charl Schwartzel have made this their first PGA TOUR victory. They also both won in their second attempts, just like Zalatoris is trying to do. All four rounds of 71 or better last year will have people drooling.  The number above is a bit steep for me. Backed up his solo second with T6 so it appears he’s more than comfortable here.

Bryson DeChambeau (+4000): Since he remarked this should be Par-67 for him things around here have gone a bit sideways. Best finish is T21 as Low Amateur in 2016. Shows up this year with a hip deal and a Hamate bone thingy and says he’s only 80 percent.  I don’t even have to dig into his lack of form.  76-80 MC.

Hideki Matsuyama (+4000): I was high on him heading to TPC Sawgrass and since that WD everything has turned upside down. Tried giving it a go last week at Valero but his neck/back wasn’t up for more than one round. Only Jack, Sir Nick and Tiger have defended and that club should be closed for another year. Sat 3-under thru 36 before 77-72 weekend for T14. Fantastic considering all the circumstances.

Louis Oosthuizen (+4000): He’s cranked out eight straight paydays here but none of them in the top 10. Saw his name on the WD list at RSM and his best finish this spring is T14 at TPC Scottsdale and the next best T30. Never won the USA. Oh, hey, look who didn’t make it to his Friday tee time!!!

Daniel Berger (+4000): Tough lay down here but it’s a tough event. Good news is OAD fans can pick him up at Colonial or TPC Southwind where he’s raked before. Sticking a win ticket on him at 40-1 isn’t ridiculous if you’re not breaking the bank. T50 as it deteriorated daily.

Sam Burns (+4000): Only recent winner in the 40-1 group who is healthy, he defended his title at Valspar but is making his first appearance here. MC by a shot is still MC.

Matthew Fitzpatrick (+4500): With seven top 12s in his last 11 worldwide the Englishman is in flying form. He’s cashed in six straight here with T7 2016 the best of the bunch. Will try to join Faldo and Willett in the green jacket club. He’ll be rooting for firm and fast on the weekend. He’s first SG: Total and 4th in scoring. T14 with only 10 birdies is something!

Joaquin Niemann (+5000): Flat stick and wedges aren’t the highlights of his bag and those are a big deal this week. Another year of experience won’t hurt for the Riviera champ of 2022. Played twice with Woods before fading to T39.

Corey Conners (+5000): Consecutive top 10 finishes and his only MC from four visits is when he was an amateur. Interesting he’s long than Berger but has better recent form (third at Match Play) and better recent course form. Will look to join Mike Weir as Canadian winners.  Make it 3 top 10s on the bounce with T6! Proper player when he’s not my OAD.

Russell Henley (+5500): First appearance since 2018 but his last two here are T11 and T15. Never cashed a top 10 in a major from almost 30 tries. Georgia kid, UGA alum and playing steady golf. Metrics are fire. Might need to break that majors mojo with a nip on a top 10. T30 on the back of 70 on Sunday, his only round below 73.

Paul Casey (+6000): Last we saw of him was WD from Match Play after a back deal.  Not enough reward for this risk in a field like this. WD again.

Sungjae Im (+6600): T2 in November, 77-80 in spring. Add another top 10 with T8. Wildin’.

Tommy Fleetwood (+6600): Best is T17 in 2018; always seems to hang around until he doesn’t. New best with T14 as he was T9 GIR.

Abraham Ancer (+7000): Two tries and two paychecks here but I wasn’t crazy about his pre tournament WD last week before a home game. 72-79 MC so that didn’t help or wasn’t cured.

Bubba Watson (+7500): If you go, hopefully you get the ALL of the all-or-nothing here. T39. Unbelievable shot on 10, AGAIN. Google it, kids.

Patrick Reed (+8000): Three top 10s in his last four suggests this price might have value. Nothing inside the top 25 in 2022 outside of Sentry suggests it might not. I lean course form. T35 nothing better than T73.

Justin Rose (+8000): Sitting at No. 56 in the OWGR should tell you what you need to know. T25 or better here in every appearance since 2008. Streak over, MC.

Sergio Garcia (+8000): Nothing before, nothing after his 2017 win. T23 as his solidly solid 2022 rolls on.

Billy Horschel (+8000): Form isn’t the issue but his best at ANGC is T17 from seven previous visits. Super putter and bags plenty of GIR. Interesting. 43rd. T17 is safe for another year.

Si Woo Kim (+9000): Playing solid golf and is trending here with a best T12 last spring.  T39 is another check to take home.

Gary Woodland (+9000): Definitely taking a flier here as he has racked up three top 10s in his last five and will be playing his 10th Masters. T24 is the best of that bunch, all the way back in his first visit in 2011. Hey man, if you’re gonna go, GO! 75-77 didn’t bother the number Friday.

Funny Money:

Kevin Kisner (+12500): Top 20. T44

Robert MacIntyre (+12500): Led the field in birdies on debut last year with 21 and cashed T12. T23 after 69 on Sunday with only 12 birdies this time around. Not a bad start to his Masters career regardless.

Sepp Straka (+20000): Striped it Honda, first timer. T30 as his excellent spring rolls along. Can’t wait to see him at Quail Hollow.

Keita Nakajima (+35000): Low am. Opened with 72 followed with 79 is tough conditions. No amateur made the cut this year.

Bernhard Langer (+75000): To make the cut. He did not.

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