RBC Heritage Tips & Predictions: Hungry DeChambeau can devour Harbour Town
The RBC Heritage is this week's event from the PGA Tour beginning on Thursday 18th June and we take a look at who to back.
RBC Heritage Predictions in price order:
- Bryson DeChambeau each-way @ odds of 16/1 with William Hill (8 places)
- Xander Schauffele each-way @ odds of 20/1 with Paddy Power (8 places)
- Webb Simpson each-way @ odds of 30/1 with William Hill (8 places)
- J.T Poston each-way @ odds of 66/1 with Bet365 (6 places)
- Jason Kokrak each-way @ odds of 70/1 with Bet365 (6 places)
- Rory Sabbatini each-way @ odds of 125/1 with Betfred (7 places)
- Luke List each-way @ odds of 125/1 with Betfred (7 places)
- Luke Donald each-way @ odds of 150/1 with William Hill (8 places)
The PGA Tour returned last week with the Charles Schwab Challenge which included a stellar field and didn't really disappoint, ending with a play-off victory for Daniel Berger.
Whilst the betting was stacked with top 20 in the world players, the likes of Rory McIlroy didn't really ignite, whilst there were some high profile players who missed the cut, such as Jon Rahm who was the general second favourite before a ball was struck, plus former world number one Dustin Johnson and one of our picks Webb Simpson.
There were still some top players who hit the ground running in Texas and they feature prominently in this week's preview of the RBC Heritage as we assess the golf odds from Harbour Town Links in Hilton Head, South Carolina.
Rory McIlroy is the favourite but four points bigger than when sent off at 8/1 last week. He was easy to overlook last week given the course set up and that's very much the case here. Driving distance isn't in play at Hilton Head, the course is tree-lined and pretty short by PGA Tour standard and his all-round stats from last week don't give confidence in backing him at 12/1. As the weeks count down to the first major of the season, it'll be interesting to see the changes in the US Open odds week to week, where McIlroy is still the 9/1 favourite.
Looking back at past winners and course set-up, we've identified accuracy off the tee, greens in regulation (GIR) and scrambling as the key metrics to look at this week when picking out a player.
Given the RBC Heritage is a long standing dish on the PGA Tour we have plenty of course form to go on. The tournament has a habit of throwing up big priced winners in recent years, CT Pan was a 200/1 shot when landing the title last year but it's also worth noting that its usually played the week after the Masters so there's probably an element of the top players who played at Augusta being a touch burnt out arriving here.
The players should be fresh as a daisy this week though and we're going to start off near the top of the betting highlighting two young Americans with a similar profile who could go close.
First off we have Bryson DeChambeau who is a 16/1 best price with William Hill who are paying each way terms down to eight places.
DeChambeau grabbed the headlines last week in Colonial due to him beefing up during the lockdown and adding circa 20 yards to his game. Colonial isn't really a bombers track but that didn't stop Bryson who finished a shot back in a tie for third place. With rounds of 65-65-70-66 it's clear to see that the level par third round cost him and if he can maintain that level of form he has to be in the mix here.
The American ranked #1 in scrambling last week which we've identified as a key metric for a course like Harbour Town, where he's had two top-5 finishes in his last four visits to the beautiful South Carolina setting.
Another near the head of the betting that you could consider is Xander Schauffele who also finished in a tie for third last weekend. A similar profile to DeChambeau in terms of age and wins on tour, Schauffele ranked number one for GIR last week and also in the top ten for accuracy. Despite missing a short putt that would have probably put him in the play-off on the 17th hole, the American did grind it out on the back nine when leaving himself with long putts on 15 and 16 just to keep in contention.
He's a 20/1 chance with Paddy Power who are also going eight places this week and you feel that he's going to put himself in contention again.
Further down the betting we're going to keep the faith with Webb Simpson, our tip from last week who disappointed when missing the cut. A 22/1 chance last week he's on the board at 30/1 but has some really strong course form we can't ignore.
In the last nine years he has six top-20 finishes including a 2nd place in 2013 and 5th in 2018.
Add to that some strong finishes this season on courses where the wind blows such as the RSM Classic at Sea Island where he lost on a play-off and the Sony Open in Hawaii at the start of the year where he was 3rd.
His efforts last week mean we get a bit more bang for our buck at 30/1, with eight places offered by Hills.
Now to another couple of young Americans who caught the eye last week but can be backed each-way at big prices.
First up, JT Poston who enjoying a really good year on the PGA Tour. Picking up his maiden title in 2019 with the Wyndham Championship, the North Carolina native shot 68-66-67-68 on his way to a tie for tenth place at Colonial last week where he ranked second in the scrambling stats and sixth for driving accuracy.
Poston also has course form, where he finished 6th last year and he's trending upwards ranked 50th in the Fedex and can be backed at 66/1 best price with Bet365.
At a similar price Jason Kokrak also had a good week in Texas, finishing third thanks to weekend rounds of 65 and 64 and his stats backed that up with top tens in scrambling, GIR and accuracy. The 35 year old has four top twenty finishes at Harbour Town including a tie for 6th in 2016 as he bids for his first win on the PGA Tour. At 70/1 with Bet365 he's another for the shortlist
Finally we have a deep dive with three massive priced players all with some good course form.
At 125/1 with Betfred Rory Sabbatini makes the shortlist. The South African born player now plays under the flag of Slovakia and is a bit of a favourite of mine. A PGA Tour veteran, he grinds it out every week and continues to go under the radar with the bookmakers.
He got a mention in last week's column and went on to finish in a tie for 14th at Colonial. He arrives at Hilton Head where he's finished in the top ten three times in his last six visits, including 10th last year. at 125/1 he's worth a bet to sneak into the places.
Luke List won't be a overly familiar name to readers but like Daniel Berger, comes to Hilton Head with a win under his belt! List won the Korn Ferry Challenge at TPC Sawgrass a week ago, played on the Korn Ferry Tour which is like the second division of the PGA Tour. Add to the confidence of winning there, some course form at Hilton Head where he was 3rd in 2018 he's worth a punt at 125/1 with Betfred who pay seven places.
Finally, a much more familiar name but a massive price this week at 150/1, former world number one Luke Donald absolutely loves the Harbour Town as his course form shows. In the last ten years, Donald has finished in the top three six times and second place on four occasions. We're going back a few years now but the Englishman has 17 wins around the world including five on the PGA Tour and we can't resist his price this week on a course he loves.