RBC Heritage betting guide: 10 picks our expert loves

Here are 10 picks our expert loves for this week’s designated event, the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town in Hilton Head, S.C.

The post RBC Heritage betting guide: 10 picks our expert loves appeared first on Golf.

Here are 10 picks our expert loves for this week’s designated event, the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town in Hilton Head, S.C.

The post RBC Heritage betting guide: 10 picks our expert loves appeared first on Golf.

Welcome to our weekly PGA Tour gambling-tips column, featuring picks from GOLF.com’s expert prognosticator, Brady Kannon. You can follow Kannon on Twitter at @LasVegasGolfer and you can read below to see his favorite plays for the Valero Texas Open, which kicks off Thursday in San Antonio, Texas. Keep scrolling past Kannon’s picks, and you’ll also see data from Chirp, a free-to-play mobile platform — and GOLF.com affiliate — that features a range of games with enticing prizes, giving fans all kinds of ways to engage in the action without risking any money.

Normally the RBC Heritage serves as a bit of respite for PGA Tour players. A short drive of less than 150 miles to the southeast of Augusta, Georgia, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina is a gorgeous, coastal, resort town and can be a calming exhale for these players after having gone through the grind of the season’s first major championship, the Masters.

This season is different however, in the fact that the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links is a PGA Tour event carrying elevated status. Nearly all of the top players in the world are here, and the purse has ballooned up to $20 million.

No rest for the weary. The tournament’s defending champion, Jordan Spieth, already came out and said he was “exhausted” after the Masters, firing a 67 on Sunday and finishing in a tie for 4th place. This particular edition of the Masters may have been even more grueling with the number of weather delays and many playing 25-30 holes on Sunday alone. In thinking of how I was going to treat this year’s RBC Heritage, on Sunday evening, I thought about avoiding players who had been through the throngs of the Masters, focusing on players who either didn’t play Augusta last week or missed the cut and had a couple extra days off.

By the time I got around to the nuts and bolts of the handicap, I ended up landing on seven players for an outright win and/or a Top 20 finish, five of whom who competed in the Masters and made the cut. But I did not go to the top of the oddsboard. Rather, I went down deeper, focusing on players who had a good showing and can take some of that momentum into this week — more mid-range players who did not come to Augusta necessarily expecting to win or even contend but had a very positive experience and maybe exceeded expectations. I think this is different from say, Scottie Scheffler, who is this week’s favorite at Harbour Town. Scheffler, as the defending Masters champion, had a difficult week and spent a great deal of energy on and off the course. On the other hand, a player like Russell Henley had a wonderful Masters, finishing in the Top 5, but wasn’t a player that was carrying those expectations coming into the tournament.

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Harbour Town Golf Links is a course I have been fortunate enough to play myself and I enjoyed it thoroughly. It’s a Pete Dye design with assistance from Jack Nicklaus. It was actually Nicklaus’ very-first experience in golf course design. A par 71 at less than 7,200 yards, Harbour Town is nearly a polar opposite from what we saw up the road in Georgia last week. Augusta National is a beast. A massive property with huge bent grass greens, where driving distance trumps driving accuracy. This week in Hilton Head, the players face a short course with narrow fairways and some of the smallest greens they see on Tour all year, which are Bermuda grass. Strokes Gained Approach and Strokes Gained Around the Green remain paramount in terms of success, as they did last week at the Masters, but while Augusta is much about scoring on the Par 5s, here it is on the par 4s.

For the correlated courses last week, we were looking at big boy golf courses like the Plantation Course at Kapalua, Riviera Country Club, Southern Hills, and Torrey Pines. This week, it too is downsized as I looked at Colonial Country Club (Charles Schwab Challenge), Waialae Country Club (Sony Open), Sea Island (RSM Classic), and TPC Sawgrass, another Pete Dye design and home to The Players Championship. Sedgefield, where they play the Wyndham Championship and Austin Country Club (WGC-Match Play) can also be considered this week. The point is, we are going from some gargantuan golf courses to smaller, narrower, coastal designs and that should translate into some different types of players filling up the leaderboard. Add in possible Masters fatigue versus possible Masters momentum and we have ourselves both a data-driven and situational handicap this week.

To Win the RBC Heritage (and to Finish Top 20)

Russell Henley (50-1)

I mentioned Henley earlier, coming off of a terrific showing at The Masters, and rather than being disappointed or exhausted like many others, I believe he is inspired by what he did last week. He is No. 1 on Tour in Driving Accuracy, 34th for Greens in Regulation Percentage, and 47th in Scrambling. Over the last 36 rounds, Henley ranks 5th in this field in Hole Proximity from 125-150 yards out — a popular distance these players will find on approach this week. He is also 36th in this field for SG Around the Green. He has two Top 10 finishes at the RBC Heritage in the past, three Top 10’s at the RSM Classic, three Top 20 finishes at The Players Championship, and has a win and a runner-up at The Sony Open.

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Tom Kim (50-1)

I’ve seen as low as 35-1 on the young sensation and I believe it makes sense with Kim winning last season at the Wyndham. He finished 16th at Augusta but I feel it is this type of course that more so fits his game … and like Henley, I believe the Top 20 finish for Kim at The Masters is a springboard and not a setup for a letdown. He is third on Tour in Driving Accuracy, 19th for SG Approach, and 6th in Scrambling. Over the last 36 rounds, he ranks Top 5 in this field for Hole Proximity from 125-175 yards out.

Tommy Fleetwood (75-1)

Fleetwood was a bit disappointing at The Masters, shooting two straight 74’s over the weekend to finish outside of the Top 20 but he never really contended either, so I don’t feel he falls into the Masters fatigue category as much as some of the others. It was just four weeks ago that he finished 27th at The Players Championship, a tournament at which he’s also taken fifth and seventh — and was third on a similar type of course at the Valspar three weeks ago. Fleetwood is 25th on Tour in SG Approach and second for SG Around the Green. He also has a Top 10 finish here at Harbour Town in the past.

Si Woo Kim (80-1)

Kim has won on three of this week’s correlated courses, at Sedgefield (Wyndham), at TPC Sawgrass (Players Championship), and just earlier this season at Waialae for The Sony Open. He also has a runner-up finish here at the RBC Heritage in his career. Like Fleetwood, his Masters was decent, finishing 29th but he too was never really in the conversation or the pressure-cooker of being in contention. He arrives at a course this week that much better suits his game. Kim is 19th on Tour in Driving Accuracy. Over the last 36 rounds, he is 20th in this field for SG Approach and ranks Top 10 for Hole Proximity from 150-200 yards out.

Chris Kirk (80-1)

The Georgia Bulldog is having his best season in quite some time. He won the Honda Classic and just finished Top 25 at The Masters. Again, I think he is inspired by his finish at Augusta rather than worn out. Kirk ranks 8th in this field for SG Around the Green over the last 36 rounds, 6th on the Par 4s from 400-450 yards, and first in Hole Proximity from 125-150 yards. Similar to Si Woo Kim, Kirk has been nails on the comp courses with a win at both the RSM Classic and at Colonial — and four Top 5 finishes at The Sony and three Top 15 finishes at The Players Championship.

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Adam Hadwin (110-1)

Finally, a couple of players on my card this week that were not competing last week in Augusta. Prior to, Adam Hadwin had a 13th place finish at The Players, where he has also finished as high as 9th in the past. He also has two Top 10 finishes in his career at Colonial. He ranks 32nd on Tour in Driving Accuracy and 46th for both SG Putting and SG Approach. We’ve also seen him have tremendous success at The American Express multiple times, where two of the four rounds are played on a Pete Dye design. His results show that this is his type of golf course on which to have success.

J.J. Spaun (150-1)

Spaun too has shown that he likes this type of golf course. Just this season, he has finished 15th at the RSM Classic, 12th at The Sony Open, and 9th at the WGC-Match Play. Spaun also finished runner-up at the RSM in 2017 — the same year he took sixth here at the RBC Heritage. Over the last 36 rounds, Spaun is fifth in this field for Scrambling and eighth in Hole Proximity from 175-200 yards. He is 53rd on Tour for SG Around the Green, 73rd in Driving Accuracy, and 24th in Greens in Regulation Percentage. 150-1 is a big number for a guy that seems to be a good fit for this golf course.

Full Tournament Head to Head Matchups (21-12-2 YTD)

K.H. Lee (-130) over Adam Scott

Matt Kuchar (-130) over Justin Rose

Joel Dahmen (+105) over Scott Stallings

Who Chirp users think will win

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The post RBC Heritage betting guide: 10 picks our expert loves appeared first on Golf.