Steve Bamford

Steve Bamford's RBC Heritage Tips 2024

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Congratulations if you were on Scottie Scheffler at The Masters at Monday prices of up to 4/1. Clearly I was on him the outing before at the Houston Open when he finished 2nd to Stephan Jaeger! Xander Schauffele returned a full each-way for me at 16/1, and a birdie on 18 for Patrick Reed would have delivered a 70/1 each-way return, but he made bogey instead. The fine margins of golf betting when you aren’t backing the World Number 1.

The vast majority of the Masters field have taken the relatively short journey down to the South Carolina coast for this week’s RBC Heritage at the stunning Harbour Town Golf Links. Royal Bank of Canada’s sponsorship (RBC) plus Signature Event status has attracted a great field the week after The Masters, and we should be in for another interesting renewal on a tight course where strategic thinking is key.

Before we go into the detail surrounding the RBC Heritage, we always have new visitors to Golf Betting System. Welcome and let me point you in the direction of our weekly Golf Betting System Podcast (published every Tuesday of the golfing calendar), the Steve Bamford Golf Channel on YouTube and our hugely popular, +6,300 strong, private Group on Facebook – you can Join Here.

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Course Guide: Harbour Town Golf Links is no typical coastal course, instead I categorise it as a Carolina track – i.e. sharing features with Quail Hollow, Sedgefield and Pinehurst No.2. It also has extremely close form associations with Copperhead at Innisbrook Resort in Florida, which plays far more as a Carolina-type course.

Carolina courses are traditionally tree-lined and feature doglegs and narrow sight lines from the tee. Harbour Town itself is a Pete Dye design that also features tiny dome-shaped Bermuda TifEagle/Poa Trivialis greens (putting surfaces were re-laid for the 2016 renewal) that are incredibly difficult to hit in regulation. Being on the right side of the fairway or further afield to minimise approach shots being blocked by trees is important, and it’s very much a golf course where ball-striking and creative shot-shaping are required to get close to tricky pin positions.

Harbour Town Golf Links, Hilton Head, South Carolina: Designer: Pete Dye with 2000 re-design; Course Type: Carolina, Mid-Score, Short; Par: 71; Length: 7,213 yards; Holes with Water Hazards In-Play: 18; Number of Sand Bunkers: 54; Acres of Fairway: 22; Fairways: Celebration Bermudagrass overseeded with Perennial Ryegrass; Rough: Celebration Bermudagrass overseeded with Perennial Ryegrass 2.5″; Greens: 3,700 sq.ft average TifEagle Bermudagrass overseeded with Poa Trivialis; Tournament Stimp: 11-11.5 ft.

Course Scoring Average:

  • 2018: 70.85 (-0.15), Difficulty Rank 19 of 51 courses.
  • 2019: 71.17 (+0.17), Rank 11 of 49 courses.
  • 2020: 69.14 (-1.86), Rank 37 of 41 courses.
  • 2021: 70.33 (-0.67), Rank 26 of 51 courses.
  • 2022: 70.74 (-0.26), Rank 19 of 50 courses.
  • 2023: 70.22 (-0.78), Difficulty Rank 28 of 49 courses.

Harbour Town Golf Links Fairway Widths (yards): Below are the fairway widths for Harbour Town Golf Links and how they compare to recent courses that we’ve seen on Tour:

  • Harbour Town: 250 yards from tee: 29 yards wide; 275:26; 300:22; 325:26; 350:22.
  • Oaks Course: 250 yards from tee: 33 yards wide; 275:34; 300:29; 325:27; 350:26.
  • Memorial Park: 30–40 yards at 300 yards.
  • Copperhead: 250 yards from the tee: 24 yards wide; 275:20; 300:21; 325:23 350:19.
  • TPC Sawgrass: 250 yards from the tee: 31 yards wide; 275:32; 300:30; 325:28 350:20.
  • Bay Hill: 250 yards from the tee: 32 yards wide; 275:33; 300:33; 325:39 350:29.
  • PGA National: 250 yards from the tee: 29 yards wide; 275:27; 300:25; 325:27 350:25.
  • Riviera: 250 yards from the tee: 33 yards wide; 275:27; 300:26; 325:26 350:28.
  • TPC Scottsdale: 250 yards from the tee: 33 yards wide; 275:30; 300:28; 325:27; 350:27.
  • Pebble Beach: 250 yards from the tee: 33 yards wide; 275:33; 300:29; 325:30 350:26.
  • Torrey Pines South: 250 yards from the tee: 26 yards wide; 275:27; 300:25; 325:24; 350:23.
  • Pete Dye Stadium: 250 yards from the tee: 29 yards wide; 275:27; 300:26; 325:26; 350:24.
  • Waialae: 250 yards from the tee: 34 yards wide; 275:32; 300:34; 325:37; 350:34.
  • Plantation Course: 250 yards from the tee: 59 yards wide; 275:61; 300:65; 325:60; 350:62.

Course Designer Links: For research purposes, other Pete Dye designs include:

  • Austin Country Club – WGC Dell Matchplay since 2016
  • Crooked Stick – 2012 and 2016 BMW Championship
  • Harbour Town – RBC Heritage
  • Ocean Course – Kiawah Island – 2012 + 2021 PGA Championship
  • TPC River Highlands – The Travelers
  • TPC Louisiana – Zurich Classic of New Orleans
  • TPC Stadium, PGA West – The American Express since 2016
  • Stadium Course, TPC Sawgrass, – The Players Championship
  • Whistling Straits – 2010 and 2015 PGA Championship

Course Overview: Harbour Town Golf Links is a specialised test that appeals to players who thrive on Bermudagrass putting surfaces and who have a short game to cope with the inevitable missed greens. Undoubtedly a shot-makers course, avoiding live oaks, pine trees and strategically placed bunkers is more important than fairways hit. Green complexes, which average only 3,700 square feet, are typically dome-shaped (a Dye design trait) and that’s a critical point this week because even the very best ball strikers will miss around 15 or more greens over the week, so sound scrambling is essential.

Harbour Town Golf Links pretty much plays as tough as the wind conditions dictate – benign and soft course conditions in the past have seen plotters reach scores of -19/265 to -22/262. If it’s firm and windy, sub -10/274 can suffice.

2022 saw a freshly extended Harbour Town Golf Links with the 2 par-5s on the front side of the course being lengthened to 550 yards (2nd) and 569 yards (5th). Last year saw a further 22 yards added to the par-3 7th, taking that up to 217 yards. All-in-all though, a 7,213 yard Par 71 in this day and age is short.

With fresh TifEagle Bermudagrass putting surfaces laid for 2016, in April they feature Poa Trivialis overseed. Primarily though the same skills-sets are key year-to-year: power hitters who have little regard for strategy are at a distinct disadvantage and Greens in Regulation numbers here are always in the top 10 toughest on the PGA Tour, even when the wind doesn’t blow as per 2015. That’s hardly surprising as the Dye design features green complexes which are the smallest on Tour.

At a test where hitting 70% greens in regulation is a tough task, the ability to scramble across the greens missed is absolutely essential – those who struggle to get up and down simply haemorrhage too many bogeys. For reference look at the Key Skill sets analysis further into this preview. The TifEagle Bermudagrass/Poa Trivialis greens are also tricky for putts from 10-25 feet, making another key requirement the ability to hit the ball close on approaches. The course though rewards all-round ability. Look for those who can take advantage of scoreable conditions across both the par-4s and the par-5s. Players have plenty of opportunities around Harbour Town with wedge in hand.

rbc heritage tips

RBC Heritage Winners: 2023: Matt Fitzpatrick (-17); 2022: Jordan Spieth (-13); 2021: Stewart Cink (-19); 2020: Webb Simpson (-22); 2019: C.T. Pan (-12); 2018: Satoshi Kodaira (-12); 2017: Wesley Bryan (-13); 2016: Branden Grace (-9); 2015: Jim Furyk (-18); 2014: Matt Kuchar (-11); 2013: Graeme McDowell (-9); 2012: Carl Pettersson (-14); 2011: Brandt Snedeker (-12); 2010: Jim Furyk (-13).

  • 2023: Matt Fitzpatrick 66-70-63-68 -17/267
  • 2022: Jordan Spieth 69-68-68-66 -13/271
  • 2021: Stewart Cink 63-63-69-70 -19/265
  • 2020: Webb Simpson 65-65-68-64 -22/262
  • 2019: C.T. Pan 71-65-69-67 -12/272
  • 2018: Satoshi Kodaira 73-63-70-66 -12/272

Path to Victory: Below are end of round positions for RBC Heritage winners:

  • 2023 – Matt Fitzpatrick: Round 1: 5th, Round 2: 18th, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2022 – Jordan Spieth: Round 1: 32nd, Round 2: 8th, Round 3: 9th.
  • 2021 – Stewart Cink: Round 1: 2nd, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2020 – Webb Simpson: Round 1: 3rd, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2019 – C.T. Pan: Round 1: 53rd, Round 2: 6th, Round 3: 5th.
  • 2018 – Satoshi Kodaira: Round 1: 82nd, Round 2: 13th, Round 3: 12th.
  • 2017 – Wesley Bryan: Round 1: 35th, Round 2: 10th, Round 3: 6th.
  • 2016 – Branden Grace: Round 1: 1st, Round 2: 21st, Round 3: 5th.
  • 2015 – Jim Furyk: Round 1: 36th, Round 2: 4th, Round 3: 5th.
  • 2014 – Matt Kuchar: Round 1: 1st, Round 2: 4th, Round 3: 7th.
  • 2013 – Graeme McDowell: Round 1: 58th, Round 2: 6th, Round 3: 4th.
  • 2012 – Carl Pettersson: Round 1: 11th, Round 2: 2nd, Round 3: 1st.
  • 2011 – Brandt Snedeker: Round 1: 28th, Round 2: 9th, Round 3: 17th.
  • 2010 – Jim Furyk: Round 1: 4th, Round 2: 1st, Round 3: 1st.

Shots From the Lead: Below are RBC Heritage winners and where they were positioned in terms of shots from the lead during the tournament:

  • 2023 – Matt Fitzpatrick: Round 1: 3 back, Round 2: 6 back, Round 3: 1 ahead.
  • 2022 – Jordan Spieth: Round 1: 6 back, Round 2: 4 back, Round 3: 3 back.
  • 2021 – Stewart Cink: Round 1: 1 back, Round 2: 5 ahead, Round 3: 5 ahead.
  • 2020 – Webb Simpson: Round 1: 1 back, Round 2: 1 ahead, Round 3: level.
  • 2019 – C.T. Pan: Round 1: 6 back, Round 2: 3 back, Round 3: 2 back.
  • 2018 – Satoshi Kodaira: Round 1: 9 back, Round 2: 4 back, Round 3: 6 back.
  • 2017 – Wesley Bryan: Round 1: 6 back, Round 2: 4 back, Round 3: 4 back.
  • 2016 – Branden Grace: Round 1: Level, Round 2: 4 back, Round 3: 3 back.
  • 2015 – Jim Furyk: Round 1: 5 back, Round 2: 5 back, Round 3: 4 back.
  • 2014 – Matt Kuchar: Round 1: Level, Round 2: 2 back, Round 3: 4 back.
  • 2013 – Graeme McDowell: Round 1: 6 back, Round 2: 2 back, Round 3: 4 back.
  • 2012 – Carl Pettersson: Round 1: 3 back, Round 2: 2 back, Round 3: 1 ahead.
  • 2011 – Brandt Snedeker: Round 1: 5 back, Round 2: 4 back, Round 3: 6 back.
  • 2010 – Jim Furyk: Round 1: 3 back, Round 2: level, Round 3: 1 ahead.

OWGR of RBC Heritage Winners: 2023: Fitzpatrick 16; 2022: Spieth 20; 2021: Cink 115; 2020: Simpson 9; 2019: Pan 113; 2018: Kodaira 46.

Lead Score Progression:

  • 2023: Round 1 -8; Round 2 -12; Round 3 -14; Round 4 -17.
  • 2022: Round 1 -8; Round 2 -9; Round 3 -11; Round 4 -13.
  • 2021: Round 1 -8; Round 2 -16; Round 3 -18; Round 4 -19.
  • 2020: Round 1 -7; Round 2 -12; Round 3 -15; Round 4 -22.
  • 2019: Round 1 -6; Round 2 -9; Round 3 -10; Round 4 -12.
  • 2018: Round 1 -7; Round 2 -10; Round 3 -13; Round 4 -12.

Tournament Stats: We’ve published some key player statistics for this week’s event that are well worth a look. Naturally they’ll help to shape a view on players who could go well this week: Current Form | Tournament Form | First Round Leader | Combined Stats.

My published predictor is available here. Top 10 of my published predictor are: Xander Schauffele, Scottie Scheffler, Patrick Cantlay, Tommy Fleetwood, Si Woo Kim, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Collin Morikawa, Jason Day, Justin Thomas and Sam Burns.

RBC Heritage Winners & Prices: 2023: Fitzpatrick 28/1; 2022: Spieth 33/1; 2021: Cink 150/1; 2020: Simpson 30/1; 2019: Pan 160/1; 2018: Kodaira 250/1; 2017: Bryan 80/1; 2016: Grace 40/1; 2015: Furyk 25/1; 2014: Kuchar 18/1; 2013: McDowell 40/1; 2012: Pettersson 55/1; 2011: Snedeker 35/1; 2010: Furyk 14/1. Past 5 Renewals Average: 80/1; Average: 68/1.

Historical Weather:

  • 2023: Thursday: Mostly cloudy with showers. High of 72. Wind ESE 12-15 mph, with gusts to 25 mph. Play was suspended due to inclement weather at 2:52 p.m. ET and resumed at 4:16 p.m. ET. Friday: Partly cloudy with scattered showers. High of 75. Wind S 10-15 mph. Saturday: Sunny. High of 80. Wind SSW 7-14 mph. Sunday: Mostly sunny. High of 80. Wind SSW 10-15 mph, with gusts to 20 mph.
  • 2022: Thursday: Partly sunny. High of 77. Wind S 10-15 mph, with gusts to 20 mph. Friday: Mostly sunny. High of 71. Wind NE 15-20 mph, with gusts to 30 mph. Saturday: Mostly cloudy. High of 76. Wind SW 7-14 mph. Sunday: Partly cloudy. High of 76. Wind E 6-12 mph.
  • 2021: Thursday: Cloudy. High of 72. Wind WSW 10-15 mph. Friday: Partly cloudy. High of 67. Wind NE 10-15 mph. Saturday: Mostly cloudy. High of 70. Wind S 5-10 mph. Sunday: Mostly cloudy. High of 73. Wind SSW 7-14 mph.
  • 2020: Thursday: Mostly cloudy with a high of 82. Wind SE 10-15 mph. Friday: Partly cloudy with a high of 83. Wind ESE 10-15 mph. Play was suspended due to a dangerous weather situation at 5:42 p.m. and resumed at 7:42 p.m. Saturday: Partly cloudy with a high of 85. Wind SE 6-12 mph. Sunday: Partly cloudy with a high of 87. Wind S 5-10 mph. Due to a dangerous weather situation, play was suspended from 2:35 p.m. until 5:21 p.m. (2 hours, 46 minutes).
  • 2019: Thursday: Partly cloudy. High of 77. Wind SSE 10-15 mph. Friday: Partly cloudy and windy. High of 76. Wind S 15-35 mph, with gusts to 40 mph. Play was suspended at 12:48 p.m. due to thunderstorms and resumed at 4:31 p.m. Play was suspended due to darkness at 7:47 p.m., with 56 players yet to complete their second rounds. Saturday: Partly cloudy. High of 69. Wind WSW 15-20 mph, with gusts to 30 mph. The second round resumed at 7:45 a.m., with the third round beginning with threesomes off split tees beginning at 11:10 a.m. Sunday: Sunny. High of 73. Wind W 10-15 mph, with gusts to 20 mph.
  • 2018: Thursday: Mostly sunny. High of 92. Wind SSE 6-12 mph. Friday: Partly cloudy. High of 94. Wind SSE 7-13 mph. Saturday: Partly cloudy. High of 97. Wind SSE 7-14 mph. Sunday: Mostly sunny. High of 99. Wind ESE 5-10 mph.
  • 2017: Thursday: Sunny with a high of 93. Wind S 20-25 mph, with gusts of 30 mph. Friday: Sunny with a high of 98. Wind SW 15-20 mph, with gusts of 25 mph. Saturday: Partly cloudy with a high of 96. Wind SSW 15-20 mph, with gusts of 25 mph. Sunday: Mostly cloudy with a high of 82. Wind N 10-15 mph.
  • 2016: Thursday: Mostly cloudy with a high of 83. Wind S at 15-20 mph, gusting to 30 mph. Friday: Mostly cloudy early turning to partly sunny skies in the afternoon. Warm and humid, with a high of 86. Wind SSE at 10-15 mph. Saturday: Mostly cloudy early turning to partly sunny skies in the afternoon. Warm and humid, with a high of 86. Wind SSE at 10-15 mph. Sunday: Due to early morning thunderstorms, the original tee times featuring twosomes off of one tee beginning at 7:30 a.m. were changed to a two-tee start with threesomes at 10:19 a.m. Mostly cloudy. High of 85. Wind SSE at 10-15 mph
  • 2015: Thursday: Cloudy, but drier in the afternoon, with highs reaching only into the lower 60s. North wind at 10-20 mph. A total of 1.3 inches of rain fell overnight and into the morning. Friday: Overcast, with intermittent rain throughout the day. High of 76, with N wind at 7-12 mph. Saturday: Overcast, with a high of 76. Wind SE at 15-25 mph. Sunday: Due to the likeliness of inclement weather, final-round tee times were between 7-9 a.m. Cloudy with rain most of the day and a high of 79. Wind SSW at 10-20 mph.

Weather Forecast: The latest weather forecast for Hilton Head, South Carolina is here. Compared to last week at Augusta, think less wind and far less chance of rain. Temperatures will range from 25 to 26 degrees Celsius (77 – 79 Fahrenheit) across Thursday to Saturday, with 15-20mph south westerly winds building up in the afternoons.

There is a change on Sunday though with temperatures dropping to 19 degrees Celsius (66 Fahrenheit) with +50% chance of rain in the afternoon. Seeing this forecast I wouldn’t be surprised to see the PGA Tour pull Sunday play forward to minimise any risk of poor weather.

Player Strokes Gained Rankings: These top 25 in the field rankings are based on an 8-tournament window that stretches back to the Mexico Open/Magical Kenya Open which includes both PGA Tour and DP World Tour events, where recorded. Player rankings are based on performance relative to the rest of the field:

  • Top 25 SG Off The Tee: 1) Scottie Scheffler; 2) Ludvig Aberg; 3) Wyndham Clark; 4) Alejandro Tosti; 5) Si Woo Kim / Sahith Theegala; 7) Xander Schauffele; 8) Brice Garnett / Chris Kirk; 10) Kurt Kitayama; 11) Rory McIlroy; 12) Sepp Straka; 13) Sungjae Im; 14) Stephan Jaeger / Collin Morikawa; 16) Cameron Young; 17) Tommy Fleetwood / Shane Lowry; 19) Byeong Hun An / Webb Simpson; 21) Patrick Cantlay; 22) Akshay Bhatia / Adam Schenk; 24) Jordan Spieth; 25) Matthieu Pavon.
  • Top 25 SG Approach: 1) Shane Lowry; 2) Scottie Scheffler; 3) Corey Conners / Tom Hoge; 5) Will Zalatoris; 6) Austin Eckroat / Cameron Young; 8) Justin Thomas; 9) Ludvig Aberg; 10) Xander Schauffele; 11) Lucas Glover; 12) Jake Knapp / Rory McIlroy / Andrew Putnam / Sahith Theegala; 16) Chandler Phillips; 17) Grayson Murray; 18) Max Homa / Si Woo Kim; 20) Keegan Bradley; 21) Wyndham Clark / Emiliano Grillo; 23) Akshay Bhatia / Nick Dunlap / Chris Kirk.
  • Top 25 SG Around The Green: 1) Scottie Scheffler; 2) Mackenzie Hughes; 3) Si Woo Kim; 4) Taylor Moore / Xander Schauffele; 6) Harris English; 7) Tommy Fleetwood; 8) Andrew Putnam; 9) Rickie Fowler; 10) Stephan Jaeger; 11) Jason Day; 12) Adam Schenk; 13) Chris Kirk; 14) Patrick Cantlay; 15) Denny McCarthy; 16) Adam Hadwin / Webb Simpson; 18) Collin Morikawa; 19) Brendon Todd; 20) Sam Burns; 21) Lucas Glover; 22) Shane Lowry; 23) Wyndham Clark; 24) Justin Thomas; 25) Eric Cole / Max Homa / Adam Svensson.
  • Top 25 SG Tee to Green: 1) Scottie Scheffler; 2) Shane Lowry; 3) Xander Schauffele; 4) Si Woo Kim; 5) Ludvig Aberg; 6) Cameron Young; 7) Rory McIlroy; 8) Chris Kirk; 9) Wyndham Clark / Corey Conners / Austin Eckroat; 12) Lucas Glover / Taylor Moore; 14) Sahith Theegala; 15) Stephan Jaeger / Justin Thomas; 17) Akshay Bhatia; 18) Andrew Putnam; 19) Will Zalatoris; 20) Tommy Fleetwood; 21) Kurt Kitayama; 22) Keegan Bradley / Jake Knapp / Collin Morikawa; 25) Byeong Hun An / Max Homa.
  • Top 25 SG Putting: 1) Matt Fitzpatrick; 2) Denny McCarthy; 3) Christiaan Bezuidenhout / Jason Day; 5) Max Homa; 6) Russell Henley; 7) Tom Hoge; 8) Brian Harman; 9) Xander Schauffele; 10) Wyndham Clark / Scottie Scheffler; 12) Peter Malnati / Adam Schenk; 14) Nick Dunlap / Sahith Theegala; 16) Jordan Spieth; 17) Rory McIlroy / Matthieu Pavon; 19) Adam Hadwin; 20) Chandler Phillips; 21) Tommy Fleetwood; 22) Justin Rose / Nick Taylor / Brendon Todd; 25) Tom Kim / Taylor Moore.
  • Top 25 SG Total: 1) Scottie Scheffler; 2) Xander Schauffele; 3) Ludvig Aberg; 4) Rory McIlroy; 5) Shane Lowry; 6) Si Woo Kim; 7) Sahith Theegala; 8) Wyndham Clark / Matt Fitzpatrick / Taylor Moore / Cameron Young; 12) Corey Conners; 13) Tommy Fleetwood; 14) Lucas Glover / Tom Hoge / Chris Kirk; 17) Christiaan Bezuidenhout / Max Homa; 19) Adam Schenk; 20) Andrew Putnam; 21) Austin Eckroat / Russell Henley; 23) Denny McCarthy; 24) Akshay Bhatia / Mackenzie Hughes / Kurt Kitayama.

For a summary of the Strokes Gained Performances from this week’s field here at Harbour Town Golf Links click here.

Trends & Key Factors: Analysing the Strokes Gained Stats of the RBC Heritage winners since 2016 gives us a little more insight into the requirements for this test:

  • 2023, Matt Fitzpatrick (-17). SG Off the Tee: 32nd, SG Approach: 7th, SG Around the Green: 10th, SG Tee to Green: 3rd, SG Putting: 20th.
  • 2022, Jordan Spieth (-13). SG Off the Tee: 4th, SG Approach: 10th, SG Around the Green: 5th, SG Tee to Green: 1st, SG Putting: 60th.
  • 2021, Stewart Cink (-19). SG Off the Tee: 20th, SG Approach: 2nd, SG Around the Green: 5th, SG Tee to Green: 1st, SG Putting: 25th.
  • 2020, Webb Simpson (-22). SG Off the Tee: 34th, SG Approach: 8th, SG Around the Green: 33rd, SG Tee to Green: 7th, SG Putting: 2nd.
  • 2019, C.T. Pan (-12). SG Off the Tee: 50th, SG Approach: 18th, SG Around the Green: 7th, SG Tee to Green: 11th, SG Putting: 5th.
  • 2018, Satoshi Kodaira (-12). SG Off the Tee: 6th, SG Approach: 7th, SG Around the Green: 65th, SG Tee to Green: 7th, SG Putting: 16th.
  • 2017, Wesley Bryan (-13). SG Off the Tee: 67th, SG Approach: 2nd, SG Around the Green: 10th, SG Tee to Green: 6th, SG Putting: 11th.
  • 2016, Branden Grace (-9). SG Off the Tee: 19th, SG Approach: 28th, SG Around the Green: 3rd, SG Tee to Green: 2nd, SG Putting: 10th.

Strokes Gained Tournament Skill Averages:

  • SG Off the Tee: 29th, SG Approach: 10th, SG Around the Green: 17th, SG Tee to Green: 5th, SG Putting: 19th.

Tournament Trends & Key Factors: Analysing the final stats of RBC Heritage winners since 2016 gives us a little more insight into the requirements for this Carolina-style golf test:

  • 2023, Matt Fitzpatrick (-17). 304 yards (15th), 60.7% fairways (59th), 66.7% greens in regulation (26th), 37’7″ proximity to hole (54th), 83.3 % scrambling (4th), 1.56 putts per GIR (2nd).
  • 2022, Jordan Spieth (-13). 294 yards (45th), 64.3% fairways (31st), 69.4% greens in regulation (9th), 32’5″ proximity to hole (9th), 81.8 % scrambling (6th), 1.72 putts per GIR (40th).
  • 2021, Stewart Cink (-19). 312 yards (3rd), 55.4% fairways (57th), 77.8% greens in regulation (1st), 32’5″ proximity to hole (11th), 81.3 % scrambling (4th), 1.63 putts per GIR (7th).
  • 2020, Webb Simpson (-22). 283 yards (33rd), 67.9% fairways (33rd), 73.6% greens in regulation (12th), 30’5″ proximity to hole (33rd), 73.7% scrambling (27th), 1.55 putts per GIR (3rd).
  • 2019, C.T. Pan (-13). 277 yards (55th), 51.8% fairways (59th), 58.3% greens in regulation (37th), 32’5″ proximity to hole (5th), 73.3 % scrambling (16th), 1.52 putts per GIR (2nd).
  • 2018, Satoshi Kodaira (-12). 272 yards (65th), 75.0% fairways (4th), 68.1% greens in regulation (7th), 29’6″ proximity to hole (1st), 73.9 % scrambling (13th), 1.74 putts per GIR (47th).
  • 2017, Wesley Bryan (-13). 274 yards (50th), 55.4% fairways (55th), 55.6% greens in regulation (66th), 29’11” proximity to hole (7th), 84.4 % scrambling (1st), 1.68 putts per GIR (16th).
  • 2016, Branden Grace (-9). 280 yards (39th), 53.6% fairways (50th), 61.1% greens in regulation (14th), 37’8″ proximity to hole (39th), 78.6 % scrambling (3rd), 1.73 putts per GIR (21st).

Tournament Skill Averages:

  • Driving Distance: 38th, Driving Accuracy: 44th, Greens in Regulation: 22nd, Proximity to Hole: 20th, Scrambling: 9th, Putting Average 17th.

So let’s take a view from players as to how Harbour Town sets up and what skill sets the course favours:

Matt Fitzpatrick (2023): “That’s the funny thing. I wouldn’t say it fits my game. I haven’t really had that much success here. I’ve had 14th and a 4th. I had a 14th in the COVID year, but it played very different that year. So kind of get rid of that. And I’ve had a bunch of missed cuts .I just like the design of the golf course. I like the area. I think it’s a really tough test. I think it’s a really fair test. If you hit the ball well tee to green, you get rewarded. That’s why I like the golf course. Even though I’ve not had my best results around here, it’s high on my list to come and play every year.

It’s tough. It’s tough. I think one minute you feel like it’s into the wind, one minute you feel like it’s down. It’s difficult to pull a club. So there’s a lot of holes like that out here, and you’ve got to stay switched on.

Yeah, I hit driver a lot. I think I probably play this golf course a little bit more aggressive than others. I don’t know if that’s just me personally or maybe going off my statistics. There are a lot of holes where you can get blocked out by going too far, so you have to think about that.

I just felt as long as I could hang on — not hang on, but as long as I was within two shots going into the back nine, I was easily in with a shout. I know I can play the back nine well. It’s a hard golf course, there’s no doubt about that. You’ve got to hit good golf shots at the right times, and fortunately for me, made a great putt on 15, great shot on 16, again, good shot on 17 and good shot on 18 and just managed to get in the playoff and go from there.”

Jordan Spieth (2022): “Yeah, we knew it was going to be really challenging just hitting balls, you know whatever it was, 20-mile-an-hour winds gusting, maybe a little higher at times. And it’s just really tricky around this place because sometimes down around the trees you either don’t feel anything or you feel the opposite. So you certainly want to be comfortable before hitting each shot. I felt like I drove the ball extremely well. Driving the ball really well around this place, and I played aggressively too, so I had a lot of wedges, which if you’re a little off there, it’s obviously a lot better than hitting more club in.

“Wind direction had kind of just made a turn during our round, so trying to figure out when that happened because the difference when it’s blowing this hard of a little down or a little into could be two clubs. They’re not very big greens here, not very big areas to hit it. So that was really the challenge. It’s actually kind of nice when you know for sure it’s going one direction than when it’s all over the place. Just try to keep it low, keep it in the beacons off the tee, and from there you get some wedge opportunities. So very pleased with the round.”

Stewart Cink (2021): “The course hasn’t really changed that much. It’s been through a couple renovations, added a few tees here and there. It’s the same course for the most part. There is very little difference out there. It’s just a great course. The kind of course that stays the test of time because it’s not, it has some innate defence against distance out there. It’s hard to say what that is, but we’re all hitting the ball a lot farther than we used to, but this course plays about the same. It’s a fun course to play. It’s quite different.

It’s a little bit odd here. The ball,  you don’t get the full distance. You have to make adjustments, playing for some change and your yardages, and that’s something we adjust to pretty well. Reagan is doing a great job here already. Doesn’t take long but you have to pay attention to it. So I’m comfortable with that kind of stuff here, wind direction, some the trees, the corridors where the wind funnels and sometimes blows across the top. You get used to what southwest wind does here or northeast wind on all these holes.

I think it’s just the way this course plays out generally on the weekends when it’s dry. It’s generally much more difficult later in the day because the greens are firmer, the grass is just not really, there’s not as much hold in the grass, and the early rounds are really scoreable. That’s just the way it’s been here for years, and if you’re near the lead in this tournament on Saturday and Sunday, you’ve got to be prepared for that. I did it myself, came from ten back, I think, or nine back one year. I’ve been there, and I know what it’s like to be on the early wave. But tomorrow I’m going to be late, so I’ve got to prepare and just keep being really solid.”

Webb Simpson (2020): “I think you have to really shape it off the tee. You’ve got to think, you know, any hole could be two or three clubs off the tee that makes sense. So I love that. I love small greens. I love small targets. Paul said that I’m the worst driver of the ball with a really open fairway and one of the best with a really tight fairway. So I think, when it’s really wide, I’m not thinking or focusing. And also just being, I think, at the beach. I’ve always seemed to play well here and RSM, just being near the ocean. I grew up playing golf at the beach in Wilmington. So it just feels nice to be close to the beach. Yeah, I’ve had some of my best finishes these weeks.

I came in here Tuesday not knowing what to expect, and I realized they were softer than April. Honestly, with no overseed, the grain’s more exposed, so we can read them better, I think, and be more confident. The grain’s pretty strong here. So far, the grain really hasn’t failed us. It’s done what the grain said each time. So having a guy like Paul who grew up in Florida and knows Bermuda greens well, it gives me confidence as a player.

It’s very satisfying knowing like I’m not near as long as some of these guys and I’m able to kind of use my skills of distance control and shot shape to kind of pick me back up when I’m 40 yards or 30 yards behind these guys. A good example is you look at WGC Mexico, where I’ve played very poorly there, is that at that altitude, you take away my distance control strength because it’s more of a guess there. My distance control there has been terrible for three years. You put me anywhere else besides a place with altitude, and that my distance control and shot shape allows me to play well and stay up with these guys.”

C.T. Pan (2019): “Those four holes just, first hole is always tough, the first tee shots. You know you’re in contention. And it’s always hard to having good start is very important to win this tournaments. Last night I look at the hole locations and they were kind of tough. No. 1 is front right, downwind. It’s hard to stop the ball. No. 2 is all the way back right and that’s hard to make a birdie. If you hit a good driver there’s a chance. No. 3 is a long hole. And No. 4 is greens, island green, secured by water. I made a double there yesterday so I did not have a good memory there. And that’s why I told myself just play your best, shoot even par or under and then of course it will get eventually easier and No. 5 is a par 5, which I did well, made birdie there. And No. 9, No. 10 and No. 12.

This course, obviously I’m not a long hitter, so it’s all about decision. Decision with the ball is very important out here. And I hit a lot of fairways, which works well. And I work on the low driver, as well. I did a lot of preparation for this week to get myself ready.”

Wesley Bryan (2017): “I mean this is one of the best golf courses that we’re going to play all year. A lot of the guys rave about it because you have to work the ball both ways off the tee. You have to work the ball both ways going into the green. You have to miss it in the right spots around the green to have a chance. And it just one of the only courses on Tour where you’ll see that you have to play every single shot in your bag. And I love it. I’m not a super technical guy, so the guy that kind of imagines shots going both ways. I work the ball probably a little more than the average guy out here. This is a course when I looked at the schedule starting off that this is one of the places I thought that I had the best chance to contend at. And I guess after all the dust settled my intuition was correct.

Branden Grace (2016): “I like this place. It’s completely different. It’s short and fiddly. Obviously the winds do defend here. And there’s a couple of shots that I’ve got up my sleeve, that I like hitting, that I grew up hitting and I think it goes well with this place. It’s one of those golf courses that suits my eye. I grew up playing in the wind and I grew up playing fiddly courses like this. I would think this is a bit more of a ball-striker’s golf course. It doesn’t matter if you miss a couple of fairways, a couple of greens, you can get your way around it. I just like coming back to this place. I have spoken to Ernie in the past about this event. And he thought it’s one that’s really going to suit my eye. It reminds me a little bit of Fancourt Links back home, because it’s linksy. You really have to see your thoughts. You have to hit a couple of different shots, not shots that you hit often.

Matt Kuchar: “It’s so unique, uniquely different, with the tree lined fairways, with the ability to basically recall and remember every hole. Every hole stands out. Even though you have a lot of holes that have similar characteristics of just tight on the left side, tight on the right side with trees, they have slight doglegs that make it exciting to play, make it exciting to try to truly play chess around this golf course, and positioning your tee shot in the right spot in the fairway. If it’s not, you get to play all sorts of fun recovery shots. If you’re off line, it’s not that your ball is necessarily in a hazard and you’re playing a drop. You find it and have a recovery shot, and you have a play. All the greens are made so that you do have a play. They’re basically on the same level as the fairway. They’re not perched up with bunkers everywhere, where you’re just trying to leave yourself a bunker shot. You can actually run them all up on the greens. They’re small greens. If you’re on the green, you have a shot at birdie. It’s a great layout, a great design, a memorable golf course. And I don’t think it necessarily rewards a typical type of player. It’s not a short hitter that always wins. You take Davis Love, who’s won here more than anybody, and he, in his prime, would have been longer than the longest guy we’ve got today. He could hit it further than anybody. So you have guys like Davis, that can overpower courses, that play well here. And then you’ve got guys like myself, Luke Donald, Graeme McDowell, Jim Furyk, as kind of not your power players, that can also play well here.

Graeme McDowell: “You just have to stay really patient. You have to position the ball well at times. You have to be really aware of the wind on this golf course. It’s tough to pick them out on the back nine today. There’s some really tough shots on this golf course. And you’ve just got to pick your targets and flight the ball as well as you can. Some good memories and some good visuals for me on this golf course, and it was nice to plug back into some of those and make a few birdies.

Jason Day: “It’s an amazing golf course. It really is. It’s one of the pretty much old school golf courses we get to play on the PGA Tour. Most courses become more modern, where they’re getting really long. And they’re getting difficult by length. This course shows that you don’t really need length to make a golf course difficult. For me, personally, there’s a lot of irons, long irons off the tees and a lot of 4 woods. I don’t believe, obviously with weather, how the weather goes this week will depend on if I’m going to pull the driver out a lot. But just thinking about it, there’s only maybe four or five drivers out there. Most of them are pretty much 4 woods and long irons. So it’s difficult. You’ve got to shape your shots both ways. And the greens are so small, you have to be really sharp with your irons to hit the greens.

Jim Furyk: “I think it’s all about working the golf ball. There’s a lot of strategy involved. But you have to be able to control the golf ball. You have to hit high shots, low shots, curve it right to left, left to right. If you don’t have control of the golf ball you’re going to struggle at this golf course. You’re not going to skank it around for very long, and eventually you’re going to be in trouble. It’s about hitting fairways, but a lot of times it’s about hitting the proper side of the fairway, and that may depend on day to day, with the pin placements. Nine is a good example and 11 is a good example. If you don’t hit the right side of the fairway, you have to carve a shot around trees and hit it low or hit it high or hit it around branches. It’s actually a very fun golf course to play.

Incoming Form of RBC Heritage winners since 2010:

  • Matt Fitzpatrick: 10th Augusta/31st WMP/MC San Antonio/MC TPC Sawgrass.
  • Jordan Spieth: MC Augusta/35th San Antonio/30th WMP/MC TPC Sawgrass.
  • Stewart Cink: 12th Augusta/19th PGA National/MC TPC Sawgrass/MC Riviera.
  • Webb Simpson: MC Colonial/61st Players/1st TPC Scottsdale/3rd Waialae.
  • C.T. Pan: MC San Antonio/42nd Copperhead/72nd TPC Sawgrass/MC Bay Hill.
  • Satoshi Kodaira: 28th Augusta/MC Bay Hill/54th Mexico/17th Perth.
  • Wesley Bryan: 62nd Puerto Rico/69th Bay Hill/7th Copperhead/4th PGA National/4th Riviera.
  • Branden Grace: MC Augusta/37th Copperhead/23rd Doral/MC PGA National/1st Qatar.
  • Jim Furyk: MC Augusta/58th San Antonio/40th Copperhead/12th Doral/14th Riviera.
  • Matt Kuchar: 5th Augusta/2nd Houston/4th San Antonio/38th Copperhead.
  • Graeme McDowell: MC Augusta/45th Bay Hill/3rd Doral/9th PGA National.
  • Carl Pettersson: 2nd Houston/MC Bay Hill/MC Copperhead/36th PGA National.
  • Brandt Snedeker: 4th TPC San Antonio/15th Augusta/MC Bay Hill/4th Copperhead.
  • Jim Furyk: MC Augusta/11th Bay Hill/1st Copperhead/37th Doral.

First Round Leader Analysis: First round leader(s), their wave and winning score since 2010. Full First Round Leader stats are here.

  • 2023 – Rai – PM -8/63 100/1.
  • 2022 – Cam Young – AM -9/62 70/1.
  • 2021 – Smith – PM -9/62 40/1.
  • 2020 – Hubbard / Poulter – Both AM -7/64 150/1 & 70/1.
  • 2019 – Lowry – AM -6/65 100/1.
  • 2018 – Sabbatini – AM -7/64 125/1.
  • 2017 – Cauley – PM -8/63 200/1.
  • 2016 – Donald / Grace – AM/PM Split -5/66.
  • 2015 – Every / McDowell – Both PM -5/66.
  • 2014 – Kuchar/ Langley / McGirt – 1AM / 2PM Split -5/66.
  • 2013 – Davis – AM -6/65.
  • 2012 – Campbell / Knost / V Taylor – All PM -4/67.
  • 2011 – Willis – AM -7/64.
  • 2010 – Choi – AM -7/64.

For the record, here’s the breakdown of Bermudagrass PGA Tour victors in the field since 2008:

  • 8 – Rory McIlroy.
  • 7 – Scottie Scheffler.
  • 6 – Justin Thomas.
  • 5 – Jordan Spieth.
  • 4 – Sam Burns, Jason Day, Chris Kirk, Si Woo Kim.
  • 3 – Kevin Kisner, Xander Schauffele.
  • 2 – Patrick Cantlay, Harris English, Rickie Fowler, Lucas Glover, Russell Henley, Mackenzie Hughes, Grayson Murray, Justin Rose, Adam Scott, Webb Simpson, Nick Taylor.
  • 1 – Ludvig Aberg, Akshay Bhatia, Keegan Bradley, Wyndham Clark, Corey Conners, Nick Dunlap, Austin Eckroat, Tony Finau, Matt Fitzpatrick, Sungjae Im, Adam Hadwin, Max Homa, Stephan Jaeger, Tom Kim, Kurt Kitayama, Luke List, Peter Malnati, Taylor Moore, Collin Morikawa, J.T. Poston, Seamus Power, Sepp Straka, Adam Svensson, Brendon Todd, Gary Woodland, Will Zalatoris.

Harbour Town is undoubtedly a course where patience, experience and guile are rewarded. Played traditionally the week after Augusta (apart from 2011 when TPC San Antonio was played the week in between and Post Covid-19 Resumption in 2020), it won’t surprise you that the majority of recent champions played down the road in Georgia at The Masters prior to triumphing here, namely Matt Fitzpatrick, Jordan Spieth, Stewart Cink, Satoshi Kodaira, Branden Grace, Jim Furyk (twice), Matt Kuchar, Graeme McDowell, Brandt Snedeker (he’d also finished 4th the week before at TPC San Antonio) and Boo Weekley who successfully defended.

Four exceptions to that trend come in the form of Brian Gay (2009), Carl Pettersson (2012), Wesley Bryan (2016) and C.T. Pan (2019). Gay and Pettersson were experienced professionals who both have a good record on tight Par 70s. Wesley Bryan was both a Tour and tournament rookie who many, despite a great start on the PGA Tour, discarded due to his lack of course experience. 2019 saw C.T. Pan victorious after landing nothing better than a 42nd place in his 9 prior appearances that year.

Harbour Town shares TifEagle Bermudagrass – they are overseeded with Poa Trivialis in April – green complexes with Copperhead, home of the Valspar Championship, and as mentioned before, the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook shares Carolina course overtures in its setup. Here’s a trend. 11 of the 15 winners here from 2009 onwards had all finished in the top 10 around Copperhead prior to winning here and Branden Grace went on to finish in the top 10 at the Valspar post his victory here in 2017. Broadening the TifEagle link out slightly, excellent performances on other TifEagle-type greens featured at Kapalua, Bay Hill (from 2016 onwards) and TPC Sawgrass – overseeded with Poa Trivialis from 2017 onwards – link in perfectly as well.

Again extrapolating the TifEagle Bermudagrass angle and looking at the Plantation Course at Kapalua specifically, across the winners here from 2010 through 2015, plus Webb Simpson (2020), Stewart Cink (2021), Jordan Spieth (2022) and Matt Fitzpatrick from last year, all had top 7 finishes on the TifEagle greens on Maui. That link to TifEagle Bermudagrass performances shouldn’t be overlooked, be that on the PGA Tour or the Gulf Swing on the DP World Tour.

2019 saw the very out of sorts C.T. Pan take his maiden PGA Tour victory here. He did not follow this TifEagle pattern, but had PGA Tour Bermudagrass links. 6th on the Seaside Course at the 2016 RSM Classic highlights a player comfortable by the coast and he had also gone very close at the 2018 Wyndham Championship played on the Champion Bermudagrass greens at Sedgefield Country Club, finishing runner-up to 2011 Harbour Town victor Brandt Snedeker.

My Final RBC Heritage Tips Are As Follows:

Patrick Cantlay 2.5Pts EW 18/1 (8EW, 1/5) with Betfred

If we are looking for a player who has superb Pete Dye course form, Patrick Cantlay takes some beating in this field. Cantlay’s Pete Dye form includes 9th (2019), 2nd (2021) and 9th (2022) at the Stadium Course at PGA West, 7th (2018) at TPC Louisiana in the team event with Patrick Reed, plus 1st (2022) and 4th (2023) when paired with Xander Schauffele, 15th (2018), 15th (2019), 11th (2020), 13th (2021), 13th (2022) and 4th (2023) at TPC River Highlands, plus form here at Harbour Town is pretty spectacular as well with 3rd (2017), 7th (2018), 3rd (2019), 2nd (2022) and 3rd (2023).

2024 has been pretty uninspiring, but many will remember Patrick’s performance at the Genesis Invitational 4 outings ago where he was the 18-, 36- and 54-hole leader before a poor Sunday saw him finish 4th. Love him or hate him, Patrick Cantlay – a little like Jordan Spieth – has Patrick Cantlay tracks, and this is one of them. I also like his chances as he comes into the RBC Heritage totally under the radar, with form of 35-68-22. That 22nd last week featured a Double Bogey / Bogey / Bogey finish on Sunday, which will put many off, but Patrick has always disappointed in Majors, with a Signature event the week after The Masters feeling much more like his “bread and butter” to me.

Encouragingly Cantlay ranked 10th for Approach and 13th for Tee to Green last week at Augusta National, which was his best performance in those categories going back to the Tour Championship last August. I also like the fact that Cantlay’s PGA Tour “breakout” performance came at Copperhead where he finished 2nd to Adam Hadwin at the Valspar Championship. That form is like gold dust looking at previous winners of the Heritage. RESULT: T3

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Will Zalatoris 2Pts EW 25/1 (8EW, 1/5) with Betfred

Take a look at the Harbour Town Golf Links winners over recent years and 80% of their Strokes Gained were from Tee to Green, with 20% coming from the putter. Jordan Spieth won here with negative Strokes Gained in 2022, and both Abraham Ancer and Xander Schauffele have come within 1 and 2 shots respectively of winning the RBC Heritage across the past 4 renewals with negative Strokes Gained on the greens.

All of this got me thinking about Will Zalatoris who I was on-board at 28/1 when he won his maiden PGA Tour title at TPC Southwind, when taking out the 2022 FedEx St Jude Championship in the Playoffs. That week he tamed a fairly stringent Par 70 with a winning total of -15/265 on Bermudagrass greens, gaining 79% of his winning total from Tee to Green and 21% with the putter. So he’s been there and done that on a course that I think correlates brilliantly with Harbour Town.

9th last week at The Masters was Will’s 7th top-9 finish in his past 10 Majors – amazing stuff – and Zalatoris ranked 13th for Off the Tee, 4th for Approach, 5th for Strokes Gained Ball Striking and 3rd for Tee to Green. That’s rude Will Zalatoris right there. Interestingly his -3/141 scoring total across the weekend was T3, beaten only by Scottie Scheffler and Ludvig Aberg who took 139 shots.

Zalatoris also has Carolina ties as he went to Wake Forest University, a 5 hour drive up IS77, and on his single RBC Heritage appearance in 2021, despite being exhausted from finishing 2nd at The Masters the week before, Will shot opening rounds of 68-67 to be 11th heading into the weekend before the almost inevitable drop-off to 42nd. Asked about Harbour Town Golf Links. he replied, “Yeah, I love it. It’s really good for me. It’s obviously pretty tight. You put it on the wrong side of the fairways you’re going to have to shape it around some trees, but I’m not afraid to shape the golf ball, so I really love this place.RESULT: T44

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Sahith Theegala 1.5Pts EW 28/1 (8EW, 1/5) with Betfred

I had Sahith Theegala backed at the Houston Open 3 weeks ago to add a 2nd PGA Tour victory to his CV at 20/1, and I’m still a believer despite finishing 28th in Texas and 45th at Augusta National. Across my 8-week Strokes Gained tracker in this field he ranks top 15 for Approach, Tee to Green and Putting, top 5 for Off the Tee (amazing how he has turned a huge weakness into a real positive) and he’s 7th for Strokes Gained Current Form.

To this point in a young career he’s a lover of short golf courses – his win in September at Silverado was on a short Par 72 – Sahith also has course from that correlates nicely with recent winners here in Fitzpatrick, Cink, Spieth and Simpson. 3rd (2022) & 5th (2023) at TPC Scottsdale, 5th at Bay Hill (2024), 9th (2024) at TPC Sawgrass, 7th (2022) at Copperhead, 5th (2022) at Muirfield Village, 2nd (2022) at TPC River Highlands, 13th (2022) & 13th (2023) at TPC Southwind, and 2nd (2022) at Sea Island. 5th here in a Signature-level event 12 months ago, I could easily see him improving his Off the Tee and Approach numbers with his current run of high-quality play.

At 17th in the OWGR, I still think Sahith is pushing for career validation, which he would certainly get by winning the signature-level RBC Heritage this week in a field that contains Scheffler, McIlroy, Schauffele, Clark, Aberg, Cantlay, Homa and Harman from the World’s top 10 players. RESULT: 2nd

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Sepp Straka 1Pt EW 70/1 (8EW, 1/5) with Betfred

Sepp Straka will take masses from last week at The Masters. 16th was his best finish around Augusta National, and that backs up a runner-up finish at his previous Major Championship which was last year’s Open Championship at Hoylake. Sepp should be buoyant as he takes the short trip down IS95 to Hilton Head.

So I love the look of the Austrian this week on the Bermudagrass he craves. Since the turn of 2022, Straka on Bermudagrass has finished 1st (2022) and 5th (2023) at PGA National, 9th (2022) at TPC Sawgrass, 2nd (2022) at TPC Southwind, 6th (2022) for 72-hole scoring at East Lake (Tour Championship), 2nd (2022) at the Country Club of Jackson, and 2nd (2023) at Albany (Hero World Challenge). Fascinatingly he was also 3rd here at Harbour Town just 24 months ago. If that isn’t enough to describe his fondness for Bermudagrass, you can also throw in 4th and 5th in Houston (2019 CC of Houston & 2020 Memorial Park) and 4th at PGA West (2020) into Sepp’s Bermudagrass top performances in the United States.

11th for Strokes Gained Off the Tee, 11th for Strokes Gained on Approach and 8th for both Strokes Gained Ball Striking and Tee to Green at Augusta last week, I’d suggest the 30 year-old European Ryder Cup hero is ready for another contending performance in South Carolina. RESULT: T5

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Tom Kim 1Pt EW 70/1 (8EW, 1/5) with Betfred

Tom Kim, by his own incredibly high standards, has struggled in 2024. Form of 62-52-WD-MC prior to The Masters was something we haven’t been used to with the amazingly talented 21 year-old, but slumps in form are part and parcel of the game. Kim has only had a single top 17 finish this season at the WM Phoenix Open and has not had a top 10 on the PGA Tour since his Shriners Open win in Las Vegas last October, but things started to change and quickly at Augusta National last week.

A final round -6/66 was the best round on Sunday across the whole field and featured T1 Greens in Regulation (15/18) with supporting Strokes Gained numbers of 11th for Off the Tee, 2nd for Approach and 1st for Tee to Green. It was also Tom’s lowest round around Augusta by the mere matter of 4 shots. Things are now looking up for a player who has dropped from 11th in the OWGR to 23rd in 2024.

His 3 wins on the PGA Tour have come at the Carolina-type golf course that is Sedgefield Country Club (2022 Wyndham Championship) plus at TPC Summerlin (2022 & 2023 Shriners Children’s Open), with winning scores of -20/260, -24/260 and -20/260 respectively. It might not get to -24, but I can see high-teens winning the RBC Heritage this week, which is right in Kim’s wheelhouse.

3rd at the 2022 Genesis Scottish Open, 5th at the 2023 Sentry Tournament of Champions and 2nd at the 2023 Open Championship highlight that Tom plays very well on the coast, and last week at Augusta saw the 21 year-old rank 2nd for Approach plus 17th for Tee to Green across the full 72 holes. RESULT: T18

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Odds and bookmaker offers correct at 13:53BST 15.4.24 but are naturally subject to fluctuation.