Call it the Masters hangover, as several top players have decided to take the week off and not play in the RBC Heritage tournament. Dustin Johnson, the world’s top-ranked golfer, is the only player in the top 10 of the Official World Golf Rankings that is entered.

Dustin Johnson
Dustin Johnson has not played in the RBC Heritage since 2009, but is the 8/1 favorite to win. (Image: Getty)

After Johnson the next ranked golfer is Paul Casey, who is No. 13. Marc Leishman, who is No. 16, and Tyrrell Hatton, who is No. 18, are the only others in the top 20 that will be playing at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island, S.C.

It’s no reflection on the Pete Dye designed golf course, or the tournament itself. It just falls a week after a major championship and many of the golfers need that time to recover from the grueling preparation and play of the Masters.

With the lack of top players it is no surprise Johnson is the clear favorite at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook to win the tournament. He is listed at 8/1. The next closest is Casey at 14/1.

Johnson has South Carolina Ties

If Johnson wasn’t born in the state where this week’s tournament is held it is quite possible he wouldn’t be playing. But he has ties to the area and hasn’t been here since 2009.

That might pay off for the 33 year old. Johnson has played strong this year, with four top 10 finishes, including winning the Tournament of Champions and finishing tied for second at the Pebble Beach Pro Am. Those events had much stronger fields.

It’s not exactly the type of course that would give him a huge advantage. The tight fairways mean a lot of fairway woods off the tee and the greens are some of the smallest of any tour event.

While Johnson is long off the tee, ranking 11th in driving distance, he is 140th in accuracy. Three stats that should help him are greens in regulation, where he is 24th and scoring average and eagles, where he ranks first.

Others to Consider

Paul Casey, though, might be the better bet. He has longer odds for a better payout if he wins and he has played equally as impressive as Johnson. He won the Valspar Championship and was tied for 15th at the Masters. He did, however, miss the cut at RBC last time he played here.

Two golfers that are great value bets that may cash are Luke Donald and Kevin Kisner. The two usually play well at this tournament.

Donald, who is 55/1 has had an abundance of success at the event, but has never won. Since 2009, he’s made the cut nine times and has finished second five times, including a loss in a playoff. He also has two third-place finishes and a tie for 15th.

Kisner has not done as well as Donald, but he is definitely someone to consider. He lost in a playoff at Harbour Town in 2015 and finished tied for 11th last year. He is at 35/1.