Conventional wisdom would suggest those who returned from a 12-week layoff by playing last week’s Charles Schwab Challenge should have an advantage at this week’s RBC Heritage. Not so, however. The RBC Heritage, which is played at Harbour Town Golf Links at Hilton Head, South Carolina is a far different golf course than the Colonial Country Club.
Harbour Town is short by PGA Tour standards, measuring just 7,099 yards. What gives this course its teeth, however, are the narrow fairways and small greens. Thus shotmakers, and those that can keep the ball in the fairway, are the golfers gamblers should be looking to back. Long bombers off the tee are not your friends at the RBC Heritage.
Odds to Win RBC Heritage
Webb Simpson, who missed the cut last week at Colonial, should do much better this week at Harbour Town. He hasn’t missed a weekend at the RBC Heritage in nine appearances, and has six top-20 finishes since 2010.
Simpson told reporters he always feels confident playing on the course.
“This is one of my favorite golf courses of the year,” Simpson said. “I feel like it’s a little bit thrown back in time with the way the golf course is. It’s really a shot maker’s golf course. I love that about it. It’s always in great shape.”
So who else has a good chance to win the RBC Challenge? We take a look at some possibilities, and also try and steer gamblers away from some trendy picks.
Golfers to Consider
Collin Morikawa (25/1)
It would be easy to believe that Morikawa is snakebit after losing in a playoff last week, but the 23-year-old is too talented to let that defeat define him. Plus, he has all of the qualities required to play well at the RBC Heritage.
He keeps the ball in the fairway, is 29th in greens in regulation, and is eighth in tee to green. The only red flag is his putting, but if he can put together a decent week with the flat stick, he’ll be in contention on Sunday.
Matt Kuchar (45/1)
Kooch is the long shot we really like this week. He finished second at the RBC Heritage last year, and won in 2014. He also has finishes of ninth, 11th and 23rd at Harbour Town.
The veteran’s shot-making ability here is a huge advantage, and his lack of length won’t hurt him on this short course. He is 13th in driving accuracy, and 14th in putting.
Golfers to Avoid
Xander Schauffele (22/1)
This will be Schauffele’s third appearance at Harbour Town, but we aren’t thrilled with his two previous trips here. He finished tied for 63rd last year, and tied for 32nd the year before.
Another factor that worries us is his low ranking in driving accuracy, where he is 126th. He’s ninth in greens in regulation, however, but there is not enough there for us to recommend him.
Rory McIlroy (11/1)
The world’s No. 1 player is the pre-tournament favorite for the sixth time this year. McIlroy failed to win those five other events, and finished tied for 32nd last week. This week, there are other golfers with better odds who are worth a flier, rather than the Irishman who’s burned bettors on a consistent basis.