RBC Heritage preview and betting tips 2023
RBC Heritage Golf Tips
4pts ew Cameron Young 25/1 (8)
2.5pts ew Matt Fitzpatrick 30/1 (10)
2pts ew Shane Lowry 35/1 (8)
1pt ew Russell Henley 75/1 (8)
1pt ew Seamus Power 100/1 (8)
Jon Rahm wins his second major championship by reigning victorious at Augusta National and in impressive fashion too winning by four shots over two LIV golfers, Brooks Koepka and somehow Phil Mickelson who had shown absolutely no form for a long time. Rahm became just the second player to win the Masters despite scoring double or worse to begin the tournament (Sam Snead, 1952). It was great to see now world number two Scottie Scheffler put the green jacket on world number one Rahm in Butler Cabin, two of the best players in the world and who are the future of the sport for the next number of years. Onto this week and we’re straight into another elevated event on the PGA Tour at the RBC Heritage with a full strength field minus Rory McIlroy who withdrew on Monday. As ever with this event we return to Hilton Head Island in South Carolina at Harbour Town Golf Links, a 7,191 yard par 71. This has been the host course for the event’s entire existence. Jordan Spieth returns as defending champion after winning last year, beating Patrick Cantlay in a playoff.
Key Stats Analysis
Spieth won last year despite ranking 60th in strokes gained: Putting, which is certainly an outlier as the last five winners prior to Spieth ranked 25-2-5-22-14 so a hot putter can usually be essential here. The last six winners have all ranked inside the top-18 for SG: Approach, Stewart Cink ranked 2nd and Wesley Bryan ranked 3rd which backs up how important approach is here at Harbour Town. Four of the last five winners have also ranked inside the top-10 for greens in regulation, expect the contenders this week to have a strong week with their irons.
Cameron Young 25/1
How has Cameron Young not won a PGA Tour event yet? I’d be extremely surprised if he isn’t the next maiden to break that title and win an event imminently and it could well be this week in South Carolina. Cam finished in a tie for third in this event last year and is a much better player now. He’s on the verge of becoming a top-10 player and just needs that first win to kick things off. Since the Scottish Open last July, he hasn’t missed a cut, has finished runner-up four times, and has gained strokes on approach in every event. He’s started to putt much better recently too which strengthens his case for this week even more. He simply had to be included in my staking plan this week.
Matt Fitzpatrick 30/1
Next up is Matt Fitzpatrick who returned to form last week at the Masters finishing T10 which was his best finish at Augusta National since 2016 and his best finish since the very first event of 2023. Four missed cuts were sandwiched in-between but he showed some progress last week where he ranked 11th for approach and 15th with the flat stick. Fitzy is coming back to a course that suits, a shorter coastal course in which he repeats form at these sort of venues. He finished 4th here in 2021 and has three other top-25 finishes throughout his career, I think he can improve on that this year and is a standout each way bet this week.
Shane Lowry 35/1
Admittedly at first glance you see Shane Lowry at odds of 35/1 or less and think there isn’t a great deal of value there but when you delve a little bit deeper you’ll soon realise why he’s the price he is. Three top-10s at Harbour Town over the last four renewals including finishing 3rd last year where he ought to have won, ranking 2nd on approach over the event and traded at favourite for much of the final round. Shane ranks 11th T2G over the last twenty rounds played and he gained strokes on approach and off the tee at Augusta last week. Similar to Fitzpatrick, he’s the sort of player you just have to pay attention to when the tour arrives at coastal courses.
Russell Henley 75/1
Next up in my staking plan was one of the biggest eye catchers of last week and that is world number 29, Russell Henley. Already a winner this season when winning the World Wide Technology Championship in Mayakoba, Henley recorded his best ever major championship finish with 4th at the Masters last week where he ranked 13th T2G and 2nd for putting. Prior to this he also finished top-20 at TPC Sawgrass which appears to be a correlating course. Two previous top-10s recorded at Harbour Town make his case this week stronger and I believe this improving 33-year-old represents good each way value.
Seamus Power 100/1
I was close to putting up Christiaan Bezuidenhout this week but his average recent form was enough to put me off. Another player who repeats form at coastal courses completes my staking plan and that is the Irishman Seamus Power. A winner in Bermuda in October, Power then went on to finish 3rd in Mayakoba and then post a top-5 finish in the RSM Classic, which is played at Sea Island Golf Club, a similar test to what we have ahead of us this week. Power is having a really solid season and at 100/1 this week, his price was too big to ignore.
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