RBC Heritage, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
The Masters weekend lived up to all the hype and an epic Jordan Spieth last round left the Wolf wanting more. Thankfully, the PGA Tour is back this weekend with the RBC Heritage at Hilton Head, Carolina. The Harbour Town Golf Links Course is a relatively small one by current Tour standards. It is a 7100+ Par 71 designed in 1969 by Pete Dye and Jack Nicklaus as consultant.
The distinguishing features of this course are the small greens and the presence of water on almost half the holes. In fact, this course has the smallest greens for any course on tour. The fairways are also pretty narrow, tree-lined, and require the ball to land on a certain part for the approach to the green to be clear.
The current weather forecast for the weekend is mixed. The first couple of days should be dry with moderate winds and the weather then gets worse from there on in. Sunday could see plenty of showers and strong winds if the current prediction comes to pass.
Wesley Bryan won the tournament in 2017, Branden Grace in 2016, Jim Furyk in 2015, Matt Kuchar in 2014, and Graeme McDowell in 2013.
Current form is not expected to be as big a factor on this course as on others and golfers that have a good course history should be looked at. The relatively small length of the course also decreases the advantage that bombers like Dustin Johnson have on the longer courses.
There are a couple of very reachable Par-5’s, though, where distance off the tee will help but in general, this is a course where players will prefer accuracy over distance. The small greens also make it likely that players will find themselves having to scramble and save par quite often.
Players whose irons and wedges are dialed in will be competing for the title come Sunday.
Stats that Matter
The Wolf will be looking at:
- Strokes Gained: Tee to Green
- Par 4 Scoring
- Bogey Avoidance
Wesley Bryan was 11th for Strokes Gained: Putting, 50th for Driving Accuracy, and 55th for Driving Distance when he won the tournament last year.
Kevin Kisner and Matt Kuchar are two of the players that the Wolf will have his eye on because they both have some incredible course history.
The winning scores have tended to hover around -12 to -15 over the last few years. The setup of the course this year is expected to be very similar to last year, although, the weather conditions are predicted to be tougher.
The Wolf expects the winning score to be around -11 this year.
The Wolf’s favorite this week is Paul Casey at $15.00. Casey is an incredible player who is playing some brilliant golf at the moment. He won the Valspar Championship and finished T15 at the Masters. Casey has the ability to get good distance from the tee and really attack the Par 5’s while at the same time dialing down and being accurate as well. Casey has played this tournament multiple times and has a best finish of 11th in 2009. Casey has the class to go all the way here.
For the value pick, the Wolf likes Cameron Smith at $29.00. Cameron Smith has looked like winning a tournament for quite some time now. He finished T5 at the Dell Match Play event and then followed it up with another T5 at the Masters. Smith is 8th in Bogey Avoidance, 11th in Par 4 Scoring, and 5oth in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green.
Cameron Smith has also been putting like an absolute dream and that form could come in very handy here. Smith’s best finish at this tournament was 15th in 2015 and he could well beat that comfortably here.
For the long shot, the Wolf likes Kevin Kisner at $34.00. Kisner finished 2nd at the Dell Match Play event and was T28 at the Masters. He really likes playing at the RBC Heritage, though, and this course just seems to set up very well for him. Kisner is again someone who can get distance off the tee if needed, and be very good from the midrange as well.
Kisner, though, is someone who can be very hot or cold depending on the day. He is 163rd in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green, 120th in Bogey Avoidance, and 38th in Par 4 Scoring. Kisner finished 2nd at the tournament in 2015 and 11th in 2017. Well worth a punt.
Tournament By Country
72 Hole Match Bets