The 2020 version of the RBC Heritage will feature the best field ever in the tournament’s 51-year history. Many of the game’s best will be on hand at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head. Fans will not be on hand, but the game was quite enjoyable to watch without them last weekend as we got treated to an excellent edition of the Charles Schwab Challenge, so we would expect nothing different this week.
This year’s field has been expanded to 155 players from the usual 132 as the PGA Tour looks to accommodate the influx of players that want to get back on the course. The top five in the Official World Golf Ranking – Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka, and Dustin Johnson – are all in the field.
The Pete Dye and Jack Nicklaus par 71 course will be fairly new to a lot of players and like a broken-in pair of jeans for others. In all, 63 players in the field did not play last year. Several have never played here.
Let’s break it all down with some help from the betting odds at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
This is quite a field. The top five are on hand, as well as players like Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia, Tyrrell Hatton, Justin Rose, Webb Simpson, Hideki Matsuyama, and most of the top names that played last week at Colonial.
Just like last week, that is going to put some really good players at some really good prices. Rory is the +1025 favorite, followed by Thomas and Bryson DeChambeau at +1425, and then Rahm at +1700, and two guys that had heartbreaking finishes last week in Xander Schauffele at +1800 and Collin Morikawa at +2000.
Patrick Reed, Sungjae Im, Rose, Simpson, Gary Woodland, Jordan Spieth, and Matsuyama round out the players in the +2000s.
This is usually something of a more exclusive field because the tournament has Invitational status, but this year’s field will be a lot more inclusive. Reigning champion CT Pan is +20000. Satoshi Kodaira, the champ in 2018, is not in the field, but 2017 winner Wesley Bryan is at +25000.
This is only a par 71 coming in around 7,100 yards. This looks like another week in which driving distance isn’t the primary focus. Winners have included guys like Pan, Branden Grace, Jim Furyk twice, Matt Kuchar, and Boo Weekley twice.
As a general rule, this course has played pretty tough. Furyk in 2015 and Brian Gay in 2009 have won with scores of 18-under and 20-under, but the winning score the last four years has averaged about 11.5-under.
Fairways and proximity to the hole on the putting surface will be key. The greens don’t look feisty, but they are, and these are really big putting surfaces. Sand and water are prevalent on a lot of holes, especially the par-3 17th and the par-4 18th, both of which played over par last year.
Yay or “Neigh”?
Horse for course. You hear that a lot with these golf tournaments. Some people think it matters and others don’t. We’ll leave it up to you to decide. When you talk about success here, you look at Matt Kuchar at +4000. Kuchar won in 2014 and has finished in the top 10 four times in his last six tries. He was 11th in 2017. He was the runner-up to CT Pan last season. Kuchar definitely fits this course as a guy that isn’t a bomber, but tends to be a good putter.
Luke Donald has finished second at this event five times, most recently in 2016 and 2017. He was 33rd last year. He owns seven top-three finishes here dating back to 2009. Who knows if he can turn the clock back, but he’s had plenty of success here.
Kevin Streelman is in the field this week. Streelman has a big price at 125/1 with back-to-back top-10 finishes here and a third back in 2013. Ian Poulter also has back-to-back top-10 finishes and comes in at 66/1. Branden Grace was 61st last year, but 11th in 2017, first in 2016, and seventh in 2015. His past results are very much reflective in his 40/1 price.
So, too, are the results for DeChambeau, who has gone MC, 3rd, MC, 4th over his last four years. Furyk is a two-time winner, but he’s gone MC, 70th, MC the last three years. He’s 110/1.
A lot of the biggest names haven’t played here regularly because this tournament is often played just after the Masters, so they are taking a week off to gear up for the next big event.
The short grass will be important again this week at Harbour Town. Top-10 finishers Schauffele, Im, Rose, Kokrak, and first-round leader Harold Varner III were all top 10 last week at Colonial in driving accuracy. Morikawa, winner Daniel Berger, and top-10 finisher Gary Woodland were all top 20. We’ll have to see more of it this week from those that hope to be in the hunt.
Given that there was such a long layoff, it would be tough to use year-to-date stats, no? Along with the driving accuracy metrics, putting played a huge role last weekend, as we saw with Schauffele and Morikawa missing short putts in devastating fashion. Spieth was +8.6 SG: Putting last week. Patrick Reed was +7.05. Rory Sabbatini, who was 14th last week at Colonial, was +5.547 SG: Putting and finished 10th at Harbour Town last year. He is +8500 this week with four top-10 finishes here dating back to 2009, plus finishes of 14th, 17th, and 23rd to go with two MCs.
Guys like Rose, Kokrak, Berger, and Watson all rolled it well last week. So did Matthew Fitzpatrick, another guy to consider this week at +5500. There are some links elements to this course, which should fit a player like Fitzpatrick. His best finish here was 14th two years ago, but at least he has some experience on the course.
One name to keep in mind as the tournament goes along is JT Poston. He isn’t priced all that well at +6000, so you could maybe find a better price as the event moves along, but he was sixth here last year and just scored a top-10 finish at Colonial. He was 14th in SG: Putting and T-5th in driving accuracy. He played his college golf at Western Carolina, which is in NC, but the Hickory, NC native has to be pretty familiar with this course. With the Invitational status, he only has one data point, but he might be worth a top-10 prop or even a long shot ticket to win.
The outright picks this week will be Sabbatini at +8500, Fitzpatrick at +5500, and Poulter at +6600. Poulter kind of sprayed it around at Colonial, but finished top-20 in SG: Putting and has four top-20 finishes here in the last five years.
Look for a lot of the guys mentioned in some matchups this week as well.
Odds for the RBC Heritage as of June 15 at 6:45 p.m. ET:
|Byeong Hun An||+8000|
|Harold Varner III||+12500|
|Charles Howell III||+15000|
|Si Woo Kim||+17500|
|Erik Van Rooyen||+20000|
|Ted Potter, Jr.||+50000|
|Bo Van Pelt||+100000|
|Davis Love III||+100000|