RBC Heritage | Thursday 16 April - Sunday 19 April | Harbour Town Links
The Masters is over but the ball keeps rolling as once again a stellar field takes to the links for what promises to be a hotly contested affair. In stark contrast to Augusta, Harbour Town Links measures a paltry 7,100 yards but don’t let that fool you, this is a very difficult course to post low scores on. Narrow fairways promise to punish wayward drives and this is a course that can’t be overpowered with booming drives. Rather, the trick is course management and accurate iron play into some of the smallest greens on the Tour. A number of bunkers come into play on almost every hole so scrambling and the ability to play well out of the sand will also be of vital importance, as will putting on these remarkably quick greens. If players want to do well here they’ll need to keep their wits about them as the weather forecast does not look promising and rain and wind are expected. So who has the ability to come out in front on a tough course in tougher conditions? Let’s have a look and see.
Jordan Spieth 6/1
Zach Johnson 16/1
Matt Kuchar 22/1
Patrick Reed 22/1
Jim Furyk 22/1
Webb Simpson (30/1 a win, 66/10 a place)
Webb Simpson has been a little disappointing of late but he is one of the better iron players on the Tour and his ability to hit it stiff is second to none when he has his game in check. He showed promise last week at the Masters where he eventually finished a respectable T28 due to his iron play and if he can string together four rounds he’ll be a serious competitor this week. He also loves this course and that won’t hurt at all. Each way is the bet for me.
Brandt Snedeker (30/1 a win, 66/10 a place)
Snedeker is another player with a lot of potential who has gone off the boil in recent months and having missed the cut at the Masters, he will want to get his season back on track in a tournament that he loves. Snedeker is one of the best in the game when it comes to course management and his tournament record proves that. Having won in 2011 he’ll be confident he can handle the tricky conditions and a cheeky each way bet at this price can’t hurt.
Zach Johnson (16/1 a win, 7/2 a place)
Unlike Snedeker, Johnson looked to be in terrific form at Augusta and his consistent play and ability to keep the ball on the fairway saw him finish a respectable T9 in the first Major of the year. He rarely faltered last week and handled everything Augusta threw at him, showing the kind of temperament that will be rewarded with a win or two this season. I see no reason why that won’t happen sooner rather than later and after finishing runner-up here in 2012, Johnson will be confident he can challenge this week
Kevin Streelman (45/1 a win, 99/10 a place)
I’m fairly certain I’ve never backed Kevin Streelman but after watching the way he played last week, he can’t be ignored this time around on a course that he has an excellent record on. After finishing T12 at the Masters, which could have been a lot better had he kept the momentum going for the final round, Streelman will be looking to capitalise in a tournament that he’s finished third in before. He’s tasted victory once before and looks to have a chance of repeating that this week. Each way is my value bet for the week.