Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: 2020 US PGA Tour: RBC Heritage

2020 US PGA Tour: RBC Heritage

Damien Kayat takes a look at the RBC Heritage taking place at the Harbour Town Golf Links, Hilton Head, South Carolina.

Photo Copyright - Steve Haag Sports 

Jockeys Ride Horses2020 Harbour Town Golf Links, Hilton Head, South Carolina 
RBC Heritage 
Thursday, June 18 - June 21
Last week’s surreal return at Colonial went surprisingly according to ‘form’. The resurgent Daniel Berger had poor course history while Colin Morikawa was playing for the first time at Colonial.  But both players had solid form heading into the enforced Covid hiatus.  The late Arnold Palmer won the inaugural staging of the RBC Heritage in 1969. The RBC Heritage was traditionally the event that immediately followed the US Masters. This will represent by far the most illustrious field in the event’s recent history, with the world’s top five players once again in action this week. It will still take some time getting used to the spectre of PGA Tour golf without fans, but I’m willing to take baby steps before normality is restored.

Hilton Head was designed by Pete Dye in collaboration with Jack Nicklaus. It is perhaps one of the most claustrophobic courses on the entire tour. Rumour has it that the fairways have been widened somewhat this year. Even so, players will need to be in prime position from the tee in order to attack these tiny Bermuda Greens.  In many ways the advice that was proffered for last week’s event should make more sense for this test of surgical, tee-to-green golf. The ability to negotiate the famous coastal winds here could prove critical to success.  This is a course that tends to reward familiarity, with Davis Love III claiming five titles here.  Luke Donald also came close to winning here on five occasions. Defending champion CT Pan starts at 200/1, highlighting the level of competition this week.

Rory McIlroy actually put himself in with a great chance of winning last week- prior to a Sunday front-nine that resembled a country club game. I suspect that it will be an even tougher test for the boomers this week.  The sudden switch from Bentgrass to Bermuda could also be somewhat jarring for some. It will be interesting to see just how Bryson DeChambeau manages around this quaint course. It will be like watching the Hulk attempting to play Jenga.  Phil Mickelson has chosen to miss out this week while the one and only Tiger remains on the side-lines.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone
Past Winners
2019: C.T Pan (-12)
2018: Satoshi Kodaira (-12)
2017: Wesley Bryan (-13)
2016: Branden Grace (-9)
2015: Jim Furyk (-15) *playoff

Value Bets

Matthew Fitzpatrick
To Win (55/1), To Place (12/1)

This is an intuitive call.  Matthew Fitzpatrick has a special affinity for the South Carolina course, having holidayed there since the age of 12 years old.  He revealed in a 2017 piece for pgatour.com that it was one of his favourite places in the world.  It just hasn’t translated into much success.  A couple of top 25 finishes represent his best showings at Hilton Head: he finished 14th in 2018. I’m banking on him tapping into some nostalgia outside of the post-Masters self-appraisal slot.  Fitzpatrick shot all four rounds in the 60’s last week. He ranked 5th for strokes gained putting and 24th for shots gained around the green. Prior to the lockdown he finished inside the top 10 at Bay Hill, and he should be due a big performance this side of the pond.

Kevin Kisner
To Win (66/1), To Place (14/1)

I hate playing guys in consecutive weeks.  But Kevin Kisner just looks a brilliant outside contender this week.  The tough-as-nails Texan nearly made his PGA Tour breakthrough here with a brilliant runner-up finish in 2015.  The course suits his precision-based game even better than Colonial.  He performed well last week, ultimately finishing in a tie for 29th.  It was his putting that really left him down, which makes the switch to Bermuda even more enticing as far as Kisner is concerned.  Kisner is a terrific Bermuda putter, as evidenced by a previous runner-up finish at the Players Championship.

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The Man to Beat

Matt Kuchar
To Win (45/1), To Place (19/2)

I’m opting for the horses-for-course approach when it comes to a prospective champion. The ‘baddest man in golf’ is something of a course specialist at Harbour Town.  Since winning the tournament in 2014 his has managed three further top 10 finishes.  That included a runner-up finish last year. Kuchar currently sits 13th in driving accuracy on tour, which should hold him in good stead in a weekend that rewards pin-point accuracy.   

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