After an exciting week at Augusta National Golf Club and a historic win at the Masters by Hideki Matsuyama, the PGA Tour moves three hours to the southeast for the RBC Heritage at the par 71 Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Defending champion Webb Simpson leads a quality field on a challenging Pete Dye designed layout with great coastal views and the iconic lighthouse in the distance.
Harbour Town Golf Links, which opened in 1967, has hosted the RBC Heritage since its inception in 1969, with the inaugural event won by Arnold Palmer. Its tree-lined fairways and railroad tie-lined bunkers, and water hazards are signatures of Pete Dye, rewarding accuracy off the tee and precision into the greens.
Simpson at +1200 has been playing well of late, coming off a twelfth place finish at the Masters.
World number one Dustin Johnson is in the field, looking to reverse a troubling string of lackluster performances, including an ugly missed cut at the Masters after he made a mess of his last four holes in the second round. Despite his recent troubles, primarily with the putter, the South Carolina native is the favorite at +1000.
Simpson at +1200 has been playing well of late, coming off a twelfth place finish at the Masters that could have been much better if not for a second round 76 that left him well off the lead heading to the weekend. Patrick Cantlay is third at +1600, but he missed the cut last week after heading to Augusta National as one of the favorites.
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Despite Cantlay’s difficulties in the Masters, he is a great choice to get a victory at Harbour Town. He didn’t play at the RBC Heritage in 2020, but he recorded top-ten finishes in each of the prior three years, including ties for third in 2019 and 2017.
The 29-year-old is at +1600 and currently third in the FedEx Cup standings and tenth in the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR). The former UCLA player has three career PGA Tour wins, including the ZOZO Chamionship at Sherwood in October, one of four top-ten finishes in the 2021 wraparound season.
Australian Cameron Smith at +2500 has been hovering near the top of the leaderboard in recent weeks, including a tie for tenth in last week’s Masters Tournament. Even though he’s missed the cut at the RBC Heritage the past two years, his game is improving, demonstrated by his fourth-place finish in the Genesis Invitational at difficult Riviera Country Club.
His best RBC Heritage finish is a tie for 15th in 2015, his first appearance in the event. Smith is playing with a lot of confidence and is 24th in strokes gained around the green and 16th in strokes gained putting, two keys around Harbour Town with its small greens.
Canadian Corey Conners has also been knocking on the door, with three top-ten finishes in his last five starts, including seventh at The Players and a tie for eighth last week in the Masters. He is at +2800 and also contended at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, finishing third after a disappointing 74 in his final round.