Masters Winner Jon Rahm, Scottie Scheffler co-favorites at RBC Heritage
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The time for rest and relaxation after the first major championship of the season will have to wait. The RBC Heritage on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, welcomes a field of 143 to Harbour Town Golf Links for the first time as an elevated event.
For the third time in the last six events on TOUR, the design genius of Pete Dye will be front and center. Running through the oaks and along the Calibogue Sound, this par-71 layout weaves just short of 7,200 yards. The targets are tough to hit this week. Chutes of tree-lined fairways provide the ladders to tiny Bermuda greens, which rank just ahead of Pebble Beach as some of the smallest (on average) on TOUR.
Just hours after becoming the first European ever to win both the Masters and U.S. Open, Jon Rahm (+750) will make his return to South Carolina atop the odds board at BetMGM Sportsbook. The question this week isn't about his pedigree or want, but rather is there anything left in the tank? The win in front of his family, for his country of Spain and 29 holes on Sunday dueling with Brooks Koepka should have emptied the tank. The momentum should carry him through at least to the weekend, as he will be looking for his fourth win in his last seven starts on TOUR. His only previous visit saw him pocket T33 (-12) in the summer of 2020.
Scottie Scheffler (+750) and his quest to defend his title at the Masters fell short with T10, but he’s alongside Rahm in the eyes of oddsmakers. Although history wasn't made he did pick up his 10th consecutive T12 or better paycheck on TOUR. His only finish this season outside of T12, ironically, was in the state of South Carolina in late October at Congaree (T45) for THE CJ CUP. The Texan has an affinity for Pete Dye courses as he's won at Austin Country Club and TPC Sawgrass in the last 15 months.
The only part of the resume yet to be completed for Patrick Cantlay (+1400) in 2023 is picking up the large trophy at the end of the week. Of the top four choices, he's the Horse-for-Course this week at Harbour Town. Losing in a playoff last year to Jordan Spieth (read below) saw him settle for his third podium in five visits. The other payday was T7 in 2018, the worst of the quartet. Of 18 posted rounds, 16 are par or better. The only time he missed the weekend was after rounds of 71-71 (E).
The fantastic ball-striking of Collin Morikawa (+1800) pushes him into the top five choices this week. Sitting in the top five in both SG: Tee to Green and SG: Approach, his ball-striking fits what will be required this week. Morikawa has posted eight of 12 rounds in the 60s from three visits, and signed for T7 in 2021, the best of the bunch. The two-time major champion has eight starts in 2023 and four have produced top-10 paydays, including T10 last week at the Masters.
What a difference a week can make. Jordan Spieth (+2000) arrived on Hilton Head last spring after a disappointing MC at the Masters. Posting four rounds in the 60s, he went on to knock out Cantlay in a playoff to pick up his first win at the RBC Heritage. The Texan made headlines here in 2015 following his Masters title. After jet-setting earlier in the week to show off the green jacket he arrived and posted 74. Round 2 saw his game perk back to life as he missed tying the course record (61) by a shot and made the weekend comfortably before cashing T11. It's six paydays from six visits since his debut in 2013.
Cameron Young (+2000) doesn't seem too concerned about contending in big fields or playing difficult golf courses. Last year on debut he needed just 63 shots to get around Harbour Town and held the Round 1 lead alone. After consecutive rounds in the 70s, he rallied with 66 on Sunday and missed the playoff by a shot. Confidence should be on high, again, after T6 at the Masters last week.
Here's a look at some of the other notable odds at BetMGM for Harbour Town, with prices jostling Monday morning upon news of Rory McIlroy’s withdrawal:
+2200: Viktor Hovland
+2500: Justin Thomas, Tony Finau, Max Homa, Xander Schauffele
+2800: Matt Fitzpatrick
+3000: Shane Lowry
+3500: Sam Burns, Sungjae Im, Tom Kim
+4000: Matt Kuchar
+4500: Corey Conners, Tyrrell Hatton
+5000: Sahith Theegala
+5500: Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Tommy Fleetwood
+6000: Russell Henley
+6600: Min Woo Lee
+8000: J.T. Poston, Keegan Bradley, Si Woo Kim, Chris Kirk, Seamus Power
+10000: Gary Woodland, Keith Mitchell, Taylor Montgomery, Tom Hoge, Webb Simpson, Wyndham Clark
The $20 million prize pool will see the winner take home $3.6 million, plus a tartan jacket, in addition to 500 FedExCup points.
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