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Benny and the Bets: Time to fade Scottie Scheffler at RBC Heritage

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    Written by Ben Everill @BEverillGolfbet

    Scottie Scheffler is a great player. Clearly, the best in the world right now. But it would be almost irresponsible to bet him as the +400 favorite at the RBC Heritage this week.

    If you want to get caught up in the “Scheffler Slam” hyperbole after his dominant Masters win… fine. Although, I won’t be entertaining that farcical notion of him winning all four majors this season.

    But even if you do see it happening, or something close to it, you still should keep him off your outright card at Harbour Town Golf Links this week.

    Winning the very next week after winning a major championship is ridiculously rare on the PGA TOUR. For one, most players don’t immediately back up due to the celebrations being had, but even still the physical and emotional drain usually outweighs the fantastic form.

    Not since Tiger Woods in 2006, when he won the PGA Championship at Medinah Country Club before heading right to Akron the win the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, has someone been able to immediately back it up with a win.

    And while Scheffler is not the kind to party all week – shout out Shane Lowry, The Open Championship winner in 2019 – he still has other things going on in his life.

    Players talk about Scottie Scheffler's dominating season

    Wife Meredith is due to give birth to their first child in the coming weeks and Scheffler has already said he’ll leave if she goes into labor. This alone should scare bettors looking at his short odds.

    In the last six major seasons, the 23 champions (we lost The Open 2020 due to COVID-19) have barely contended in their next start, let alone the week right after.

    In fact, only six times has the most recent major winner played right away in that time frame, with a T15 the highest finish, including two missed cuts.

    If we extrapolate to their next TOUR start regardless of break, we still only get five top-10s out of the 23.

    If we move the history out to 10 years, there were some instances in 2014 through 2016 where players won in their next start, but not the very next week.

    Only Jordan Spieth, after his 2015 Masters win, played the next week of these 12 major winners. Coincidentally, it was here at the RBC Heritage, where he finished T11.

    Dustin Johnson won after his 2016 U.S. Open victory; Spieth won at the John Deere Classic a few weeks after his 2015 U.S. Open win. Jason Day had a week off between winning the 2015 PGA Championship and the opening FedExCup Playoffs event and Rory McIlroy, similarly, had a week off before winning a WGC-Bridgestone Invitational after his win at The Open Championship in 2014.

    So if we are not betting Scheffler this week, where should we be looking at Hilton Head?

    It’s no secret this course allows the shorter hitter to match it with the big hitters as the doglegs around the trees and penalty areas don’t allow for the bomb and gouge crew.

    To master Harbour Town you need precision and placement. The last nine champions have been inside the top 11 in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green, five of them in the top three.

    Another metric to factor in is accuracy from 175-200 yards. The course puts players in this range way above the TOUR average so those dialed in from this number could pick up an advantage.


    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results… but I go back to the well on Xander Schauffele (+1200) this week. At second on the PGA TOUR in SG: Tee-to-Green and coming off a T4 here a year ago and an eighth-place finish at the Masters, without expending too much energy, Schauffele "should" contend here. He is also second in the field in Scrambling and Par-4 Scoring. Honestly, I’m afraid the minute I get off the train, he will win.

    Next is the defending champion. Matt Fitzpatrick (+2500) loves Hilton Head perhaps more than any other having vacationed there as a child. Along with his win, he has a recent top-five on the Pete Dye layout and is adept from the key distance of 175-200 yards. He’s second on TOUR in relation to par from that distance, 16th in birdie or better from there and 13th in accuracy from the fairway from the same distance.

    Place markets

    You could go obvious contenders like Patrick Cantlay here given his three top-threes here in recent seasons but at +150 in his current form it’s hard to swallow. Instead look to double those odds on Sam Burns (+300 Top 10) and Shane Lowry (+300 Top 10).

    Burns leads the TOUR in Greens In Regulation from 175-200 yards and was T15 here a year ago, plus was ninth a few years prior. Lowry has three top-10s here in his last five starts and is fifth on TOUR in SG: Tee-to-Green.


    A couple of International Presidents Cup teammates stand out to me here. Cam Davis and Corey Conners are both +5000 having shown some form at the course before. Davis was T7 and T3 over the last two years with a T25 before that and is coming off a T12 at the Masters. Conners was T31 last year but T12, T4 and T21 the years prior. A nibble across the markets on these two wouldn’t be silly.

    Major champions post-win

    YwarMajorPlayerPlayed next weekResult in first TOUR start after
    2023The Open ChampionshipBrian HarmanNoT31
    2023U.S. OpenWyndham ClarkYesT29
    2023PGA ChampionshipBrooks KoepkaNoT17
    2023MastersJon RahmYesT15
    2022The Open ChampionshipCameron SmithNoT13
    2022U.S. OpenMatt FitzpatrickNoT6
    2022PGA ChampionshipJustin ThomasYesMC
    2022MastersScottie SchefflerNoT18
    2021The Open ChampionshipCollin MorikawaNoT26
    2021U.S. OpenJon RahmNoT3
    2021PGA ChampionshipPhil MickelsonYesMC
    2021MastersHideki MatsuyamaNoT39
    2020MastersDustin JohnsonNoT11
    2020U.S. OpenBryson DeChambeauNoT8
    2020PGA ChampionshipCollin MorikawaNoMC
    2019The Open ChampionshipShane LowryNoT52
    2019U.S. OpenGary WoodlandNoMC
    2019PGA ChampionshipBrooks KoepkaNoT50
    2019MastersTiger WoodsNoMC
    2018The Open ChampionshipFrancesco MolinariNoT39
    2018U.S. OpenBrooks KoepkaYesT19
    2018PGA ChampionshipBrooks KoepkaNoT8
    2018MastersPatrick ReedNoT7
    2017PGA ChampionshipJustin ThomasNoT6
    2017The Open ChampionshipJordan SpiethNoT13
    2017U.S. OpenBrooks KoepkaNoT6
    2017MastersSergio GarciaNoT30
    2016PGA ChampionshipJimmy WalkerNoMC
    2016The Open ChampionshipHenrik StensonNoT7
    2016U.S. OpenDustin JohnsonNoWIN
    2016MastersDanny WillettNoMC
    2015PGA ChampionshipJason DayNoWIN
    2015The Open ChampionshipZach JohnsonNoT33
    2015U.S. OpenJordan SpiethNoWIN
    2015MastersJordan SpiethYesT11
    2014PGA ChampionshipRory McIlroyNoT22
    2014The Open ChampionshipRory McIlroyNoWIN
    2014U.S. OpenMartin KaymerNoT70
    2014MastersBubba WatsonNoT48

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    Senior Writer, Golfbet Follow Ben Everill on Twitter.

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