The PGA Tour makes the short trip to the South Carolina Coast this week for the RBC Heritage at the renowned Harbour Town Links.
The field is stronger than normal at this event, with a number of competitors from last week’s Masters taking part.
The likes of Jason Day, Luke Donald, Brandt Snedeker, Matt Kuchar and Jason Dufner are in the field after strong showings at Augusta National.
Carl Pettersson claimed the coveted tartan jacket at last year’s event, triumphing by four shots over Zach Johnson and former US Amateur champion Colt Knost.
As always, the event is staged at Harbour Town Links on Hilton Head Island, one of the professionals’ favourite circuits on the PGA Tour roster.
It’s a short, tight, links-style track, and the ability to put yourself in position off the tee, scramble well and manage your way around the golf course is far more important than long hitting.
As such, it’s no surprise to see Luke Donald top the bookmakers’ favourites list at 14/1, especially given his record in the event.
Donald is hard to overlook, but I’d be tempted to back his co-favourite, Brandt Snedeker, at the same price with Ladbrokes. The American has amassed more than $3m in just eight events this season, and is back in form after a month off with a rib injury. He possessed the 54-hole lead at last week’s Masters, and he’ll be determined to make up for a poor final round. Snedeker is also a past winner of this event (2011) and his short game skills will be invaluable around Harbour Town.
Zach Johnson, at 40/1 with Ladbrokes, looks well priced this week, despite a relatively lacklustre start to the season. His game is perfectly suited to Harbour Town, a course he’s performed extremely well on in the past, and he showed signs at the Masters that he might be coming back into some form. If he can put the ball in position off the tee, he could well go one better than last year.
Tim Clark, at 50/1 with Ladbrokes, is a good bet this week. The diminutive South African will feel at home on a course that demands course management and accuracy over length off the tee. He played some fine golf at the Masters, including a best-of-day third-round 67, and he’ll have some good memories to draw on having finished 7th in 2006.
Marc Leishman, at 66/1 with Labrokes, is worth backing this week, and I’m surprised to see him available at such good odds. Granted, his course form isn’t very good and he’s not renowned for his scrambling skills, but it’s impossible to quantify the confidence he gained from his performance at the Masters. I wouldn’t be surprised to see that translate to a very strong showing at the Heritage.
Bob Estes, at 100/1 with Ladbrokes, looks poised to record his best finish of the season. He’s been hitting the ball well this year, as he demonstrated at the recent Valero Texas Open. He tied for seventh and ranked third in Strokes Gained – Putting and second in Proximity to the Hole. He’s also been making some very encouraging statements on Twitter about the current state of his game.
RBC Heritage advised bets:
2pts each way on Brandt Snedeker at 14/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each way on Zach Johnson at 40/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each way on Tim Clark at 50/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each way on Marc Leishman at 66/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each way on Bob Estes at 100/1 with Ladbrokes