PGA Tour Golf Odds and Predictions: RBC Heritage Betting
by Alan Matthews - 4/11/2012
It’s always interesting to see which players compete in a PGA Tour event the week after a major – most times the very big names like Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson don’t. And that’s mostly the case for this week’s tour stop at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head for the RBC Heritage.
Tiger and Lefty aren’t playing. Neither is Rory McIlroy nor Masters winner Bubba Watson. Davis Love III isn’t here. You might wonder why I include Love among this group, but it’s because he owns this tournament. Love, the Ryder Cup captain this fall for the U.S. team, has five of his 20 career Tour wins at Harbour Town. But he aggravated a rib injury at Bay Hill a few weeks before the Masters and withdrew from that event before the final round. He hopes to be back on Tour by the end of the month. Love hasn't missed the Heritage since 1985, playing in 26 straight, and won the tournament in 1987, 1991, 1992, 1998 and 2003. He is the career money leader here as well.
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Only one player from the Top 10 is playing this week: world No. 1 Luke Donald. Also in the field is Ernie Els, who failed to qualify for the Masters for the first time since 1993. The Big Easy never has won the Heritage but has finished in the Top 3 on three occasions in his 12 appearances.
This tournament’s existence was in some jeopardy because it didn’t have a sponsor after last season. But several players on the PGA Tour, led by Love, contacted Commissioner Tim Finchem to let him know how important the event, which has been played at Harbour Town since Arnold Palmer captured the first one in 1969, is to the pros and their families (it’s one of the most family-friendly stops on Tour). Several players worked with the tournament director and Finchem to find a sponsor, and the Royal Bank of Canada stepped up with a five-year deal (Boeing also signed on as a presenting sponsor).
PGA Tour Golf Odds: RBC Heritage Favorites
As one would expect, Donald is the favorite this week at 6/1 on Bovada. He lost in a playoff last year to Brandt Snedeker. It was the third straight Top-3 finish at Harbour Town for Donald. He also played well on Sunday at Augusta with a 4-under 68.
Only two players were under par in all four rounds last week at Augusta: Watson and Matt Kuchar, with the latter finishing at 8-under and tied for third. Kuchar is the second favorite at 14/1. He has been spotty in this tournament, with just two Top-10 finishes in eight starts. Last year he was T21.
Jim Furyk (18/1) hasn’t won since his monster 2010 season ended with the FedEx Cup Championship and Player of the Year honors. But over the past month, he has two 11th-place finishes – including at the Masters – and a runner-up at the Transitions. He has five Top-10 finishes, including a victory (in 2010) and two seconds, at Hilton Head.
Webb Simpson (22/1) hasn't missed a cut in eight tournaments this season and has three Top 10s. He seems to have issues in the final round, however. In three of the past four events, Simpson has shot either 77 or 78. He finished T14 the past two years here.
I really like Bo Van Pelt (22/1) this week. He missed the cut here last year, but he had been in the Top 15 in three of the previous four years, including a T3 in 2010. Oh, and Van Pelt shot 64 on Sunday at Augusta.
Snedeker (25/1) is back to defend. Last year he came from six strokes back in the final round by shooting 7-under-par 64 and then beat Donald with a par on the third playoff hole. But his record at Harbour Town isn’t very good other than that, including missed cuts in 2009 and ’10.
PGA Tour Golf Odds: RBC Heritage Predictions
Boo Weekley is worth a look at 66/1. He figures to be plenty motivated this week by his buddy Watson’s win at the Masters as they are from the same hometown of Milton, Fla., and they went to the same high school (not at the same time – Weekley is five years older). Weekley won here in 2007 and ’08 – his only career victories on Tour -- and followed those with Top-15 finishes the next two years. He was T46 a year ago. Weekley didn’t play last week but was a solid T14 the week before in Houston.
Ricky Barnes also is worth a look at 80/1. He has played here the past two years and finished in the Top 5 in both. Is he ready for his first Tour win? He hasn’t been good in his past four tournaments this year.
But I am going with Brian Gay at 66/1 as the best value. He won here in 2009 by a whopping 10 shots and finished with a tournament-record 20-under 264 total. Gay was T36 a year ago. One concern is that Gay only has one Top-10 finish in eight events this year, but I think Harbour Town solves his issues.
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