PGA Tour Picks: RBC Heritage Odds and Expert Betting Predictions
It's somewhat ironic that Patrick Reed's nickname on the PGA Tour is "Captain America" because he's actually not all that popular among his peers or with fans. I'll let you Google some things in his past because I can't speak to how true they are. The nickname comes from Reed's prowess during international competitions for his country.
So, while the vast majority of the spectators at Augusta National on Sunday were rooting for Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth or Rickie Fowler to track Reed down at the Masters, none could as Reed became the latest first-time major champion on the Tour - and fourth straight at Augusta. Reed, who attended college in the city of Augusta, clinched by two-putting for par on the 72 nd hole to leave Fowler one back and a runner-up in a major for the third time in his career.
Reed posted rounds of 69-66-67-71, playing holes 13-15 in a combined 11 under. Spieth was magnificent for most of Sunday, beginning nine shots down but shooting a 64 (still the lowest final round in Masters history) after his 8-foot par putt on No. 18 just missed a record 63. Spieth's drive clipped a tree on that hole.
My choice last week was a European winner at +175 with Justin Rose my primary pick after runners-up in two of the past three Masters. Rose finished 12th at 6-under, one shot from a Top-10 payoff. I also liked Paul Casey, and he was T15 at 5 under. The top European was Jon Rahm in fourth at 11 under. Dustin Johnson finished T10, which was enough (with Spieth not winning) to hold onto the No. 1 ranking in the world. Tiger Woods (T32) and Phil Mickelson (T36) weren't factors. Defending champion Sergio Garcia finished with the third-worst score in the field and missed the cut. He went all "Tin Cup" in the first round in putting five balls into the water at No. 15 to shoot a 13. That was the worst score in the history of that hole. Garcia had scored an eagle 3 on it last year in the final round.
Not quite the level of pressure this week at the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island, S.C. It's the 50th anniversary of this event, which moved to its current April spot back in 1983. Tournament organizers make it about as fun and family-friendly as possible to try and lure guys to play the week after the grind at Augusta. However, most big names are skipping as they usually do. Just seven of the world's Top 25 are set to tee it up on the par 71 measuring 7,099 yards. It's all about shot-making on this tight course. The winner doesn't get a green jacket but a tartan one.
The defending champion is South Carolina native and former Gamecock Wesley Bryan. He rallied Sunday from four down to win his first PGA Tour event, closing with a 4-under 67 for a one-stroke victory over Luke Donald. Bryan is the first native of the state to win its only Tour event. The last repeat winner here was Boo Weekley in 2009. There are 11 former champions in the field, including five-time winner Davis Love III. Bryan was the first man since 2012 to win the tournament without playing Augusta National the week before. Bryan is +10000 to repeat.
Golf Odds: RBC Heritage Favorites
I'm a bit surprised that Johnson (+800) is playing here as he only has once, back in 2009 (missed cut), although he is originally from South Carolina. Maybe he wants more world rankings points to extend his lead.
Casey is +1200 and Matt Kuchar +1600. Casey hasn't been worse than 17 th in his past four Tour events this year. He missed the cut here back in 2016. Kuchar won here in 2014 at 11 under and has been fifth, ninth and 11th since. He was T28 last week.
Webb Simpson and Marc Leishman are each +2500. Simpson just about always plays here and was 11th in 2017 and a runner-up in 2013. He was T20 last week. Leishman was T9 last week and that's his best career result here five years ago.
Golf Odds: RBC Heritage Picks
Since the Heritage moved into the post-Masters, just eight winners have not come over from Augusta.
For a Top 10, I like Kuchar (+160), Russell Knox (+400) and Donald (+500). Knox hasn't been worse than 18th here in four trips, including a 2016 runner-up to Branden Grace. Head-to-head, go Kevin Kisner (even) over Patrick Cantlay (-130), Zach Johnson (-110) over Ian Poulter (-120), Kuchar (+165) over Johnson (-225), Adam Hadwin (+115) over Simpson (-155), and Cameron Smith (-120) over Tyrell Hatton (-110).
Not many props offered as of yet in a bit of a Masters hangover, so we'll cut to the chase and go with Donald at +5000 to win. He is the definition of "horse for the course" at Harbour Town if any guy can be without winning. His last nine trips here have resulted in five seconds, two thirds and a worst finish of 37th. Talk about overdue a victory.
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