The RBC Heritage — once a post-Masters destination in South Carolina for golfers to unwind after the stress and pressure of Augusta — carries a $20 million purse as an elevated event for the first time.
That’s more money on the line than the Masters’ prize pool of $18 million.
The field is littered with stars, plus plenty of the PGA Tour’s rank and file looking to break through the way that Wesley Bryan, C.T. Pan and Boo Weekley have at the event in years past.
Our golf experts break down this week’s event along with their favorite props and best bets.
Location: Hilton Head Island, S.C., April 13-16
Course: Harbour Town Golf Links (Par 71, 7,191 yards)
Purse: $20 million (Winner: $3.6 million)
Defending Champion: Jordan Spieth
FedEx Cup leader: Jon Rahm
HOW TO FOLLOW
TV: Thursday-Friday, 2-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 1-3 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3-6 p.m. (CBS)
Streaming on ESPN+: Thursday-Friday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
–Justin Thomas, Tom Kim and Sam Burns to make the cut (+160 at BetMGM): Thomas missed the Masters cut in ignominious fashion, but it was his first MC of the season and he hasn’t missed consecutive cuts since 2017. You can get him coupled with Kim and Burns, two of the most talented young rising players on tour.
–Jon Rahm and Cameron Young to Both Finish Top 10 Inc. Ties (+600 at DraftKings): Rahm feels like a slam dunk: In nine official, stroke-play PGA Tour events this season, he’s finished in the top 10 seven times, tied for 39th once and withdrawn once. Lost in the other storylines at Augusta was Young’s T7 finish, one week after taking second at the Match Play. He’s on his game and a breakthrough victory is only a matter of time.
–Shane Lowry to Win First-Round 3-Ball (+170 at BetMGM): This pick comes with some risk, as Lowry is sandwiched between Xander Schauffele (+138), who ranks fourth on tour in first-round scoring average (68.67), and Sahith Theegala (+230), who’s been automatic making the cut. But Lowry shines at the Heritage. He led on the Sunday back nine last year before coming in third; he has two third-place finishes and a ninth in his past four starts. In first rounds at Harbour Town, he’s shot a 65 and two 66s.
2023 Prop Picks Record: 17-19-1
–Scottie Scheffler (+750 at BetMGM) already has a pair of wins this year and finished T10 in his attempt to defend his 2022 Masters title. Because Harbour Town features narrow fairways and the smallest greens on tour, the past two winners (Spieth and Stewart Cink) led the field in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green. Scheffler leads the tour in that category this season.
–Rahm (+850) went 71-67-66-68 for 33rd place in his only RBC Heritage start in 2020. Rahm ranks third on tour in SG: Tee to Green and fourth in SG: Approach this season.
–Patrick Cantlay (+1200) has finished third, T4, T19, T9 and T14 in his past five starts overall. Counting last year’s playoff loss to Spieth, he has three top-three finishes and four top-10s in five career Heritage starts. His odds have moved from +1400 to +1200 as he’s raked in 9.9 percent of the handle on 6.77 percent of the tickets at BetMGM.
–Collin Morikawa (+1800) is fourth on the board after contending for much of the weekend at Augusta and tying for 10th. He placed seventh here in 2021, where he started with a 65 but shot a final-round 72. Morikawa is BetMGM’s second-biggest liability this week, with 9.5 percent of the handle on 6.83 percent of the tickets.
–Spieth (+2000) made nine birdies and three bogeys for a final-round 66 at the Masters. Had he parred No. 18 instead of bogeying, he would have tied Phil Mickelson and Brooks Koepka for second. He is the biggest liability at BetMGM, with 11.7 percent of the handle and 8.2 percent of the tickets on Spieth to win.
–Justin Thomas (+2500) carries good value after careening out of Masters contention at the conclusion of the second round and missing the cut. He is 4-for-4 in made cuts at Harbour Town with two top-11 finishes.
–Russell Henley (+4500) is coming off a T4 at the Masters, where he shot under par in each of his final three rounds, and has the approach game for Harbour Town. Though he doesn’t rank as highly this season, he was second on tour in SG: Approach in 2021-22 and sixth in 2020-21. He finished ninth at the 2021 RBC Heritage.
–The RBC Heritage marks the eighth “elevated” tournament of the season as part of the PGA Tour’s new designated events schedule. The first seven were won by just four golfers: Rahm (three), Scheffler (two), Kurt Kitayama and Sam Burns.
–The Heritage will welcome Scheffler for the first time and Rahm for the second time as 17 of the top 20 players in the Official World Golf Ranking are in the field. World No. 3 Rory McIlroy withdrew from the field Monday, world No. 5 Cameron Smith plays for LIV Golf and world No. 8 Will Zalatoris is out for the rest of the season after undergoing back surgery.
–Rahm’s victory at the Masters was already his fourth of the calendar year. The only player in PGA Tour history to win an event the week after winning the Masters was Bernhard Langer at the 1985 Heritage.
–Rahm will play the first two rounds with Spieth and Adam Scott. Spieth defeated Cantlay in a playoff to win last year’s title; it ended a winless streak of just over one year, and Spieth has not won a tournament since.
–Jim Furyk and Ernie Els of the PGA Tour Champions are in the field on sponsor exemptions. Furyk won the Heritage in 2010 and 2015. Els is playing his first non-major on tour since the 2020 Heritage. The field also includes 58-year-old Davis Love III, who’s won the event five times.
–Field Level Media