It’s another one of the designated tournaments in 2023 as the PGA Tour stars head to Hilton Head to take on Harbour Town. Scroll down for my RBC Heritage betting tips…
RBC Heritage preview
Venue: Harbour Town Golf Links, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, USA
Date: April 13-16, 2023
Course stats: Par 71; 7,191 yards
Course summary: This Pete Dye design is a coastal links famous for its picturesque lighthouse. To win here, players must negotiate strong winds, multiple hazards, and some of the smallest greens on the PGA Tour.
Purse: $20 million
Defending champion: Jordan Spieth (-13, playoff)
Thursday: Sky Sports Golf from 12pm and Main Event from 12pm
Friday: Sky Sports Golf from 12pm and Main Event from 1pm
Saturday: Sky Sports Golf from 1.30pm and Main Event from 10.15pm
Sunday: Sky Sports Golf from 1.30pm and Main Event from 7.30pm
2023 RBC Heritage betting tips
The Banker: Shane Lowry @ 28/1
We are back looking for another win as Jon Rahm added to our tally last week, and Shane Lowry is my favourite candidate at this week’s RBC Heritage. Sure, his odds have come in since yesterday when he opened at 40-1, but in that time, we have also seen Rory McIlroy and Will Zalatoris withdraw, so his chances have improved at the same time!
Lowry has finished 3rd at this event twice and has also posted a 9th place finish, so in three of his five starts at Harbour Town, he has been in the mix. In 2019 he was the 36-hole leader, and whilst he still struggles to get over the line in regular PGA Tour events, we know he is capable given his WGC and major victories.
There are two courses that Lowry must circle each year in the hunt for that elusive regular PGA Tour win, and they are PGA National (Honda Classic) and here, and now is the time for him to capitalise.
The Irishman played well last week without ever really threatening the leaders, and a disappointing Sunday has kept his odds long enough here to make him worth a bet once more.
It is only really his putting holding him back at this stage and he’s never lost strokes putting at this course in five visits, so now is the time to back him for another win!
The Each-Way Play: Matt Fitzpatrick @ 28/1
At the same odds, I will take a chance on the reigning US Open winner who showed last week that he might be creeping back into form, as he ranked 11th in SG Approach at Augusta on his way to a T10 finish.
There is the slight concern that he flashed at Augusta based on past success there, and that the tough conditions suited him and allowed him to excel with his approaches, but I will chance that is not the case. I still believe he can win in this point-and-shoot format, especially at a course he calls his ‘favourite course in the world’.
Fitzpatrick played this event as an amateur back in 2014 before he turned pro later that year, and its clear his affinity with the course has only grown stronger, with three top-15 finishes in his past five starts here, including a 4th in 2021.
Gaining four strokes with his irons last week and almost as many again off the tee suggests his early season struggles are behind him and if his neck stops giving him issues and he can get back to his brilliant best soon, then this is a good price at a perfect course for him.
The Other Each-Way Play: Sam Burns @ 40/1
In this part of the odds board, I don’t think there’s another player that represents the same winning upside as Sam Burns who, after winning the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play two starts ago, is now up to five PGA Tour wins already.
After initially struggling to breakthrough for his first win on the PGA Tour, Burns has completely come alive since winning the 2021 Valspar Championship and he has proven multiple times in elite company now that he can get it done.
Burns was in sixth place heading into the final two rounds last week and whilst in the end he fell way short after failing to cope with the adverse weather conditions, that positive start to the week really caught my eye. He is yet to contend in a major, so had the conditions remained calm it would have been interesting to see how Burns fared over the weekend. Still, his T29 finish was a major improvement on the missed cut at Augusta in 2022 and that is a good sign.
He is the same price this week as he was to win at Augusta last week but now he returns to a course where he’s already posted a 9th place finish, and was within four of the lead all week on his debut.
Given his overall recent form and that recent win on a Pete Dye course in Austin just two starts ago, Burns looks fantastic value at 40-1 this week.
The Long Shot: Ben Martin @ 110/1
Ben Martin is enjoying something of a renaissance so far in 2023, and if he continues to show signs of the form he displayed on his second full season on the PGA Tour in 2014, we may be looking at a two-time PGA Tour winner soon.
Martin struggled in his first season on the PGA Tour, but after picking up two wins on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2013, he returned for a second crack in 2014 and fared much better, picking up a win at the Shriners Open.
His second best finish that season came at this event when he finished T3 here after being the co-leader after 36 holes. He didn’t get the job done that weekend and the field will be far stronger this time around, but if you are looking for a longshot who could crack the top eight, with many players potentially suffering a Masters hangover, the fresh and raring to go Ben Martin might be your best option.
Martin comes into the week with three top-10 finishes in his last five starts, with the latter coming at the Valero Texas Open, which was a big improvement on former course form there.
According to OWGR his next best finish on Tour after his win was his T4 finish at the Players Championship in 2015, where he was one shot outside of making the three-man playoff between Kevin Kisner, Sergio Garcia and eventual winner, Rickie Fowler. TPC Sawgrass is another Pete Dye course, so add that finish in elite company at the Players to his 3rd here and you have a player that looks ready to mix it up on Sunday once more.
When players like Martin show form once again, I always want to look at where they played well when at the top of their game, and the answer was at the Shriners and here at Harbour Town in 2014, and at TPC Sawgrass in 2015, so why not take him at triple digits to win this, as he comes in with a bank of really solid form?