HARBOUR TOWN, the venue for this week’s RCB Heritage, could hardly be more different to Augusta.
But although the Masters 1-2 of Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy are taking the week off, there are plenty of the other green jacket nearly men in action.
The likes of Collin Morikawa, Cameron Smith and Justin Thomas head a classy field, although they will not find it easy to swap power for precision.
Augusta is a ‘big boy’s course’ these days at just over 7,500 yards – while the venue for this week’s RCB Heritage measures slightly less than 7,100, with wafer thin fairways and trees everywhere you look.
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Rather than rely on the men who expended a ton of energy trying in vain to chase down the imperious Scheffler, I prefer to back players who performed well at Augusta, without necessarily having the stress of being right in the mix.
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Hot shot: Shane Lowry, 22-1
The Irishman’s winning drought since he raised the Claret Jug in 2019, cannot last much longer the way he is playing, and his razor-sharp short game is perfect for Harbour Town.
He was going along nicely at Augusta until a bizarre treble bogey at the par three third ended any hopes he had of claiming a second Major, but he fought back well to claim a share of third, alongside a clearly devastated Smith.
Lowry also boasts a runner-up finish and four more top 15s in eight starts this year. Third at Harbour Town in 2019 and added another top ten last year. Looks great value with bookies offering each way terms for the top eight.
Mid price: Adam Hadwin, 50-1
The Canadian almost did us a favour when finishing fourth at the Texas Open a couple of weeks ago, and missing out on a place at Augusta means he will definitely be up for this one.
Hadwn’s last three PGA Tour starts read 9-7-4, so he is definitely trending, and he is another player who will be well suited by the fact that accuracy and the ability to hole a few putts will count for plenty here.
Hadwin recently became a dad for the first time, and just seems to be in a really good place at the moment. Standing in the winner’s enclosure would be an even better place!
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Long shot: Sepp Straka, 100-1
Austria’s first PGA Tour winner added to the favourable impression created by his Honda Classic victory with a very respectable Masters debut, finishing in a share of 30th.
He sandwiched those performances with a top ten in the Players’ Championship, and is clearly a man on the way up – his world ranking has improved from 214th to 67th so far this year.
Straka has made the cut in the last two years at Harbour Town, and finished in the middle of the pack. But with that experience, and a ton of confidence, he looks more than capable of defying those three-figure odds.
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