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Even though a few big golfers withdrew from the 2023 RBC Heritage already — Rory McIlroy, Will Zalatoris, etc. — this is one of the PGA Tour’s 17 “elevated events” this season.
The RBC Heritage tees off at the Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina Thursday, April 13th. Jordan Spieth won the 2022 RBC Heritage by beating Patrick Cantlay in a playoff.
Well, this year’s RBC Heritage will be a revenge game of sorts for Cantlay. He is part of my four favorite players entering the 2023 RBC Heritage, which includes two other golfers the market is low on.
RBC HERITAGE 2023 EARLY BETTING ODDS, PLUS COURSE AND EVENT PREVIEW
‘Horses for the Course’ at the RBC Heritage
- All stats courtesy of FantasyNational.com unless otherwise noted.
The only weakness in Cantlay’s game at the RBC Heritage is his putting on Bermuda greens where he ranks 89th over the last 24 rounds. Otherwise, Cantlay is 1st on my RBC Heritage Power Rankings.
Cantlay ranks 5th in my key stats model: 4th in Greens-In-Regulation (GIRs) Gained, 6th in Bogey Avoidance, 4th in Par 4 Efficiency (EFF): 450-500 yards, and 8th in Good Drives Gained.
He lost in a playoff at the 2022 RBC Heritage to Jordan Spieth (+1800). Cantlay MC’d in 2021 but he finished 3rd in 2019, 7th in 2018, and 3rd in 2017 in his other three RBC Heritage starts.
Patrick is 2nd in course history behind Matt Kuchar (+5500), who won the 2014 RBC Heritage, and Cantlay has four other T9’s or better. The best thing about Cantlay is his reliability.
Cantlay has finished T9 or better in 14 events since the beginning of last season. His last three wins were the 2022 BMW, which is the 2nd round of the FedExCup Playoffs, the 2021 TOUR Championship and the 2021 BMW.
So Patrick wins big events just not majors. That’s exactly what we have this week with the RBC Heritage. It’s an elevated event with a fat payout but it’s not a major.
Oh and Cantlay putt his a** off at Augusta Moving Day. In Round 3 of the Masters, Cantlay picked up 3.37 strokes on those Bermuda greens, which was 1st for the field Saturday.
Of course he gave it all back on Sunday with a -3.17 Strokes Gained (SG): Putting in Round 4 of the Masters. However, Cantlay is great on Pete Dye-designed course greens.
1st RBC Heritage Thoroughbred: Patrick Cantlay
- Betting Strategy
- 0.5 units (u) to Win: +1200
- 0.5u on Top-5: +275
- 0.75u on Top-10: +130
This has to be a buy-low spot for Thomas because he MC’d last week at the 2023 Masters. That’s the only explanation for JT being priced worse than Viktor Hovland (+2200) and the same as Sungjae Im (+2800).
No disrespect to Hovland and Sungjae but Thomas is a 2-time major champion. Also, JT had the 3rd-best odds to win the 2020 RBC Heritage at (+1600), per GolfOdds.com, which was the same odds as Jon Rahm.
I picked “2020” because the RBC Heritage field was strong that year since it was one of the 1st events after the COVID-19 pandemic layoff. Most of the world’s best played including several golfers who defected to the LIV Tour.
JT finished 8th in that tournament despite shooting +1 in the 1st round. Thomas had better odds to win the 2020 RBC Heritage than Xander Schauffele, Collin Morikawa and Jordan Spieth. All of whom have higher odds than JT this year.
Frankly, I’m abandoning my model with Thomas. He is 20th in my RBC Heritage power rankings. This is a value-play on JT because he’s great around-the-green (ARG), crushes short tracks and plays well in windy weather conditions.
In fact, Thomas is 1st in this field for both SG: ARG and SG: Tee-to-Green at courses less than 7,200 yards over the last 50 rounds. Harbour Town has some of the smallest greens on Tour so ARG is huge here.
2nd RBC Heritage Thoroughbred: Justin Thomas
- Betting Strategy
- 0.5u to Win: +2800
- 0.25u on Top-5: +600
- 0.5u on Top-10: +280
Alright, back to the model with Fleetwood who is 3rd in my RBC Heritage power rankings behind Cantlay (1st) and Rahm (2nd). I backed Fleetwood last week at the Masters and he bricked on all wagers with a T33 finish.
That said, Fleetwood’s game fits Harbour Town well. It’s a flat, coastal course that prioritizes ARG play. Fleetwood is used to places like this since he regularly plays on the DP World Tour.
Furthermore, Fleetwood is just solid in most of the things I looked at. He is 9th in my key stat model, 3rd in SG: ARG, 5th in total SG at Pete Dye courses, 11th in total SG in high winds, and 13th in course history.
Fleetwood was T10 at last year’s RBC Heritage, two strokes behind the victor, Jordan Spieth, and was +8.2 SG: Putting in that event. His biggest weakness (driving) is negated because golfers leave their driver in the bag when at Harbour Town.
3rd RBC Heritage Thoroughbred: Tommy Fleetwood
- Betting Strategy
- 0.2u to Win: +6500
- 0.6u on Top-10: +240
Si Woo Kim
All four Kim’s four career PGA Tour wins have been at comp courses for Harbour Town. Kim won the 2023 Sony Open back in January (which I cashed on at +4500), the 2021 AmEx, THE PLAYERS 2017 and 2016 Wyndham.
Kim is 11th in my key stats model over the last 36 rounds. He 9th in this field for Proximity (PROX): 150-175 yards and 1st in PROX: 175-200 yards. Those are the two biggest buckets of approach shots at Harbour Town.
But, Kim ranks just 21st for total SG over his last 50 rounds at Harbour Town. His results in six RBC Heritages: 42nd (2022), 33rd (2021), MC (2020), MC (2019), 2nd (2018), and 14th (2016).
Since this is a loaded field, I like Kim more for a top-20 bet. He does have true win equity and won the PGA Tour’s 5th major, which always has a top-tier field.
Plus Kim has finished anywhere from 22-39 in seven of his last eight starts with only one MC. If this were a non-elevated PGA Tour event, I’d like Kim’s chances a lot more. Then again we wouldn’t get as good of a price either.
4th RBC Heritage Thoroughbred: Si Woo Kim
- Betting Strategy
- 0.2u to Win: +8000
- 0.5u on Top-20: +250
Check out the Hot Links golf gambling show hosted by Geoff Clark on the OutKick Bets podcast feed. New episodes drop Tuesdays for all full-field PGA Tour events in the 2022-23 season.
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