SCOTTIE CONQUERS AUGUSTA AS THE PGA TOUR HEADS DOWN TO HARBOUR TOWN
What a week at Augusta National! Scottie Scheffler, the world’s number One player, grabbed his first green jacket and first major title. There was plenty of drama with the return of Tiger Woods who made the cut after 500 days away and Rory’s Sunday charge as he tried to complete the grand slam.
This week the PGA tour rolls onto the RBC Heritage in South Carolina. An underrated stop on the tour that is easily identified with its signature lighthouse. The winner this week will also receive a jacket of their own much like Augusta.
This week’s field consists of 132 players and will include 5 of the top 10 players in the world.
Stewart Cink will return to defend his title that he won 12 months ago. The veteran rolled back the clock with a 4 stroke victory in 2021. It’s clearly a course he enjoys as that was his third victory here with the others coming in 2000 and 2004.
As mentioned 5 of the top 10 golfers in the world will be here this week, including Players champion Cameron Smith, Justin Thomas, Patrick Cantlay, Dustin Johnson and Colin Morikawa all make the journey down from Augusta National.
Other notables in the field include Ryder Cup hopefuls Shane Lowry, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood and Ian Poulter. Both 2023 Ryder cup captains also make the journey this week in Henrik Stenson and Zach Johnson.
The tournament field this week includes 132 players, will begin on April 14th and run through to April 17th.
2021: Stewart Cink
2020: Webb Simpson (Played in June COVID)
2019: Pan Cheng-tsung
2018: Satoshi Kodaira
2017: Wesley Bryan
2016: Branden Grace
2015: Jim Furyk
2014: Matt Kuchar
2013: Graeme McDowell
Harbour Town Golf Links
Harbour town golf links was designed by Pete Dye and Jack Nicklaus back in 1967. It has been significantly lengthened since its opening in 1969 and is ranked high amongst the top golf courses in America.
Like most Pete Dye designs the fairways at Harbour Town are guarded with tree’s. This makes it particularly tricky as even if you hit a good shot you could still find your approach shot blocked by overhanging branches.
The greens around Harbour Town are some of the smallest in size on tour. They are lightning fast and firm and will offer a stern test for the golfers this week.
Perhaps the highlight around here is hole 9. A tight par 4 that plays 325 yards long. It will tempt golfers with its yardage as they try to drive the green. Holes 17/18 are along the coast line here. With varying tides golfers can actually play any wayward tee shots from the sand if the tide is out.
Water is in play on half the holes around here so it really does offer a stern test.
Being a coastal track this course becomes even harder if the wind gets up.
Strokes Gained Approach
Strokes Gained Tee To Green
Strokes Gained Putting
Strokes gained on approach are key around here especially if the wind gets up. Solid iron play and ball striking are needed as the golfers try to land the ball on these small greens while navigating the tree line fairways. 4 of the last 5 winners have ranked inside the top 10 of this metric.
Although Harbour town is predominantly a second shot course you need to have an all round game to navigate the tight fairways and small greens. 4 of the last 5 winners have ranked inside the top 10 in strokes gained tee to green so it’s worth taking a look at this week.
As mentioned Harbour town offers some tricky greens so strokes gained putting is worth a look this week. Putting can be highly variable but we have seen strong putters thrive here and regularly finish inside the top 10.
It is worth keeping an eye on the weather this week as Harbour Town offers an even harder test if the wind blows.
When picking lineups it could be wise to sprinkle in some picks who are likely to be less owned.
The PGA tour rolls on and to an underrated stop at Harbour town for the RBC Heritage This week’s contest has a €12 buy-in with a €5,000 prize pool.
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