Updated: Jan 14
The Masters is behind us. It hurts to even think about it, but we saw a great tournament and we have a great champion in Hideki Matsuyama, who secured his first green jacket over the weekend. Matsuyama impressively never lost his lead on Sunday and beat out Will Zalatoris by just 1 stroke.
It may seem like this is a perfect hangover week, but that’s not the case. RBC Heritage is one of the most fun events on the Tour and we will see plenty of top golfers back in action chasing this title. The course itself, made famous by the lighthouse beyond the 18th green, features narrow landing areas off the tee and very small Bermuda greens. Golfers who emphasize precision over power should do well this weekend.
In this post, we want to highlight some of our favorite golfers from the field based on factors including recent form, tournament history, and some other metrics that stand out specifically at this course. Weather looks to be a factor throughout the weekend, with possibilities of rain and thunderstorms throughout the entire event. Luckily, wind speed should be relatively low. Metrics isolating golfers who play well in such weather conditions will also be relevant and could pay off value.
Other key metrics for winning this event include strokes gained on approach, stroked gained off the tee, and iron proximity. Here are some of the golfers that stand out to us:
Defending champion, Webb Simpson, is worth a mention every time he plays at Harbour Town. Simpson has finished in the top 16 in each of his last four entries and made the cut all eight times he’s played here. He crushes our model when we look at strokes gained and bogey avoidance.
As we mentioned, irons will be important at this event, so a golfer with elite iron-play like Colin Morikawa cannot be ignored. Morikawa is first in the field in shots gained on approach. He struggled last year here in his debut here, but if he can get his putts to fall this weekend, Morikawa should be a contender through the weekend.
An overlooked name we want to mention is Chris Kirk. Kirk is an excellent golfer with true upside to win this event. Kirk is also a consistent golfer, having made 11 of 13 cuts this season with three top-10’s and seven top-25 finishes. Kirk pops up all over our model in categories including strokes gained around the green, ball striking, and recent form. Not to mention, Kirk has excellent history at Harbour Town.
Lastly, we cannot overlook Masters runner-up Will Zalatoris, who has finished top-10 sixteen separate times this season but has only won one event. Zalatoris will be another popular pick this weekend, but he will still be difficult to fade either betting or in fantasy competitions. He ranks high in our models in shots gained on approach and shots gained tee-to-green. If nothing else, you can count on Zalatoris keeping himself in the mix.