After all the pressure and pomp of Augusta National the PGA Tour takes a decidedly more laidback turn as it swings up to the southern Californian coast for the RBC Heritage and as recent history denotes, a poor showing at the Masters isn’t necessarily a hindrance to winning this event.
Graeme McDowell is the defending champion at the Harbour Town Golf Links course which is laid out on the picturesque yet breezy Hilton Head Island just off the California coastline.
The Northern Irishman is one of several of the world’s top 25 to arrive having not made it through to the weekend at Augusta, but that was the case last year for McDowell when he came to Harbour Town and took the title.
A second-round 78 at Augusta was responsible for McDowell’s early exit, but that score masks a highly promising start to 2014 for the 25/1-shot, who has posted top 10s in four of his five other starts on tour and is looking to become the 5th back-to-back Heritage winner.
After a sensational showing at the Masters it’s no surprise to see young American Jordan Spieth and Matt ‘koooch’ Kuchar, tied second and fifth respectively, head the betting at 16s, though leftover frustrations of narrowly missing out on the sport’s most glittering prize may hold these two back.
It’s another man who made the 114-mile trip up from Georgia a little earlier than planned who catches the eye here and that’s 2012 RBC Heritage runner up Zach Johnson, another 25/1 shot.
Johnson clearly relishes one of the toughest shot-making courses outside the majors and like McDowell, has been controlling the golf ball beautifully since the turn of the year, where his tied sixth at TPC San Antonio equalled McDowell’s quartet of top 10s.
Finally, Luke Donald at 20/1, gets a special mention for two seconds and two thirds from the past five editions, but his plummet to 76th in driving accuracy in 2014 makes him hard to back so far this season.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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