The RBC Heritage is always a nice Masters reprieve as we try and recover from some of the most intense golf of the year. This year's event should be especially good as new RBC ambassador Dustin Johnson joins the usual suspects in Hilton Head. I'm excited to see what D.J. can do on a short course like this and thrilled for what should be one of the best ball-striking events of the year.
What: RBC Heritage | Where: Hilton Head Island, South Carolina | When: April 12-15
Field and odds
- Dustin Johnson: 8-1
- Paul Casey: 14-1
- Matt Kuchar: 18-1
- Cameron Smith: 22-1
- Adam Hadwin: 22-1
- Webb Simpson: 25-1
- Marc Leishman: 25-1
- Patrick Cantlay: 28-1
- Brian Harman: 28-1
- Kevin Kisner: 28-1
Field strength: C+
It's not a good field, but it also has the No. 1 player in the world. I don't expect much the week after a major championship, either.
Three stories to watch
1. D.J. rolls in: Johnson has played this event before, but not for nearly a decade and never well (79, 79, 76, 71 are his four scores here). A new RBC sponsorship roped him into this year's tournament, and I'm pretty fascinated to see how it goes. Obviously Johnson's game is prodigious, but this is a different course from where he normally excels. Still, it could be fun to watch him shape shots in a way he's normally not asked to do in order to try and win this event. Not only is he a better player than he was last time he came here, but he's a much different one, too.
2. Augusta bump: Great pull here from PGATour.com that only one of the last five champions here have skipped the Masters the week before. Most of the top players in the field this week play the Masters so it makes sense, but it's certainly something to remember when you're making picks.
3. Father, son and son: Davis Love III, a five-time champion here, and Dru Love will tee it up this week in the same tournament, which means three generations of Loves will have played this event. Davis Love Jr. played it in the last 1960s. That's pretty cool, even if neither has a real chance at winning.
"It means a lot," Dru Love told reporters. "It's my family's favorite tournament, his favorite, my mom's favorite, sitting by the beach and the pool. It's my favorite for watching golf."
- 2017: Wesley Bryan
- 2016: Branden Grace
- 2015: Jim Furyk
- 2014: Matt Kucahr
- 2013: Graeme McDowell
This is what you might expect a list of RBC Heritage winners to look like. Short hitters with strong short games and iron play.
Genesis Open picks
|Winner: Kuchar has made his last 14 cuts here, is playing quite well so far this year with three top 10s in the last three months. He has not finished outside the top 11 in his last four appearances at Hilton Head, according to Rob Bolton of PGATour.com. Odds: 14-1 |
|Top 10: This should be renamed the Luke Donald Invitational. Donald has seven (!) top-three finishes at this tournament in the last 10 years Seven! Odds: 40-1 |
|Sleeper: DeChambeau nearly won here in 2016 after his Masters debut, and he's been playing terrific golf so far this season. He comes into the week ranked No. 15 in strokes gained tee to green. Odds: 40-1 |