The 2020 RBC Heritage took an unexpected turn on Saturday as what looked mostly like a two-horse race between Webb Simpson and Bryson DeChambeau turned into an innumerable-horse race with 35 players within five strokes of the lead going into Sunday.
Simpson played well, but with a scoring average that dipped to 68.1 on Saturday, his 68 was just better than the field average. DeChambeau did not fare as well as Simpson did as the two played in the final pairing together, and he'll have to come from deep in the pack on Sunday to have a shot. Let's take a look at the leaderboard going into Round 4 at Harbour Town.
T1. Webb Simpson (-15) -- The encouraging part for Simpson is that his tee-to-green game seems to be settling. He hit it really well on Saturday and made almost no putts at all. He's the best player of those in the top 15, and as long as he putts it average and nobody goes absolutely nuts on Sunday, he should walk away with the win. It's not exactly brave to take the favorite, but he's my pick to win in Round 4 because the ball-striking has been solid for two of the three rounds here.
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T1. Ryan Palmer, Abraham Ancer, Tyrrell Hatton (-15) -- Golf is always great, but it's certainly a lot more enjoyable for viewers when Tyrrell Hatton is involved. Hatton runs as hot as anyone in the world when he's playing poorly, and he can also get as hot as anyone in the world when things are clicking. Interestingly this week, he's picked up the lion's share of his strokes on the greens -- currently No. 1 in strokes gained putting -- which is not a sustainable way to win a tournament. After his round on Saturday, he said he doesn't feel comfortable over the ball at all even though he'd just shot 63. Does not bode well for Sunday.
T5. Daniel Berger, Carlos Ortiz, Joel Dahmen (-14) -- Another guy who's not hitting it as well as he's putting is Daniel Berger. It's difficult to envision him winning two weeks in a row given the field caliber in both tournaments, but I do love seeing him get into contention. He has one of the most unique swings on the PGA Tour, and when it's right, it's great. It was right on Saturday as he finished top 20 in strokes gained on approach shots to shoot one of six 63s in Round 3.
T8. Sergio Garcia, Joaquin Niemann, Chris Stroud, Michael Thompson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Erik van Rooyen, Corey Conners (-13) -- This is a great course for Sergio's skill set. Besides giving the quote of the week on Saturday after his third-round 65, Garcia inched his way up a packed board with birdies at three of his last four holes and eight birdies overall. He's first in strokes gained tee to green this week, which is where he should be at Harbour Town. I love seeing a locked-in Garcia shaping shots at a unique course like this one, and he'll be doing just that on Sunday knowing he needs to go fairly low to have a chance to win.
T16. Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson (-12) -- These three are among a massive group at 12 under, and one of them is going to go low on Sunday. DeChambeau hit it poorly on the back nine on Saturday and didn't make a birdie over his last nine holes, but that's an anomaly for him. Koepka and D.J. have been swinging it better this week than I've seen them swing it in a while. Both are in the top five in strokes gained off the tee. Somebody here has a 63 in them to win the event.
• This leaderboard is more compact than Jon Rahm's swing. What that likely means is that whoever makes the most putts of the top 10 or 15 guys will win the event on Sunday. Hopefully it doesn't turn into a putting contest, but it's something worth considering going into the final day.
• Harbour Town played to a scoring average of 68.1 on Saturday after averaging 68.9 on Friday and 70.1 on Thursday. Maybe that can be attributed to the removal of players who were not playing that well via the cut, but it seemed mega-soft in Round 3.
• I always like looking at who's crushing in the tee-to-green department on Saturday night but hasn't seen their score reflect it thus far. Your candidates this week are Tony Finau (-11) and Justin Thomas (-9). Both are likely too far back to win, but don't be surprised if they go deep on Sunday.