RBC Heritage - Round Two
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The RBC Heritage is bunched at the top of the leaderboard with four golfers sharing the lead following a combined 21-under second round on Friday. J.T. Poston, Tom Hoge, Sepp Straka and Collin Morikawa are knotted at 11 under, just one ahead of Ludvig Åberg and others.

Scottie Scheffler -- and this should scare everyone else in the field -- is currently lurking at 8 under after a 6-under 65 in Round 2. Scheffler, of course, is going for his fourth win in five starts. He has some work to do this time around, however, with nine golfers ahead of him, including four Ryder Cup participants.

Let's take a look at the leaders as well as whether Scheffler can win for a second consecutive start coming off his Masters triumph last week.

The leaders

1. J.T. Poston, Tom Hoge, Sepp Straka, Collin Morikawa (-11)

These four golfers range from good to elite in terms of iron play, and all of them, other than Morikawa, have hit it well this week. Though I do like Morikawa on this golf course, I don't necessarily like him this week because I believe his score -- like last week -- is being held together a bit by some tremendous short game work. Morikawa is currently No. 47 in the field in approach play.

The other three are hitting it far better and all have staying at power at the top despite the lack of name recognition. The real question at the halfway point, though, is whether they can hold off the many horses in the back.

Other contenders

T5. Mackenzie Hughes, Ludvig Åberg, Patrick Rodgers (-10)
T8. Patrick Cantlay, Sahith Theegala (-9)
T10. Scottie Scheffler, Ben An (-8)

Cantlay has a history of playing well on this golf course with three top-three finishes in his last four starts here. His statistical profile through two rounds is perfect in that he's hitting the ball quite well and has not really made anything so far this week. He probably should have won this tournament a year ago, and he'll get a good look at some redemption this time around.

Ludvig is a problem

One of my favorite statistics through one or two rounds of play is which player is the highest on the leaderboard and the lowest in strokes gained putting. Enter: Ludvig Åberg, who has been more than two strokes better than the second best ball striker in the field this week, is losing strokes putting but is somehow still 10 under and very much in the mix going into Round 3. 

He's first in approach play, first off the tee and first in ball striking after 36 holes. Expect anything different from the guy with perhaps the best swing in all of golf right now?

"Obviously last week was a lot, and it was a lot going through my mind," said Åberg. "You can't really relax playing Augusta National in those conditions. So I think naturally I'm going to be a little bit tired, a little bit fatigued, but we've got two more rounds to go, and my focus is right here."

"Once I saw the golf course, this is one of the tournaments I've seen on TV for a very long time, and the golf course is very iconic, and this kind of golf makes me excited," he added about a chance to play the RBC Heritage. "It's a little bit more placing, a little bit more strategy, I guess. So I was really excited about that challenge.

Scottie ... again?

Scottie Scheffler surged into the top 10 on Friday with a 6-under 65 that he said could have been even better. He's third in the field in ball striking, to the surprise of nobody, and at three shots back is very much primed to win for a shocking fourth time in five starts. It's a stretch -- Masters, Players, Arnold Palmer Invitational and RBC Heritage -- that would rival the entire careers of big-name golfers like Rickie Fowler.

As suspected, Scheffler has snapped out of a bit of an early-in-the-week funk and looks ready to roll toward his 38th and 39th consecutive rounds at or under par on Saturday and Sunday. If he does, he could be looking at a red jack to go with his green one. 

2024 RBC Heritage updated odds, picks

Odds via Sportsline consensus

  • Collin Morikawa: 4-1
  • Ludvig Åberg: 4-1
  • Scottie Scheffler: 6-1
  • J.T. Poston: 9-1
  • Patrick Cantlay: 10-1
  • Sepp Straka: 10-1
  • Tom Hoge: 12-1

I love Cantlay in this spot. He's only two back, owns this golf course and is being underrated after a weak West Coast swing and not a lot of juice at the Masters. That 10-1 number is a good one. I also enjoy Tom Hoge at 12-1 and Rory McIlroy at 22-1.