The 2019 RBC Heritage is coming on the heels of a historic Masters tournament in which even the threats of inclement weather and a forced reschedule of final-round start times couldn’t rewrite the storybook ending that was Tiger Woods‘ first Major win since the 2008 US Open and his fifth-ever green jacket victory.
This week’s field can breathe a sigh of relief as Tiger isn’t present. Sportsbooks took proper notice of his return and the spike in public interest, as his odds to win this year’s remaining three Majors have plummeted. This is a good thing for more serious bettors for the remainder of the 2018-19 golf season. The odds will be higher for the rest of the field in any event in which Tiger participates.
The field remains quite impressive for this week’s RBC Heritage, led by freshly (re)crowned World No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head, SC is widely regarded as a favorite of many players on tour. The 7,099-yard, par-71 course will host the event for the 51st consecutive year. Designed by Pete Dye with help from Jack Nicklaus, Harbour Town features three par 3s of more than 190 yards.
Multiple-time winners since 2000 include Jim Furyk, Boo Weekley, Stewart Cink, and Davis Love III. 2018 champion Sotashi Kodaira – who won in a playoff over Si Woo Kim – seeks to join that group.
The 2019 field as of Monday, April 15 includes three others from the top 10 in the world other than DJ, with Francesco Molinari, Bryson DeChambeau, and Xander Schauffele all making the trip. Recent champs Kodaira, Branden Grace, Furyk, Matt Kuchar, and Graeme McDowell are also scheduled to attend.
Key stats to consider for the 2019 RBC Heritage
Looking at statistical trends from each of the past four leaderboards via Fantasy National, the key stats of Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green, Strokes Gained: Ball Striking, Strokes Gained: Short Game, Bogey Avoidance, Proximity from 100-125 Yards, and P3 Efficiency: 175-200 Yards have been most strongly correlated with success.
Five of the last seven champions of the RBC Heritage dating back to 2012 either didn’t participate in or missed the cut at the Masters the week prior. Two of the winners ranked outside the top 65 in the Official World Golf Ranking at the time of their victories, and only Furyk in 2015 and Kuchar in 2014 ranked inside the top 10.
2019 RBC Heritage: Sleepers and value bets
Here’s a look at the best longshot bets, and DFS sleepers for this week’s RBC Heritage at Harbour Town.
Lucas Glover +5500 (FanDuel Sportsbook)
Glover ranks fourth in my model this week when looking at the most recent 50 rounds for every player in the field; he’s third in Bogey Avoidance and ninth in SG: Tee-to-Green.
The 39-year-old has been a staple at this event and has played it each year since becoming a regular on the PGA Tour in 2005 with a top showing of seventh in 2008. He has four top 10s in 12 events this season.
Knox is another fixture in Hilton Head. He’s finished outside the top 18 just once in the past five years and has two top 10 showings in that time. He ranks seventh overall in my model with a top rank of sixth in the key proximity distance.
He’s made 11 of 12 cuts in 2018-19 finishing inside the top 50 on nine of the occasions in which he made it to the weekend.
Conners earned a trip to his first Masters Tournament with his victory at the Valero Texas Open. He then finished T46 at Augusta National after spending the majority of Thursday near the top of the leaderboard.
He’s a strong DFS option on DraftKings with a salary of just $7,300.
2019 RBC Heritage: The winner
Dustin Johnson is a clear favorite with +750 odds after his T2 at Augusta and reclaiming the No. 1 spot in the OWGR from Justin Rose. Molinari (+1500) and DeChambeau (+1900) are also in good spots against a weaker field. But better value exists just below.
Cantlay outscored Woods by five over the weekend in Augusta, finishing T9 for his fifth top 10 of the season. He finished T3 in Hilton Head in 2017 and T7 a year ago and ranks in the top 10 in three of the six key stats coming into this week.
For DFS, the 27-year-old is just the sixth-most expensive golfer on DraftKings and seventh on FanDuel and is a great building block for lineups.