Matt Kuchar is one of four bets for this week's RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links.
Harbour Town Golf Links is the venue once again for the Heritage tournament and I for one welcome the return of a shot makers course. Augusta, for me is the hardest major of the year to land the winner simply because of the amount of potential winners. The field may be small and only twenty possible winners, but choosing from that twenty still proves to be a difficult task. Places like Harbour Town suit punters like ourselves a lot more as there is a certain make up of a golfer that does well around here. Straight hitting off the tee is a paramount. Trees and rough await those who stray and it inevitably costs shots. Winners down the years such as Furyk, Kuchar, McDowell and Gay simply tell us that accuracy is of extreme importance around Harbour Town.
Jason Day holds favouritsm at 6/1. His record around Harbour Town isn't the best and that is not surprising as his game is more suited to a different test. Unless Jason takes a different strategy off the tee then I suspect he will come up short here again. Although the world's top 5 golfers have been winning pretty much everything of late, I don't feel the price on offer about the Australian is anywhere near enough value for us to bet.
With Matt Kuchar's
driving in such excellent form it is hard to get away from his chances this week. He has a win posted here in 2014 as well as three other top ten finishes. He has just missed one cut here in his time. Kuchar thrives in these conditions and considering he topped the driving accuracy stats last week at a whopping 82% he should be in prime shape off the tee to capitalise on Harbour Town.
His win ratio on tour is always a slight worry but at these spots where he is likely to contend he must be closely looked at. He has a whole host of form on Pete Dye courses as well so this is truly set up for the happiest man in golf. I find it hard to believe that Paul Casey is ahead of him in the betting in an event like this. Kuchar has all the tools for Harbour Town and rates my top bet of the week.
Matt Kuchar - 2.5pts e/w @ 22/1Lost -5pts
I was closely invested in Brandt Snedeker
last week and followed his every move around Augusta. In rounds two and three he hit 86% of fairways of those days. The other two slightly less so, however the amount of times he hit it right down the centre of the fairway was impressive. Snedeker has a lot more confidence nowadays after gaining 5-10 yards with his new driver and ball. He feels he is getting everything out of his long game as physically possible. What let him down last week was his approach play. He never gave himself enough opportunities to score birdies so was constantly under pressure to hole from five feet and in for par. He did so with regularity. Heading to Harbour Town with his driving behaving so well I believe Sneds must be supported this week once again. He has a few sketchy performances dotted around his win here in 2011 but I would not be surprised to see him as a multiple winner of this event come Sunday.
B.Snedeker - 1.5pts e/w @ 18/1Lost -3pts
I didn't expect to see 40/1 quoted about Branden Grace
this week. Grace missed the cut last week but that isn't of great concern as Augusta certainly isn't his place to shine. He can be expected to contend the other major championships this year and his name would not look out of place on the roll call of winners at the Heritage. Prior to the Honda Classic in late February, Grace had landed one win and another five top five finishes in his previous 8 events. Since then he has contested on courses that haven't been perfectly suited to his game.
Harbour Town is very tight off the tee and we're taking a gamble that Grace gets it right as from time to time he can be a bit wayward. The wind is likely to blow all week and conditions will be tough enough so I fully expect Grace to lick his lips at the prospect of winning this event. He finished 7th on debut last year and is simply overpriced to better that effort.
B.Grace - 1pt e/w @ 40/1Won 50pts
With a second place here in 2013 and two other top15 finishes at Harbour Town I'm prepared to take a punt on Webb Simpson
this week. He ranked half way down the field for putting last week and that is not to be sniffed at for Webb who has had sever problems in that department. He may just be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Since the turn of the year he has made 5 of 7 cuts, and posted three top20 finishes. A top 30 in the Masters can be seen as a success also as Augusta is certainly not his place to thrive. He hit 71% of fairways last week which suggests he is in good enough nick to off the tee to give himself a chance around here. Risky one I must admit but there is every chance Webb is turning a corner.
W.Simpson - 0.75pts e/w @ 66/1Lost -1.5pts