RBC Heritage In-Tournament Picks: Is It Corey Conners' Time?

Andy Lack gives us his RBC Heritage in-tournament picks and analysis. Find out who presents the most value at the halfway point.
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RBC Heritage In-Tournament Picks: Is It Corey Conners' Time?

  • Current Leader: Patrick Cantlay (-9)
  • Course: Harbour Town Golf Links
  • Round 3 Start Time: Saturday 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3:30 p.m.-6 p.m. (NBC). Sunday, 1 p.m.-2 p.m. (Golf Channel), 2 p.m.-6 p.m. (NBC).
  • Purse: $8,000,000

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RBC Heritage In-Tournament Picks

We've officially reached the midway point of the RBC Heritage, and while many believed that we would see significantly easier conditions than last week's Masters, Harbour Town had other plans. While Thursday played -0.60 strokes under par, 20 mph wind gusts on Friday saw the scoring average soar to +1.51 strokes over par. An early glance at the Saturday forecast shows more benign conditions, with some rainfall in the afternoon. My hunch is that the course will play under par again tomorrow, and then even easier on Sunday in softer conditions.

As far as the leaderboard goes, it's a one-man show at the top. Patrick Cantlay fired an incredibly impressive 67 today to take the lead by two at nine-under-par over Robert Streb. First-round leader Cameron Young, Erik Van Rooyen, Joel Dahmen, Aaron Wise, and Cameron Tringale all lurk at six-under-par. Six more players, including Joaquin Niemann and Jordan Spieth are at five-under-par, and eight more players are at four-under-par. In total, 22 players are within five strokes of Cantlay heading into the weekend, and Harbour Town has a storied history of come from behind champions.

It feels like nearly every week, a clear favorite emerges at the halfway point. Patrick Cantlay is one of the best players in the world, so given a two-stroke lead, books are suggesting it's nearly a 50/50 proposition that he closes the deal. The five-time PGA Tour winner can be found as high as +175 at Borgata via the OddsChecker Golf Grid.

We were in a similar position with Scottie Scheffler last week, and I laid out the case for why that tournament was far from over, which proved to be a futile argument by the third hole on Sunday. I'll be frank, I actually feel more confident about Patrick Cantlay winning this event than I did about Scheffler winning last week. This is likely pre-tournament bias, as I was extremely high on Cantlay's chances all week, and I can't say I am the least surprised that he is in his current position. With that being said, I still struggle to endorse a +150 wager on him on a course that should yield far more birdies over the weekend. Instead, we'll turn our attention to chase pack and hope that Cantlay stumbles.

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Corey Conners

Let's begin with Corey Conners, another player I was extremely high on prior to the start of the tournament, who can be found as high as +2700 on FanDuel Sportsbook via the OddsChecker Golf Grid. Conners does have some work to do, as he fell back into a tie for 14th place at four-under-par after a 72 in the afternoon's difficult conditions. Conners remained a positive ball-striker, but he failed to garner any momentum with the flat-stick after a solid putting performance in round one. The argument for Conners is the same one nearly every single week. He is hitting the ball well enough to win this tournament. If we can just get some putts to drop, he will be donning the plaid jacket.

If this was so easy, Conners would already have a mantle full of trophies, as he remains one of the best ball-strikers on the PGA Tour, despite only one official victory to his name. With that being said, his potential struggle on the greens is baked into his number, and I found the price quite fair. I believe the Canadian is in a far better position to win than he was Thursday morning, yet the odds do not reflect that.

If great ball-striking was the only aspect of my selection process, Conners would be a shoo-in every single week. This event just feels different. If I was building a course for Corey Conners to showcase his best attributes, it would look a lot like Harbour Town. The 30-year-old was a fourth-place finisher here last year, and he's done just about everything but win on other shorter, a positional course such as Austin Country Club, TPC Sawgrass, Colonial, Waialae, Innisbrook, and Sea Island. It's on one of these golf courses that Conners will break through for his second victory, as they place an emphasis on Conners' two biggest strengths: accuracy off the tee and elite short to middle iron play.

If more wind was expected over the next two days, I might be inclined to go in the direction of a Jordan Spieth or Shane Lowry, but a soft golf course should play right into Conners' hands, and allow one of the best iron players in the world to go pin-seeking. Today was always going to be a challenge for Conners, and he hung tough and didn't shoot himself out of the tournament, despite falling all the way down to two-under after three consecutive bogeys. The weekend weather and turf conditions are perfect for Conners, and I expect him to be firmly in the mix come Sunday afternoon in Hilton Head.

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Patton Kizzire

My next selection is a bit more of a dart throw, but I'll take my chances with Patton Kizzire, who can be found as high as +8000 at BetMGM via the OddsChecker golf grid. Kizzire was another player that I backed pre-tournament, and while we are not getting the juicy +18000 price tag, I feel strongly he still presents value at his given number. The two-time PGA Tour winner also sits at four under par a round of 71 this one morning.

Similar to Conners, Kizzire tends to do his best work on shorter, positional golf courses. Both of his PGA Tour wins, the 2017 Mayakoba and the 2018 Sony Open, have come on narrow, less-than driver courses. The Sea Island resident has also experienced success at Colonial and TPC River Highlands. Of all these courses, I still find Harbour Town to be the best fit, as Kizzire is one of the absolute best putters in this field on over-seeded Bermuda greens. The putter has been solid again this week, and while the irons have yet to fully heat up, he is fully capable of catching fire on approach.

For five of the last seven years, the winner has come from over three strokes back heading into the weekend. When looking for a chaser, we want to identify players who can heat up in a hurry, and just a few weeks ago, Kizzire made 10 birdies in his final round at TPC Sawgrass, another short, positional, Pete Dye designed golf course with over-seeded Bermuda greens. Let's make it count this time.

RBC Heritage Picks

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Andy Lack is a PGA Tour writer and podcaster from Manhattan, New York. Andy came to OddsChecker in January 2022 after previously writing for Golf Digest, GolfWRX, Rotoballer, and the Score. Andy is also the host of a golf betting and daily fantasy podcast, Inside Golf Podcast, as well as "The Scramble” with Rick Gehman, and a recurring guest on the Pat Mayo Experience. In his free time, Andy is still grinding away at his lifelong dream of qualifying for the U.S. Amateur, and if not writing, can likely be found somewhere on a golf course.

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