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RBC Heritage Expert Picks

Picks for the RBC Heritage, how will the #1 golfer on the tour play at Hilton Head?

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

RBC Heritage
When: April 14th - 17th
Where: Harbour Town Golf Links
2015 Winner: Jim Furyk (-15)


The format of this will go: I will select golfers based on the Yahoo format. I will select one A golfer, 2 B golfers and 1 C golfer that I think will do well as well as one dark horse pick, this should space out the selections and provide a vast field to select from for anyone who is in a format where you are limited to 10 starts per year.

Harbour Town Golf Links - Designed by Pete Dye in 1969, Harbour Town displays seven different types of grass! Being on the water, wind plays a role in the play of the course, additionally the course taunts golfers which strategically placed waters tempting them to make the jump to risk gaining a stroke or playing it safe. Due to this, wedge play, composure/hit selection and accuracy are major contributing factors in this tournament.


A: 
Jason Day -I have some small concerns about fatigue (especially with Jason) as the Masters can take a lot out of a golfer and he showed signs of physical distress during the tournament. The last two years he's taken at least one week off before returning to a tournament.  With that said, he's number one in the world and had a few rough holes down the stretch at the Masters that he will be eager to bounce back from. His history here is good with RBC with a 30th finish in 2013 and a 9th place finish in 2011. I could see this going one of two ways with either fatigue kicking in or a  strong bounce back, I lean towards the bounce back. (note: it's not that the Masters was bad but he was visibly frustrated with his overall play)

B: 
Brandt Snedeker - Yup I'm going with some bigger names this week. Brandt put up a similar performance to Jason at the Masters (10th) but he seemed generally pleased with it. He's having a solid 2016 campaign with no missed cuts, including a first place finish, 2nd place finish, 3rd place finish (all in January) then more recently a 9th place finish at match play and of course his 10th place finish at the Masters. His game has been evenly strong across the ranks from solid driving (38th in efficiency) , to going for the green in regulation (81st on the tour) to putting (11th on the tour).

Jerry Kelly - The 27 year vet out of the University of Hartford, Jerry is having a good season. He has one missed cut in 2016 and more to his strength has taken the last two weeks off to prepare for RBC where he has a good track record. He finished 18th here last year, 31st here in 2014, 5th in 2013, 29th in 2012, 36th in 2011 and 59th in 2010. He's 4th on the tour in driving accuracy and 92nd in approaches from within 200 yards. He struggles with his putting game but has the accuracy and history here to excel. It's not a flash pick but he has a solid chance for a top 25 finish.

C:
Paul Casey - There are two prevailing options here. Paul Casey and Graeme McDowell. Casey has 3 top ten finishes in his last four matches with a great wedge game while Graeme has missed cuts in 3 of his last four tournaments but has finished in the top 26 here the last three consecutive years (including a win in 2013). I'm going with the hot hand of Casey who finished 18th here in 2014. I trust his wedge game to help him succeed here. Paul looked to be in great form with his 4th place finish at the Masters, much like Jason, I hope he's not fatigued.

Sleeper Pick:
Matthew Fitzpatrick -
If you watched the Masters (which I'm guessing most of you did) then you might have seen the 2nd year English vet out of Northwestern University who finished 7th. So far this year he has one missed cut, two finishes in the 30s, one in the 20's and then a 7th place at the Masters his game looks to be improving each week and while he doesn't have the distance on his drives, he's very accurate (10th) which will come in handy on the turns along the water where it gets particularly windy. His scrambling game both from sand and rough is strong implying he should be able to adeptly use his wedge at RBC (which he proved with his 23rd place finish here in 2014). He won't be able to make the lofty jumps that can boost you ahead in this tournament but he could be a "risky-safe" pick to do well given his experience in contrast with his style of play.

Last tournament results - The Masters (89 total) - Picks: Scott, Stenson, Kisner, Schwartzel and Willet 
A: 42nd place
B: 24th place; 37th place
C: 63rd place
Dark Horse: 1st place

YTD Avg: (Average field of 125 people)
A: 41st place 
B: 33rd place
C: 49th place
Dark Horse: 44th place