RBC Heritage

Lighthouses and Heavy Hitters

I don’t have time to wax poetic about the Masters. Next year I’m going to have to hammer some truck stop caffeine pills Sunday night and put out a recap newsletter while it’s all still fresh. I DO have some takes thought, I’ll try to keep them to under 10 words each.

  • The App - Rough Start, Still the Best

  • LIV Golfers - Great Thursday from Bryson, a few stinkers though

  • Jon Rahm - Seemed sad, I think he wins at Valhalla

  • Rory - Eating alone on Masters Tuesday again next year

  • Scottie - Tour better hope his new baby is a fussy sleeper

  • Zach Johnson - 1000% cussed out the Patrons, confirmed liar

  • Xander - Ceiling: 2nd, Floor: 10th. In perpetuity.

  • Verne - I don’t know Augusta without him, going to be missed

  • Coverage - I watched more on the app than CBS, fewer ads

  • Max Homa - Should win a major in the next few years

  • Ludvig - Wins this week, wins a major in ‘25

  • Nicolai Højgaard - Also wins this week, in Puntacana

  • JT - Ejection for the ages

  • Tiger - Still so good ARG, gutty Friday performance

  • Tiger Shaking Tree’s Hand Memes - ELECTRIC

  • Neal Shipley - WHAT ARE YOU HIDING?

We spent a little more time on it in the Betting Show Tuesday morning. Went right into our Harbour Town handicap as well, built a model, and talked about the seven guys we had bet outright between us. Hell, we even took a look at Noonan’s Corales model for the week.

The brevity of the Augusta takes has inspired me a bit to mash my handicap for this week into a small package as well. Three quick thoughts on what’s needed to beat this course.

  1. Accuracy: Tight fairways, water hazards, small greens

  2. Distance: Less important off the tee, but you’ll need the long irons

  3. Scrambling: the rough isn’t tough, but you’ll find yourself out of position

As for the tournament itself, I’m still not in love with the no-cut events. Top-end fields are fun, but I like the Friday sweat. Still an iconic closing hole and a fun track for sure.

The cannons have been fired, so let’s let Ron lay out a little more about this course via an excerpt from his weekly Betsperts Golf preview:

Harbour Town

Characterized by numerous doglegs, overhanging trees, a wide array of devilish bunkers, and minuscule greens, Harbour Town Golf Links is a coastal par-71 course that measures 7,213 yards. It is a relatively flat course with fairways flanked on all sides by a variety of trees including palmettos, oaks, and pines. There might not be a greater contradiction in courses played in consecutive weeks on Tour than going from the expansive, lengthy, and undulating Augusta National to the claustrophobic, concise, and level Harbour Town. It ranks as the 17th-shortest course on Tour.

As the Bermudagrass is still dormant this time of year, the tournament is played on fairways and rough overseeded with ryegrass. In years past, the rough has typically been minimal at only 0.75″, and more like the first cut at Augusta National. Last year the Tour gave it a massive increase up to 2.5″. This year the rough is back down to 1.25″. Greens are the second-smallest on Tour at an average of only 3,700 square feet. They are overseeded with Poa Trivialis and run around 11.5 on the stimpmeter.

Scoring overall can be a challenge here. Subtracting the 2020 event which had an ultra-strong field and was also played on Bermudagrass during the summer, the last five events have played 0.34 strokes under par. This ranks Harbour Town as the 16th toughest course on Tour.

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Some good, some bad last week. I won the sweatiest (No Hole in Ones) bet there was to make and the least sweaty (Xander to top ten). No outrights thanks to Scottie being a machine, I fell one short on LIV players to make the cut, but did cash a price on Phil to find the weekend. Overall, can’t be mad and happy to get back to just firing away on a matchup for the week.

The last one at the Valero was a PUSH, leaving the matchup bets YTD at 9-5-1, +3.46u

RBC Heritage Best Bet: Tony Finau > Justin Thomas -110 (DK)

Friday’s ejection aside, Finau has been the better golfer over most of the samples I’m looking at. The main issue I have with Justin on a positional golf course like this is his tee shots getting him in trouble. He may play some nice golf at times this week, but I expect him to end up “in jail” a few times and put up some big numbers once or twice a round.

I created a quick “driving accuracy model” on the Rabbit Hole looking at Total Driving, Good Drive %, Driving Accuracy % and Distance from the Edge of the Fairway over the past 12 months AND just for 2024 just to sanity check what I’ve been seeing and for the most part, JT falls well behind the pack in most categories.

Of course, as always, if you’d like to try out some modeling of your own, head over to BetspertsGolf.com and give it a look. You can use Promo Code NEWSLETTER for a 25% discount on a monthly subscription.


Winds will kick up in the afternoons for sure, but we likely won’t see conditions like we did last Friday at Augusta. After that debacle, I’m not sure I should even try to look at the weather anymore.

Some rain chances over the weekend, but with the smaller field size, I would think the odds of a delay or Monday finish are much lower.

It doesn’t appear to have rained much in the past couple of weeks, so I’ll be attempting to get some course conditions from folks on site to see if it’s playing a bit firmer than normal, but for now, I don’t see a bit wave advantage either way.

News and Notes

I have a million tweets bookmarked from the weekend, but they won’t all fit, next year may just be a daily article of my favorite Masters memes of each day. But, since we’ve moved on, it’s worth watching the ceremonial cannon shots at Harbour Town. I went on about how most tournaments need stuff like the old timers tee shots at the Masters, and with the new schedule, I’m immediately rewarded.

This was a nice “the internet provides” moment for me. While watching Thursday, I thought “Man, Jack’s bag is cool, I wonder where he got it” and lo and behold, this tweet came across my feed.

Presented without comment, but good for these guys I guess.

Chart Time. This is a good reminder how fleeting dominance can be. For you younger readers, Rory was on quite the run himself a decade or so ago. So, just because it feels like Scottie is going to win all the time for the next 10 years, doesn’t make it so. Golf is hard.

If you’re not reading Michael’s long ramblings yet, you should. Very nice insights from a guys who’s been.


As always, bet responsibly, have fun, and enjoy the golf.

Do me a favor and…..