The 2021 RBC Heritage returns to its original schedule spot in April and follows The Masters. The 53rd edition at Harbour Town Golf Links will have a strong field of top-ranked players near the top of the RBC Heritage odds, with more than two dozen making the short 130 mile drive from Augusta to Hilton Head Island.
Plaid pride will be on display with 20% capacity for fans attending the event. An Augusta hangover can often be in play this week, and especially for players that were in contention over the weekend at the Masters.
Others may suffer from Masters disappointment and not fully recover like Dustin Johnson, who missed the cut. Bryson DeChambeau has withdrawn from the RBC Heritage after a disappointing performance at Augusta National. As is often the case at such low odds, and applied to the Masters, the top-ranked players at the top of the market are often not worth the risk/reward when wagering to win or finish top 5 or top 10.
RBC Heritage Odds 2021
Dustin Johnson will top the odds market from +900 to +1200 at most sportsbooks; although, defending champion Webb Simpson opened as a +850 favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook after setting the event scoring record last summer at 22-under-par.
Notable Players in the Field
More golfers are playing this week following the Masters. The field is much stronger and includes five of the top-10 and 12 of the top-25 players in the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR).
After missing the cut at the Masters, Dustin Johnson, checks in at Harbour Town. He finished 17th in the event last summer.
Top players in the field include:
- Dustin Johnson (No. 1 OWGR)
- Tyrrell Hatton (8)
- Webb Simpson (9)
- Patrick Cantlay (10)
- Daniel Berger (15)
- Matthew Fitzpatrick (16)
- Billy Horschel (17)
- Paul Casey (18)
- Sungjae Im (19)
- Harris English (21)
- Tommy Fleetwood (24)
- Abraham Ancer (31)
- Kevin Na (34)
- Christiaan Bezuidenhout (35)
- Kevin Kisner (36)
- Matt Kuchar (42)
- Corey Connors (43)
- Shane Lowry (44)
- Robert MacIntyre (45)
- Will Zalatoris (46)
- Carlos Ortiz (47)
- Si Woo Kim (49)
- Brian Harman (50
- Mackenzie Hughes (51)
Recent RBC Heritage Winners and Runner-ups:
- 2020 – Webb Simpson (-22), Abraham Ancer
- 2019 – CT Pan (-12), Matt Kuchar
- 2018 – Satoshi Kodaira* (-12), Si Woo Kim
- 2017 – Wesley Bryan (-13), Luke Donald
- 2016 – Branden Grace (-9), Luke Donald, Russell Knox
Top finishers in 2020 returning in 2021:
- Webb Simpson (Win)
- Abraham Ancer (2)
- Daniel Berger (T3)
- Tyrrell Hatton (T3)
- Sergio Garcia (T5)
- Dylan Frittelli (T8)
- J.T. Poston (T8)
- Michael Thompson (T8)
- Matthew Fitzpatrick (T14)
- Ian Poulter (T14)
- Harris English (T17)
- Dustin Johnson (T17)
Golfers to watch
A strong field heads to Harbour Town following The Masters. Dustin Johnson and, particularly, defending champion Webb Simpson will attract strong betting interest as favorites, and there are seven or eight other golfers with odds below +3000 as leading contenders.
But just as we identified Matt Wallace (+11000) as a Golfer to Watch as a huge longshot at the Texas Valero Open, there are always golfers who can outperform their odds and offer value for a top finish. Wallace finished 3rd, which had odds of +2000 for a top-five finish and near +1000 for a top-10 finish.
PGA TOUR rookie star Will Zalatoris goes from a big +12500 longshot at the Masters to at the RBC Heritage following his second place finish at Augusta National.
Looking down the odds board you’ll see some players at more attractive prices that could cash in with proven profiles. The Pete Dye design at Harbour Town is not as strong a fit for many players, nor are some of the coastal winds that can come through the area. Note that on Thursday, there is a pretty good chance (70%) of rain, with potentially more steady light showers in the afternoon. .
Here are some players outside of the leading favorites to consider to win or for a top finishing position.
Paul Casey (): A good comp course for Harbour Town is Copperhead, which is the host course at Innisbrook Resort and the Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor, FL. Casey won that event in 2019. That same year, he finished T13 on Pete Dye-designed Sedgefield in the Wyndham Championship. Casey’s ball striking, approach play and Tee-to-Green game all rank top-20 in strokes gained stats versus this field over his last 36 rounds. His game is in a better place than when he missed the cut here in 2018, and he did not play in this event the past two years. Casey’s putting is improved, but his Short Game and Around the Green performance will need to be better to contend. He’ll get to watch Webb Simpson’s strong short game as they tee off in the same group Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. Casey’s ball striking and approach play are better than Webb, however, and the Englishman is capable of puting together a strong week after playing and performing well at The Masters.
Kevin Kisner (): Kevin Kisner is from South Carolina, and he’s a strong fit with his elite accuracy off the tee. The 37-year-old is not playing his best right now, though he said he hit the ball exceptionally well at the Masters Thursday before going on to miss the cut. Kisner gets the nod over Kevin Streelman and his weaker short game and putting at the same BetMGM odds. Kisner has proven success at Harbour Town with three top-11 finishes in eight starts including runner-up in a 2015 playoff loss. He’s proven he can go low with some 64’s around Harbour Town. On a similar, old-school, tree-lined course at Sedgefield designed by Pete Dye, Kisner finished T3 in the Wyndham Championship last August. His Putting and Short Game remain a real strength, and his Approach play is next best in his Strokes Gained profile. Kisner is +1400 for top-5, +700 for top-10 and +240 for top-20. We’ll find out if current form or course fit is more relevant this week as Kisner tees off Thursday afternoon at a course much to his liking.
Tom Hoge (): This shorter course is a better fit for Hoge, who finished T12 in his last event in Texas and was T22 at The PLAYERS Championship where strong shot making and Ball Striking is demanded. Hoge has not fared well in three starts at Harbour Town with two missed cuts. But his game is in a better place now with seven straight starts gaining strokes on Approach, and four straight gains around the green. He also gets a preferred early tee time on Thursday off the first tee. A top-20 finish has odds of +600 and top-10 of +1700. Hoge has a better chance to finish higher than many players half his odds. That doesn’t include South Carolina University graduate Matthew NeSmith (+20000 BetMGM), who leads the TOUR in Greens in Regulation, is an elite Ball Striker with top-5 ranking in this field on Approach. NeSmith is another good fit and overlay at very long odds who can improve on his T33 finish on debut at Harbour Town last year.
Chase Seiffert (): Here’s another Big Bertha bomb that has improved his play while posting pretty solid Strokes Gained stats over his last 36 rounds. That includes ranking No. 1 in accuracy off the tee at the recent Texas Valero Open. That’s clearly key this week, and while his Putting and Approach play let him down in his T44 finish in Texas, note he finished top-20 in his three previous events including T3 at the Honda when he was especially strong in approach, tee-to-green and overall strokes gained at 10.4 above field average. Seiffert is +4500 for top 5 finish this week, +1600 to finish top-10 and +750 for top-20. The Florida State grad has played well enough on coastal courses, and he makes his debut at Harbour Town with a preferred early tee-time Thursday off the tenth tee. On a Pete Dye design at The American Express Stadium Course in January, Seiffert was top-10 into the final round before finishing T12, which started him on his way to improved play this year and increased accuracy, better ball striking and overall strokes gained stats. Another Overlay.
Course and Tournament Information
- Course: Harbour Town Golf Links
- Location: Hilton Head, SC
- Date: April 15-18
- Par: 71 / Yardage 7,100
- Purse: $7.1 Million / Winner $1.28 M
- Fairways/Rough: Bermudagrass
- Greens: : Bermudagrass
- TV/Online: Golf Channel, CBS (Sat/Sun), PGA TOUR Live
- Twitter & Hashtag: @RBC_Heritage
- Defending Champion: Webb Simpson
Harbour Town is a favorite on TOUR with its traditional Pete Dye design. Jack Nicklaus got his start in golf course architecture as he assisted Dye in the design and building of Harbour Town in 1969. The course is also the most claustrophobic on the PGA TOUR. Hitting driver often will send you into the rough and scrambling to survive. Thus strong scramblers and chippers who can produce excellence with short irons and wedges will have more success.
Shaping shots and shot-making supersedes power. The fairways are narrow but some were widened a bit for last year’s rescheduled event. Still, Harbour Town’s trees and towering pines often block paths to the tiniest greens on TOUR. Some trees have been removed, and others lost along the closing stretch, but thinking and managing your way around Harbour Town is still a prerequisite.
Players navigate 17 water hazards which are in play on most holes, and bunkers were added to create more fairway hazards and protection around the greens. In the summer of 2015, every blade of grass on the layout had been replaced – tees, greens, rough, practice facility. The irrigation system also was replaced with the latest technology.
Key stats include driving accuracy, as golfers throttle down their tee shots, which average among the shortest on TOUR in this event. Ball placement and precision is demanded over power. Hitting greens is important, but so is scrambling, as there will be more misses on approach with players having to hit smaller targets and more often with rough or tree trouble tormenting those with more wayward shots.
There have been eight playoffs and five others with a one-stroke margin of victory in the last 22 events at Harbour Town.