Harbour Town Golf Links has been the sole venue for the event and Arnold Palmer won the first edition of the tournament. Harbour Town Golf Links along with the Ocean Course and Heron Point make up the Sea Pines Resort.
The RBC Heritage is one of only five tournaments given “invitational” status by the PGA Tour and consequently it has a reduced field of only 132 players. The other four tournaments with invitational status are the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the Fort Worth Invitational, the Memorial Tournament and The National. Invitational tournaments have smaller fields of between 120 and 132 players.
Harbour Town Golf Links was designed by golf course architect Pete Dye with the assistance of Jack Nicklaus. The course consists of narrow fairways, overhanging oaks, pines, palmettos and dark lagoons. It is a Par 71 course that is 7,101 yards from the back tees which is relatively short by Tour standards.
Harbour Town’s primary defence is its slick and firm Bermuda grass greens that are small in size. The average green at Harbour Town is 3,700 square feet while the average square footage of greens played on Tour is 6,600 square feet.
At Harbour Town Golf Links finding fairways is key and there is a demand for shot-shaping. Scrambling will also be important as the smaller than average greens will be missed. Harbour Town is very often wind-affected and an ability to play in blustery conditions is essential. Water is in play on half the holes.
Last year Wesley Bryan captured his first PGA Tour title at Harbour Town Golf Links. He had six birdies and two bogeys in a closing 67 to finish on -13 (271). Luke Donald finished a further shot back in solo second. It was his third runner-up finish in the tournament in four years. After the final round Bryan had this to say;
“I’m going to remember this for a long time, I feel like I was missing greens and scrambling but still managed to make a good score of it”
Bryan finished the week with a negative Strokes Gained Off-The-Tee but countered this with his Strokes Gained Approach-The-Green gaining nearly 8.5 strokes on the field average. He finished the week T50 for Driving Accuracy, T55 for Driving Distance, T66 for GIR and T11 for Strokes Gained Putting.
“I think my chipping and my wedge play was superb today.”
A look at the breakdown of his strokes gained for the tournament shows that 42% of his total strokes gained came from his short game and another 37% from his putting. His other stats for the tournament include T39 for Driving Distance, T50 for Driving Accuracy, T14 for GIR and 10th in Strokes Gained Putting. He finished the week T1 for Birdies shooting 18 in total (including 7 on his way to a final round 66).
In 2016, Jim Furyk shot an -8 (63) in the final round to secure his place in a playoff. He held off Kevin Kisner on the second playoff hole to win his 17th PGA Tour title. He won with a combination of superb approach shots and clutch putts. He finished the week T7 in Driving Accuracy, T10 in Greens in Regulation, 11th in Strokes Gained Putting and 1st in Scrambling.
The RBC Heritage is a tricky test of golf and this week is all about accuracy over power.
RBC Heritage Betting Tips 2018