Table of Contents
By Alex Lauzon from the “Course of Life” podcast
Decompressing at Harbour Town
The Masters hangover is real, and boy oh boy did the first major on the calendar deliver. Now, as we exhale and look onward with our plays this PGA Tour season, we head to the pillowy soft landing that is the RBC Heritage at the classic Harbour Town Golf Links venue we all know well by now. It’s a unique week and course that doesn’t look like anything else on Tour, and it’s got 20 million reasons to be excited this season.
The Masters brought us a healthy amount of LIV vs. PGA Tour drama, the run of Phil the Thrill to Masters relevancy, and a very deserving champion in Jon Rahm. As for my card that I touted so heavily, I led with Rahm winning all week and he failed to disappoint. It tallies as my 5th outright winner of 2023 on the PGA Tour but arguably the most unimpressive because everyone saw it coming. The haters don’t think we’ll follow up nailing the Masters winner with another winning ticket, so we have to deliver for the RBC Heritage.
Sea Island Paradise
It’s a shame that the RBC Heritage is played just a week after The Masters because the beauty at Harbour Town golf links is never to be overlooked or underestimated at any time of year. It’s tough to follow up Augusta, but Harbour Town does a damn good job. The longtime host of the event dates back to 1969 on the same grounds on Hilton Head Island. This tournament has always been “the little engine that could” on tour, bringing in surprisingly good fields and dramatic finishes over the years despite its handicapped calendar positioning. The event was finally rewarded for its consistency and resiliency by being deemed as a designated event – guaranteeing big purses and loaded fields at The Heritage for years to come.
It’s the week after a major, but because of its newly designated status, the players are in town. There was a rather auspicious WD from Rory on Monday, but outside of that, the top guns are all in line at the Heritage including Masters Champion Jon Rahm and Scottie Scheffler. The field also boasts players coming off solid performances at The Masters like 2022 RBC Heritage champ Jordan Spieth, 2022 runner-up Patrick Cantlay and Collin Morikawa.
Forecasting the Heritage
Based on the run of champions here in recent years, this course lives on with the reputation of catering to finesse-driven, short-hitting players. Where else on tour could Brian Gay win by a whopping TEN shots, or Stewart Cink in 2021 by four? Spieth, Webb Simpson, Kuchar, Furyk…all of these guys aren’t bombers by any stretch, and they play with creativity. I don’t say this often, but it’s “drivers away” for most of the week at The Heritage, so let the short game competition begin.
1. Who’s hot and trending – recent high finishes, top-10 streaks, and consistent play are never a bad thing.
2. Horses for courses – players love certain courses and course familiarity and experience are invaluable in a field of the world’s best.
3. What the numbers tell you this week – while I’m far from analytical, there’s always a tournament darling or two scattered across the golf talk stratosphere that stuns on paper.
4. Intangibles – while this allows for theater of the mind, there’s a mysterious optimism surrounding that feels “due” or if the price looks just right for buying.
At ANGC, I delivered the goods but I can’t act like it was an unexpected outcome. Jon Rahm is my 5th outright W on the year but it was in the cards all week. I would have loved to see more of my roster filter into the top 10 but it wasn’t meant to be. I’m a tough grader, so despite the outright winner, the team picks were a B+. On to the next.
(Wanna start a Pick-X pool with your friends? Learn more here! Or, if you’re looking to start your own PGA One-and-Done pool, check those out here) (Hint: the main difference between the two is how many players you’ll pick each week)
1: Patrick Cantlay – despite constant criticism for slow play, Cantlay’s form has been intact in recent weeks. He came ever so close to winning here last year here and should be a factor on the weekend.
2: Xander Schauffele – Small targets, chipping required, and not a bomber’s course…all of these factors lead me to the Olympic gold medal winner.
3: Shane Lowry – Following good form at Augusta, Shane has a great track record at this course and was just a shot away from the playoff here last year.
4: Rickie Fowler – Probably a bit irked he missed out on the Masters, but this is a good iron and wedge-friendly track for Fowler to continue his solid form in 2023.
5: Adam Scott – A ball striker for a ball striker’s course – no recent form at the Heritage by choice but his irons were working at The Masters last week.
6: Kurt Kitayama – Despite winning at Bay Hill last month, Kitayama still comes in underappreciated at a low price.
RYP One and Done Pick: Patrick Cantlay
Where to watch: Golf Channel and CBS all week. Looking forward to boat shots galore and plenty of oceanside vibes to have you wanting that next beach vacation.
Why to watch: It’s immediately following The Masters, but this event is played on a gorgeous South Carolina layout and has designated status. Mo Money, Mo Stars.
What to eat: Down in the low country it’s likely Shrimp and Grits or some tasty BBQ to get you through the day.
Purse: $20 million
Winner’s Share: $3.6 million
How do PGA Golf Majors Pools work?
In PGA Golf Majors Pools, member select six golfers to compete on a roster over the course of an event. The member with the best combined score from the six golfers wins.
Can you include all four majors into one pool?
Yes, but your commissioner can also customize these setting with RunYourPool. Pools can include up to all four majors, repicking golfers each time or adding bonus points for finishing positions
How do I assemble a roster?
Golfers are broken up in to six tiers, as members select one golfer per tier to be on their Major roster.
What happens to golfers who miss the cut?
Any PGA Player who does not make the cut will be given the highest score of Round 3 and Round 4, respectively.
What are the four golf majors?
The Masters is the first major of the season, in April. The PGA Championship and the U.S. Open follow, with the British Open ending as the final major.
How do PGA One and Dones work?
Members in a pool select one golfer to win a tournament, but can't pick that golfer again for the rest of the season. The member with the best score at the end of the season wins.
What is a PGA One and Done pool?
A PGA One-and-Done Pool is a contest similar to Survivor Pools, in which members can only select a golfer one time per season for events.
Which tournaments are played for PGA One and Dones?
Pool commissioners can set up the season for as many or as few tournaments as desired. Go crazy and do all of them! Or dial it back for the major events. As commissioner of a RunYourPool contest, you decide which events to play in!
How to run a weekly golf pool?
In order to run a golf pool, you must first crown yourself as Pool Commissioner. Begin by picking a game type like One and Done or Pick-X Pools. You'll want to establish rules before inviting friends, family, and colleagues to join. As commissioner, you make the rules and also need to enforce them equally and fairly.
How do golf Pick-X Pools work?
Members select a certain number of golfers per tournament, set by the pool commissioner. The member earns the total winnings that their selected golfer won for the tournament. Whichever member earns the most winnings over the duration of the season wins.
What is a golf Pick-X Pool?
A Pick-X Golf Pool calculates tournament winnings rather than strokes gained when deciding a winner. This amplifies the big name events that feature a higher prize purse.
How to run a golf pool?
How you decide to run a golf pool varies greatly depending on the game type. In each case, however, you'll want to determine the rules and settings before you begin inviting members to join you. You'll want to clearly establish how score will be kept, how tiebreakers work, and how winners are decided before anything else.
What is a prop bet?
Prop bets are any sort of pick or wager on a game that has nothing to do with the score or the final score outcome. Props can range from game types, to team types and even player types - such as who will score the game's first and last touchdowns? Other props, such as novelty or exotic, feature bets on things such as the coin flip or the Super Bowl Halftime Show.
How do Masters Prop Bets Pools work?
Pool members simply fill out a wide range of prop questions, each question worth a different value. Commissioners decide on the point value for each question, along with the amount of questions. Whichever member earns the most points based on corret answers wins the pool.
When is the Masters?
The Masters is typically in April and the first major of the golf season. The 2023 Masters is set for Thursday, April 6 and will run until Sunday, April 9.
Where is the Masters played?
The Masters is annually held at the Augusta National Golf Club located in Augusta, Georgia, USA.