Corey Conners, of Canada, watches his putt on the second green during the final round of the Masters golf tournament on Sunday, April 11, 2021, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
- The RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head, South Carolina tees off Thursday, April 15th
- Webb Simpson is the +1800 favorite to take the first round lead over Dustin Johnson
- See the best bets and odds to grab the first-round lead in the article below
A week after the world’s best competed at the Masters, the PGA Tour heads to Hilton Head, South Carolina for the RBC Heritage. Despite being contested immediately following a major championship, the field is strong with five of the top-10 in the world competing.
Dustin Johnson is the favorite to win despite his recent slump, but defending champion Webb Simpson is the odds-on favorite to grab the lead after 18 holes. This course is tight and short compared to most venues on tour, taking the driver out of players hands in favor of more precision golf.
In this article, we’ll explore which players have the best chance of being the leader after day one at Harbour Town Golf Links, along with what players are playing well on Thursday’s this season.
2021 RBC Heritage First Round Leader Odds
|Golfer||Odds at DraftKings||Tee Time|
Odds as of April 13th
The forecast is expected to see some showers periodically throughout the day, with a probability of precipitation at 80 per cent. It’ll be mid 60’s temperatures in the morning and getting as high as mid 70’s for the afternoon competitors.
Those playing in the morning will catch a more docile wind, with gusts up to twelve miles per hour, reaching higher for the afternoon wave at 18 miles per hour.
Another benefit for those teeing it up early Thursday is the exact same as it is every week – less bumpy greens with fewer players chewing them up.
Corey Conners Playing Red Hot
In his last four stroke play events, Canadian Corey Conners has been fantastic, and appears ready to win his second tour event. In those instances, he was third at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, seventh at the Players Championship, T-14 at the Valero Texas Open and T-8 at the Masters.
It’s hard to argue with his tremendous strokes gained numbers during that span, which will bode well at a course that demands precision.
Corey Conners’ Strokes Gained Rankings In Last 24 Rounds
|Ball Striking||Tee-to-Green||Total||Off-the-Tee||Approach||Putting||Short Game|
After struggling in his first three attempts at Harbour Town, he figured out this course in 2020, finishing in a respectable tie for 21st. He’s twelfth in SG: off-the-tee and 14th in total strokes gained on the campaign.
- Pick: Corey Conners (+4000)
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Russell Henley a Fast Starter
Russell Henley has been no stranger to the first page of the leaderboard on Thursday’s this season, ranking T-4th with an average opening day score of 69.08.
In four events this season, he’s opened up with a round of 67 or better, including his last stroke play event, where he fired a 64 to put him in a tie for second after 18 holes. He eventually would place T-3rd for the tournament, so he’s playing very well coming in.
2020-21 PGA Tour First Round Scoring Average Leaders
|2. Webb Simpson||68.91||+1800|
|T-4. Cameron Smith||69.08||+4000|
|T-4. Russell Henley||69.08||+5500|
|6. Patrick Cantlay||69.09||+3300|
|T-7. Brian Harman||69.27||+4000|
|13. Emiliano Grillo||69.41||+6600|
|15. Russell Knox||69.65||+9000|
|16. Chris Kirk||69.69||+6600|
|17. Tom Hoge||69.72||+10000|
|T-24. Doug Ghim||69.80||+9000|
In the last 24 rounds, Henley ranks a respectable 16th in SG: approach and 22nd in total strokes gained. He’s also posted a T-6 at this championship in his career.
- Pick: Russell Henley (+5500)
J.T. Poston Has Recent Success at This Track
Oddsmakers aren’t showing J.T. Poston much respect for the first round lead or to win this event outright. That is likely due to the fact that in the last four Thursdays his best round was a 74.
However, digging deeper into the last two times he’s competed at this track sheds light on him potentially being a great steal.
Poston’s Strokes Gained Rankings In Last Eight Rounds at RBC Heritage
|Short Game||Total||Around-the-Green||Tee-to-Green||Putting||Off-the-Tee||Ball Striking|
He placed very high in both of those tournaments, finishing T-6th and T-8th the last two years. His last six rounds have all been in the 60’s, and the other two rounds were 71. Something about this venue brings out the best in Poston, who has those two top-10’s in his only two appearances at the RBC Heritage.
- Pick: J.T. Poston (+9000)
Michael “Hound Dog” Harrison is well known in the sports industry as the resident statistician for the SC with Jay Onrait Show. He has worked at TSN for over 13 years, where he’s been featured on Sportscentre, That’s Hockey, That’s Hockey 2Nite, The Masters preview shows, and several more.