2023 RBC Heritage FRL Picks: Bet Tyrrell Hatton, Matt Kuchar as First-Round Leader
Pictured: Tyrrell Hatton. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
After an incredible Masters Tournament, where we saw Jon Rahm win his second major championship, the PGA Tour heads to Harbour Town to play the RBC Heritage. This is an elevated event, meaning there’s a $20 million prize pool and plenty of incentive for the best players in the world to remain motivated. However, having an elevated event the week after a major championship is unprecedented territory. A lot of players in the field had to play between 20 and 30 holes in rainy and windy conditions and some also felt the mental toll of grinding in contention at the Masters.
In the past five editions of this event, there have been six first-round leaders or co-leaders. Of the six, five have come from the morning wave. One came from the afternoon wave.
The weather can be a factor at Harbour Town as plenty of the holes are on the coast. It appears the wind will be 9-12 mph in the morning with gusts up to 16 mph. In the afternoon, the wind will be 16-21 mph with gusts up to 21 mph.
The history and a slight weather advantage leads me to believe players with morning tee times have the best shot to be the first-round-leader.
RBC Heritage First-Round Leader Picks
Tyrrell Hatton +5000 (DraftKings)
First-Round Tee Time: 7:33 a.m. Local Time
Tyrrell Hatton was playing some of his best golf in recent memory before he appeared to aggravate a previous wrist injury and was bounced out of the group stage at the WGC Dell Match Play. He then went on to miss the cut at the Valero Texas Open. Prior to that, he had finished fourth at API and second at The PLAYERS. In those two events, he gained 7.3 and 8.4 strokes from tee to green.
A decent showing at the Masters is enough to make me want to take a shot on him as the first-round-leader this week at Harbour Town. He finished in T34 and gained 1.64 strokes on approach at a course he’s been vocal about not liking much.
The Englishman has had success at the RBC Heritage and finished third at the stacked post-COVID 2020 event. He did so by gaining 9.3 strokes putting, which isn’t a bad thing for a first-round-leader bet. Let’s hope Hatton can catch a hot putter once again Thursday.
Matt Kuchar +5500 (DraftKings)
First-Round Tee Time: 7:44 a.m. Local Time
Matt Kuchar is having a good year and has shown he still can show up and contend at the course he’s always played well at. Kuchar is the type of golfer who knows he can only win at certain courses at this stage of his career, and dedicates his schedule to playing his best golf at those events. The Valero Texas Open is an event he’s always played incredibly well at, and he showed up to there and finished in T3. He also played great at the WGC Dell Match Play, which is a course he’s contended at in the past.
Harbour Town is another course the 44-year-old absolutely loves. He won the event in 2014 and since then, he’s had an additional five top-11 finishes. His ability to hit fairways, play strategic golf and make putts makes the course an excellent fit for Kuchar. He gets an early tee time and should get out to a hot start. I expect him to contend deep into this designated event.
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