The PGA Tour continues on this week as it visits Harbour Town Golf Links for the 2023 RBC Heritage. Co-designed by legendary golf course architects Pete Dye and Jack Nicklaus, Harbour Town is a Par 71, 7,121 yard layout that first opened in 1967 and has played host to the RBC Heritage each year since 1969. With some of the smallest Bermuda grass greens on tour, Harbour Town is a course that sets up for elite ball strikers. Last year’s edition was won by Jordan Spieth, who fired a final round 66 to defeat Patrick Cantlay in a playoff and don the illustrious Plaid Jacket for the first time in his career.
Player to Fade:
Winner of the 2003 U. S. Open, Jim Furyk is no stranger to success at Harbour Town, winning the RBC Heritage twice in his career, to go along with 8 top 10’s and 10 top 25’s in 23 tournament starts. A mainstay on the Champions Tour now, Furyk has been holding his own this season, with 1 top 10, 3 top 25’s, and 0 missed cuts in 5 starts. Consistently one of the shortest hitters in his PGA Tour career, Furyk is averaging just 252.4 yards off the tee this year on the Champions Tour. Even though Harbour Town is geared more towards accuracy than length off of the tee, the amount of A-listers in the field this week is off the charts and the majority of them will be consistently blasting it 40 yards or more past Furyk on each hole. Furyk will always be a fan favorite, but we predict that he will miss the cut this week.
It’s hard to say a player ranked inside the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking is an underdog, but with 39 of the top 50 in the OWGR and 29 of the top 30 in the FedEx Cup standings playing this week, that makes J.T. Poston exactly that. Poston has had a solid season to date, with 3 top 10’s and 7 top 25’s and in 15 starts, including 2 top 10’s in his last 3 starts. Poston has dominated at Harbour Town in his brief career, with 3 top 10’s in 4 starts. Poston also fits the ball striker mold, hitting an absolutely majestic 69.69% of his greens in regulation, good enough for 14th of tour this season. A win is certainly on the table with his past successes here, but with a field as stacked as it is this week, another top 25 finish is certainly within reach.
Patrick Cantlay has done pretty much everything but win on tour this season, with 4 top 10’s, 7 top 25’s, and just 1 missed cut in 9 starts. Like Poston, Harbour Town has been a playground for Cantlay in his career, as he has had 3 top 5’s and 4 top 10’s in 5 starts, highlighted by a runner-up finish to Jordan Spieth here last season. Cantlay’s game is pretty solid all through the bag right now, as he is ranked inside the top 10 in Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee, Tee-to-Green, and Total. Cantlay is a threat to win anytime he tees it up, but with his track record at Harbour Town, he is an even bigger threat to win. A top 10 showing for Cantlay this week is a lock.
Fresh off of a top 10 finish at the Masters, Cameron Young has been on a heater of late, with 3 top 10 finishes in his last 4 starts, to go along with 6 top 25 finishes and 0 missed cuts in 10 starts this season. Young may have only one prior start at Harbour Town, but he made the most of it, finishing T-3 here last season, narrowly missing out on the playoff between Spieth and Cantlay. Young has the game to contend, ranking inside the top 20 in Strokes Gained: Approach the Green, Off-the-Tee, and Tee-to-Green. Young also has a boost from a recent caddie switch, as he recently started working with Paul Tesori, who used to caddie for Webb Simpson, a former winner at Harbour Town. Young is one of the elite ball strikers on tour and he has done everything but win in his career, but we predict that that will change this Sunday when Cameron Young picks up his first career PGA Tour victory and slips into the coveted Plaid Jacket!