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BlogWho will win at Hilton Head on Sunday?

RBC Heritage

April 17 – 20, 2014

Harbour Town G.L.

Hilton Head, S.C.

Par: 71 / Yardage: 7,101

Purse: $5.8 million

with $1,044,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Graeme McDowell

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

Things you need to know before Sunday’s final round:

Happy Easter to all.  One note, we will not have a who will win Zurich next week. Sorry going up for an old friends memorial service and I will probably not be in any shape at this time next week.  We will be back to week after on the Wells Fargo.  Thanks.

So does this mean Luke Donald is back?

In a way it does means he is back.  So what happen to him?  In 2011 he ruled the world, not only winning the money titles on both the PGA Tour and European Tour, but he took over the number one spot in the world rankings.  Going into 2012 the world was his for the taking and for some odd reason, probably taking it easy and spending those millions of dollars that he earned his game was not the same.  Maybe that’s a bit unfair, but after four wins in 2011 Donald got off to a terrible start in 2012.  In mid-March when he won the Transitions Championship, followed two months later with a win at the BMW PGA Championship, the biggest championship on the European Tour, things looked great and many thought he’d have a great finish of the year and repeat what happened the previous year.  But that win in Wentworth in 2012 would be his last, he made a lot of money and finished the year with six top-tens in his last ten starts but it just wasn’t the same.  Donald also had another problem, that meaning his play in major championships which he was stymied again with getting close but really no cigar.  Things got worst in 2013 and when he missed the cut at the PGA Championship in Rochester he realized that father-time was slipping away and his game was in no shape for majors.  Donald needed to change his game, strengthen his long game and he put his career in the hands of Chuck Cook who got Donald to hit the ball with his turn instead of his hands.  In November Donald saw some results winning in Japan, but progress on the European and PGA Tour has been slow.  Things got better with a T8th at the Honda Classic, then a T4th at the Valspar Championship but he had a setback when he missed the cut at the Masters.  So in a way a week after disappointment he is showing signs that he could possibly win this week.

What is Donald track record at Harbour Town?

His record is good with two runner-up finishes and a couple of thirds.  So it’s really not a surprise that he is on top going into the final round.

So what is Donald doing right?

Hitting lot’s of greens, you do that and as we said in our preview you go on a win.  He is T2nd in greens hit and hitting the ball an average of 30 feet away.  He has made the most birdies of anyone but with his experience on this course he has to be the favorite.

But is he the favorite?

To many he is but to insiders he may not be.  In 2011 he led going into the final round and wasn’t able to close it out, losing a playoff to Brandt Snedeker.  Donald just has a problem when he is close going into the final round and that is not sealing the deal.  So in a way I can see that happening again on Sunday.  Sorry to have wasted all this time with the conclusion that Donald may blow some shots down the stretch but that’s the reality of Luke Donald.

So it’s back to the drawing board, if not Donald who then???

Again it’s wide open, I can see anyone within six of the lead doing it, that’s 20 other players.  John Huh is in second two shots back and can do the deed.  He won in Mexico two years ago, beating Robert Allenby in a eight hole playoff so he knows how to win.  Charl Schwartzel is three back and been there many times and you know he won’t be easy on Sunday.  There is also Nicholas Thompson who hasn’t won but has the family thing pointing in a good direction because his sister Lexi won the Kraft Nabisco two weeks ago.  So he has that good karma working for him.  But the person we should all look out for is Jim Furyk.  I said it in my preview, he plays well at Harbour Town and his game is steadily getting better the last month.

So what about Matt Kuchar?

God if there ever was a person that should win this week it should be Kuchar.  The last three weeks he was in the cat bird seat and had a terrible final round, you know this rotten streak can’t continue.  On Sunday he is T7th and four shots back which means he needs a 65 or better for a chance so it would be great if he can do it after what he has gone through.  Maybe knowing that he has to come from behind is better for him instead of being among the leaders.

Who else?

We never talked about Ben Martin, who is T3rd at 5 under but has no track record with just two top-tens in 41 starts, but you have to start someplace.  He did finish 3rd at Puerto Rico last months so you never know if divine intervention will take place.  Russell Knox who is at 4 under you may remember was in that four way playoff at the Honda Classic, so if the leaders have problems Knox could be in the right place at the right time.  Tied with him is Brian Stuard and Brian Harman, I don’t see any of them doing it but again you just don’t know.  Rounding out those at 4 under is Matt Every who backed into victory at the Arnold Palmer when Adam Scott went wrong in the final round.  So it should be a very interesting final round.

Below is a list of the top-33 players on the leader board going to one under which is 7  shots back of Luke Donald.

Of the top-33 on the leaderboard, who is play the best:

Player Masters Shell Houston Valero Texas Arnold Palmer Valspar Champ. Puerto Rico Honda Classic WGC Cadillac Northern Trust AT&T Pebble WGC Accenture Phoenix Open Farmers
Matt Kuchar
(339 pts)
T5
(140)
2
(100)
T4
(53.33)
DNP T38
(8)
DNP DNP T13
(18.5)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T9
(22.5)
DNP DNP
Jim Furyk
(181 pts)
T14
(72)
DNP T6
(40)
DNP T20
(20)
DNP DNP T62
(0)
T23
(9)
T35
(5)
T5
(35)
DNP DNP
Kevin Stadler
(154.67 pts)
T8
(100)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T47
(1.5)
T23
(9)
T45
(1.67)
T33
(8.5)
Win
(44)
DNP
Matt Every
(131 pts)
CUT
(-20)
DNP DNP Win
(88)
T8
(33.33)
DNP T24
(8.67)
DNP T6
(20)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T37
(4.33)
DNP
Jason Kokrak
(101.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
T31
(12.67)
4
(53.33)
T14
(24)
DNP T41
(3)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T19
(10.33)
DNP T15
(11.67)
DNP
Chesson Hadley
(99.33 pts)
DNP DNP T56
(0)
T26
(16)
T14
(24)
Win
(44)
T24
(8.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T10
(13.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
Luke Donald
(97 pts)
CUT
(-20)
T24
(26)
DNP DNP T4
(53.33)
DNP T8
(16.67)
T25
(12.5)
DNP DNP T33
(8.5)
DNP DNP
Russell Knox
(88.33 pts)
DNP DNP T26
(16)
T43
(4.67)
T25
(16.67)
DNP T2
(33.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T27
(7.67)
DNP DNP T10
(13.33)
Graeme McDowell
(83.83 pts)
CUT
(-20)
DNP DNP T10
(26.67)
DNP DNP T46
(1.33)
T9
(22.5)
DNP T7
(18.33)
T5
(35)
DNP DNP
Charley Hoffman
(83.33 pts)
DNP T37
(13)
T11
(26)
DNP T25
(16.67)
DNP DNP DNP T12
(12.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T61
(0)
T7
(18.33)
Ryo Ishikawa
(81 pts)
DNP T31
(19)
CUT
(-6.67)
T8
(33.33)
T25
(16.67)
T19
(10.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T7
(18.33)
K.J. Choi
(74.67 pts)
T34
(32)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T60
(0)
T44
(4)
DNP DNP DNP T12
(12.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T42
(2.67)
T2
(33.33)
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano
(73.5 pts)
T26
(48)
DNP DNP T35
(10)
DNP DNP T24
(8.67)
T54
(0)
T35
(5)
DNP T33
(8.5)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
J.B. Holmes
(70.33 pts)
DNP T12
(38)
T64
(0)
T10
(26.67)
T54
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T52
(0)
T61
(0)
DNP T58
(0)
T23
(9)
Charl Schwartzel
(70 pts)
CUT
(-20)
T19
(31)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T9
(22.5)
5
(23.33)
DNP T17
(16.5)
DNP DNP
Brian Harman
(56 pts)
DNP T58
(0)
T16
(22.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
T25
(16.67)
DNP T58
(0)
DNP T3
(30)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Kevin Streelman
(40 pts)
T42
(16)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP T38
(8)
DNP DNP T25
(12.5)
T35
(5)
DNP T33
(8.5)
T53
(0)
DNP
Martin Kaymer
(33.17 pts)
T31
(38)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T58
(0)
DNP DNP T33
(8.5)
T53
(0)
DNP
Nicholas Thompson
(31.67 pts)
DNP T24
(26)
CUT
(-6.67)
T26
(16)
T44
(4)
CUT
(-3.33)
T33
(5.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T71
(0)
Richard H. Lee
(18.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
T62
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T4
(26.67)
DNP DNP T45
(1.67)
T10
(13.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Geoff Ogilvy
(13.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
T11
(26)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T29
(7)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T29
(7)
CUT
(-3.33)
Rory Sabbatini
(8 pts)
DNP DNP DNP WD
(-3.33)
T70
(0)
DNP T33
(5.67)
DNP DNP T64
(0)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T23
(9)
Billy Hurley III
(3.33 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP 5
(23.33)
DNP T52
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP
Ted Potter, Jr.
(3.33 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T20
(20)
T29
(7)
T41
(3)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Brian Stuard
(-1.67 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP T60
(0)
CUT
(-6.67)
T43
(2.33)
T24
(8.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP T53
(0)
T28
(7.33)

How Player Rankings are Computed

Of the top-33 on the leaderboard, who isn’t playing well:

Player Masters Shell Houston Valero Texas Arnold Palmer Valspar Champ. Puerto Rico Honda Classic WGC Cadillac Northern Trust AT&T Pebble WGC Accenture Phoenix Open Farmers
Matthew Fitzpatrick
(-26.67 pts)
CUT
(-20)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
John Huh
(-25.33 pts)
CUT
(-20)
T37
(13)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP DNP DNP T35
(5)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Ken Duke
(-23 pts)
CUT
(-20)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T82
(0)
DNP T63
(0)
DNP T52
(0)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T29
(7)
DNP
Bo Van Pelt
(-14 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
T26
(16)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Robert Allenby
(-11 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-6.67)
DNP T32
(12)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP T29
(7)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-3.33)
Woody Austin
(-11 pts)
DNP DNP CUT
(-6.67)
T70
(0)
T44
(4)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
T45
(1.67)
DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Scott Brown
(-9 pts)
DNP DNP T36
(9.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
64
(0)
T75
(0)
DNP T45
(1.67)
CUT
(-3.33)
DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)

How Player Rankings are Computed

In Conclusion:

Another week and another leader that has to go out and prove himself.  For Luke Donald he has been through a lot the last two years, to go from the best player in the world to an after thought in many peoples minds is tough.  Yes he makes millions a year but for guys like Donald winning is important.  This is a perfect spot for him to win and he should win but he still has to shot 70 on Sunday to have a chance.  As for John Huh, again think that it will be important for him to be in back of the leaders coming down the stretch and have to work for it.  He could easily be there if the leaders do a final stretch collapse.  Charl Schwartzel may not of won much over in the United States but he knows how to win in Europe and Africa, he should do well. As for Matt Kuchar, again things are in his hands, he needs to go low for any chance.  Now that leaves us with Jim Furyk, who hasn’t won since the Tour Championship in 2010 and has blown a lot of tournaments, including the PGA Championship last year and the U.S. Open in 2012.  Look for him to finally do the deed.

Who to watch for on Sunday at the RBC Heritage

Best Bets:

Jim Furyk

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T42 T8 T21 Win CUT 4 CUT 2 T2 T10 T15

Has a lot of great memories of this course, has been playing better of late, look for a great week out of him.

Charl Schwartzel

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
First time playing in this event

Watch him, this course is perfect for him and he could very easily win.

Just have my doubts:

Luke Donald

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T3 T37 2 T3 T2 CUT T69 CUT

Just don’t think he is going to win, he should with his track record on this course and playing well, but for some reason he doesn’t get the deed done.

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
First time playing in this event

Wouldn’t it be great to see him win:

Matt Kuchar

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T35 T44 T21 T14 T48 T7 T61 T10 T32 CUT

He has screwed up the last three weeks when he is close, it would be great to see him come out of the pack and get a win. Can he do it, yes. But he has to play really well to do it.

Others that could come through:

John Huh

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
CUT

Has been there before with his Mayakoba win two years ago. Don’t think he can win it by leading all day, he needs to back into a victory.

Nicholas Thompson

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T48 CUT T37 71

Odds are really long on him but if his sister can win a major he can win on the PGA Tour.

Russell Knox

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
First time playing in this event

Knows what it’s like to be close after getting into the playoff at Honda, but again he needs to back into a win.

Matt Every

2013 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T83 T8 CUT

A low round could do it for him.

Comments

  1. Billy Whitesell says:

    Always appreciate the hard work you do. Happy Easter ! You have made this site a must for golf bettors!

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