Betting Analysis

RBC Heritage picks 2023: Ignore the Patrick Cantlay haters

April 11, 2023
 during the final round of the 2023 Masters Tournament held in Augusta, GA at Augusta National Golf Club on Sunday, April 9, 2023.

Following a "brutally slow" final round on Sunday at the Masters, Patrick Cantlay has become public enemy No. 1 on Golf Twitter. If betting has taught us anything over the years, you should ignore the noise and consider him this week at Harbour Town.

Two of our experts are considering him, as we look to hit back-to-back winners as a panel. Shoutout to Brandon Gdula and Andy Lack, who each hit on Jon Rahm at +950 to win at Augusta National. Let's make it two in a row in Hilton Head.

Scroll down to see who we like this week at the 2023 RBC Heritage.

RBC Heritage picks 2023: Our Experts’ Outright Predictions

Anonymous Caddie Picker of the week: Jordan Spieth (22-1, DraftKings) — Jordan seems to cost himself the Masters with a few holes every year, but Sunday was a phenomenal day for him—and he’s ready to defend his title from last year. The iron play is elite, the putter is getting better, so there’s no reason why he shouldn’t get a back-to-back win like so many players have done at other events in the past year.

Pat Mayo, DraftKings/Fantasy National, Mayo Media Network analyst: Sungjae Im (25-1, DraftKings) — It’s been long enough in between wins—where better for Sungjae to get Win No. 3 than at a short, Bermudagrass course. That’s his thing. He comes in riding hot irons, picking up strokes on the field at Sawgrass and Augusta, which is perfect timing to match the +2.9 strokes gained/off-the-tee he has averaged in four appearances at Harbour Town.

Brandon Gdula, FanDuel/numberFire managing editor: Xander Schauffele (25-1, FanDuel) — We’re seeing the odds drift too much for Schauffele, who had top-10 irons and wedges last week at Augusta en route to a T-10. Schauffele’s driver is the main drawback for him lately, and it’s the one stat that we can downplay most at Harbour Town.

Rick Gehman, data scientist and founder: Patrick Cantlay (12-1, DraftKings) — It’s worth noting that Cantlay is an equipment “free agent,” not tied to any single company and playing whatever clubs he feels most comfortable with. Since getting dialed-in earlier this year, he’s been one of the best ball-strikers in the world. Over his past 20 rounds, he’s gaining two strokes per round ball-striking, second to only Scottie Scheffler during that stretch, per the golf database. Now he returns to Harbour Town where he has four top-seven finishes in his five career trips.

Stephen Hennessey, Golf Digest dep. managing editor: Patrick Cantlay (12-1, DraftKings) — All the talk is about Patrick Cantlay’s slow play (which he defended on Tuesday), but let’s not lose sight of how well Cantlay’s hitting it right now. His ball-striking stats since Riviera have been insanely good, and he gained nearly six strokes on approach last week at Augusta, per The putter needs to just be a slight positive, but he’s had some spike weeks here at Harbour Town in the past en route to a runner-up (last year) and T-3s in 2019 and 2017.

Christopher Powers, Golf Digest staff writer: Cameron Young (22-1, DraftKings) — With three top 20s in his past four starts, including a T-7 at Augusta, Young seems like the obvious choice to break through here. Add in the fact that, unlike some other names at the top of the board, Young has wisely not played in consecutive weeks since February up until this one. It’s just about time to peak, something he almost did here a year ago when he finished in third.

Andy Lack, and Inside Golf podcast: Collin Morikawa (18-1, DraftKings) — I have long felt that Harbour Town was the perfect golf course for Collin Morikawa and that it was only a matter of time before he claimed victory at the iconic Pete Dye venue. The two-time major winner remains one of the most accurate drivers of the ball in the world, as well as, pound for pound, the best short-to-middle iron player in the world as well. These are two skill sets that are incredibly important at Harbour Town. Golf courses like Torrey Pines and Bay Hill accentuate what Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy do best, but golf courses like these are where Morikawa should really shine.

Past results: The panel had gone a bit cold since Christopher Powers hit on Chris Kirk at 30-1 to win the Honda Classic, but that changed at the first major of the year. Both Brandon Gdula and Andy Lack correctly predicted Jon Rahm’s Masters win at +950, giving Gdula a panel-leading three on the year (Scottie Scheffler 13-1 at WMPO, Tony Finau 16-1 at the Houston Open) and Lack his first as a member of the Golf Digest expert picks column. Everybody clap it up for Andy. That gives us five outright winners as a squad this season, and we plan to make it six at Harbour Town.

RBC Heritage picks 2023: Sleepers/Dark Horses Who Could Win

Caddie: Tom Hoge (100-1, BetMGM) — This is a big course-history venue, and interestingly he hasn’t had a great record here to speak of. That shouldn’t care you away. Hoge is going to bag a victory sooner or later—he’s one of the best approach players in the world and gets a short layout that requires precision into these tiny greens.

Mayo: Tyrrell Hatton (40-1, DraftKings) — While a T-34 at The Masters isn’t exactly great, it was evidence enough that Hatton has now put the wrist discomfort he sustained before the Match Play to rest. The Brit’s gained on approach at The Heritage three straight years, and enters driving the ball far better than any point over that span.

Gdula: Brendon Todd (170-1, FanDuel) — Todd’s game is limited, primarily due to a lack of driving distance. But if you look just at irons, wedges, and putting, he’s a top-15 golfer in the field over the past 50 rounds, according to datagolf.

Gehman: Sam Stevens (180-1, DraftKings) — The PGA Tour rookie is finding his stride right now, earning three top-15 finishes in his last four starts – highlighted by a T-3 in Puntacana and a runner-up finish at the Texas Open. He gained 8.55 strokes on approach in Texas, per the golf database – the best mark of his young career. He’ll be well-rested and confident heading into this week.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Russell Henley (45-1, PointsBet) — Henley’s coming off a T-4 at the Masters that was powered by some elite around-the-green and putting, but his ball-striking has been good the past few events. Henley’s at his best on shorter, wedge fest courses like Waialae and Sedgefield where he should have victories in the past few years. The around-the-green gains should help him here at Harbour Town, where he had a T-9 in 2021.

Powers, Golf Digest: Chris Kirk (80-1, Caesars Sportsbook) — Can we get the Kirk double dip? Why the hell not? He’s coming off a sneaky solid Masters, and he has some decent history at Harbour Town, which rewards Kirk’s style of point-A-to-point-B play.

Lack: Adam Hadwin (125-1, BetMGM) — There’s a lot to like about Adam Hadwin this week, and I simply believe his outright number is too high. He’s one of the most accurate drivers of the ball in this field on shorter courses, and he already boasts two top-15 finishes this year at elevated events, including the Players Championship, another short, positional Pete Dye track.

RBC Heritage picks 2023: Players We’re Fading

Caddie: Jon Rahm (10-1, DraftKings) — The obligations that come with winning any major—let alone with the Masters—cannot be ignored. Rahm will be glowing this week regardless of where he finishes.

Mayo: Jon Rahm (10-1, DraftKings) — You gotta think he’s primed for a let down a week after winning the green jacket right? RIGHT??????

Gdula: Justin Thomas (26-1, FanDuel) — The irons and putter were bad for Thomas at Augusta last week, and while he’s played pretty well at this course over his career, the short-game concerns are big enough to find him overvalued even at 26-1 right now.

Gehman: Tony Finau (25-1, DraftKings) — With the new schedule on tour, golfers are highly incentivized to play these elevated events. I think it’s worth noting that Finau has rarely “chosen” to play here and probably for good reason. He missed the cut in 2015, and finished T-39 in 2016. He did play in 2020 (T-33) but so did everyone—that was one of the first events back after the COVID shutdown. I’m not even sure Finau believes this is a good spot for him and I will act accordingly.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Jon Rahm (10-1, DraftKings) — It’s narrative street to be fading the World No. 1 player after last week, but that’s a big part of a week after a major. No one would be surprised if he coasts through this week.

Powers, Golf Digest: Justin Thomas (26-1, FanDuel) — Something has felt off with him all year and his Masters MC, even in poor weather, didn’t change that feeling for me.

Lack: Jon Rahm (10-1, DraftKings) — While Jon Rahm was incredibly kind to us in this column last week, I cannot imagine how much his winning performance at Augusta took out of him physically and emotionally. Now the two-time major winner travels to a course that actually de-accentuates his best skill-set, and will take his favorite club, the driver, out of his hands on many holes. Rahm has built-in advantage on many PGA Tour courses, but Harbour Town is not one of them.

RBC Heritage picks 2023: Matchups

Caddie: Sungjae Im (-120) over Tony Finau (DraftKings) — Sungjae’s peaking right now, whereas Finau hasn’t been able to take advantage of his stellar iron play. I’ll take Sungjae’s complete game on a Bermuda course over Finau who has a tendency to find trouble even on these less-than-driver courses.

Mayo: Sam Burns (+100) over Matt Fitzpatrick (DraftKings) — Despite winning a few weeks back, Burns continues to be undervalued in both the outright and matchup betting markets. Yes, he does have incredible downside, this we’ve seen. But so does Fitzpatrick. And any time you can get Burns on Bermuda, he always has the out of putting his way to a H2H win.

Gdula: Tyrrell Hatton (-118) over Shane Lowry (FanDuel) — Lowry has played Harbour Town well in the past, but Hatton has solid results here, too. The ball-striking gap narrowly favors Hatton; the short-game gap really favors Hatton.

Gehman: Matt Kuchar (+130) over Shane Lowry (Bet365) — Both have stellar records around Harbour Town but Kuchar has been doing it for over a decade. He’s made the cut in 15 (!!) straight starts at this event and has gained strokes from tee-to-green in 13 straight. He’s rewarded for his precision at this course and his recent form has also been impressive. He’ll enter this week with two straight top-10 finishes.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Gary Woodland (-110) over Keith Mitchell (PointsBet) — Woodland feels a little disrespected in the market after his great Masters finish, whereas Mitchell is coming off a really tough weekend. Woodland gained 5.25 strokes on approach last week, per, whereas Mitchell lost 5.31 on approach.

Powers, Golf Digest: Tom Hoge (-110) over Christiaan Bezuidenhout (DraftKings) — While Bez has been solid this season, Harbour Town is quite simply the most Tom Hoge golf course in the history of Tom Hoge golf courses. End of handicap.

Lack: Scottie Scheffler (-110) over Jon Rahm (DraftKings) — I’ve already alluded to the emotional hangover potential for Jon Rahm just a few days after claiming his green jacket. Scottie Scheffler, on the other hand, should be as fired up as ever after hitting the ball well enough to contend at Augusta. A faulty putter of course held him back from true competition against Rahm, but I imagine he gets a small slice of revenge this week in Hilton Head.

Matchup Results from the Masters: Lack: 1 for 1 (Lowry (-120) over M.W. Lee); Hennessey: PUSH (Niemann (-130) over T. Kim); Caddie: 0 for 1; Mayo: 0 for 1; Gdula: 0 for 1; Gehman: 0 for 1; Powers: 0 for 1

Matchup Results from this season (Wins-Losses-Pushes): Gehman: 14-7-2 (up 5.54 units); Hennessey: 13-9-1 (up 3.11 units); Lack: 8-5-0 (up 2.37 units); Caddie: 11-11-1 (down 0.34 units); Powers: 11-11-1 (down 0.63 units); Mayo: 8-14-0 (down 6.51 units); Gdula: 8-14-1 (down 7.06 units)

RBC Heritage picks 2023: Top 10s

Caddie: Cameron Young (+250, DraftKings) — He hasn’t quite gotten over the hump for the victory, but it’s coming soon. He has nine top-10 finishes in full-field events worldwide since his T-3 here last year, and I’d expect him to be in the mix again.

Mayo: Shane Lowry (+320, DraftKings) — After another masterful ball striking performance at Augusta National, Shane Lowry has now finished inside the top 10 percent of the field in SG/tee-to-green in four of his past five starts. It’s not like it was a bunch of jabroni tournaments either: Genesis, Honda, the Players, and The Masters. He couldn’t putt any of those weeks. The one week he actually could, at Bay Hill? He magically lost the ability to drive and hit irons. Golf’s super weird. Now, beyond gaining the most strokes per round on Pete Dye courses, Lowry’s finished top 10 at Harbour Town three of the past four years, and has actually gained on the greens in four in his five starts lifetime. One of these weeks everything is going to align for him, so why not at a place where it’s almost already happened multiple times before?

Gdula: Max Homa (+360, FanDuel) — Homa’s approach, around-the-green and putting stats are some of the best in the field, and that puts him in a good position to bounce back after a letdown at Augusta. Homa’s got two top-10s in his past four stroke-play events and four of them in his past seven.

Gehman: Ben Martin (14-1, DraftKings) — Martin is playing the best golf of his life right now, making six straight cuts and piling up four top-15 finishes during that stretch. He’s gained strokes ball-striking in eight of his last nine starts and while he ranks outside the top 140 in driving distance on tour, he’s inside the top 50 in accuracy. That’ll be a valuable skill-set this week at Harbour Town.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: JT Poston (+550, DraftKings) — Poston had a respectable T-34 finish at Augusta at a course that’s very long for his skillset. He thrives on shorter courses where his wedge play and short game can shine—and he has three top-10s here in four appearances.

Powers, Golf Digest: Rickie Fowler (+500, DraftKings) — This feels like a little buy-the-dip situation with our boy Rick, who I once swore off of. But it’s officially impossible to ignore his approach numbers, Fowler gaining strokes with his irons in 10 straight measured events, per FantasyNational. That has resulted in six top-13 finishes in those 10 starts and him being the favorite at the Valero. Now we can get him 5-1 to top 10 in a field that’s already lost Rory McIlroy and will likely be getting a B- performance from Jon Rahm.

Lack: Sungjae Im (+260) (DraftKings) — Sungjae Im is quietly playing some incredible golf this season, and he is coming off a 16th-place finish at the Masters, where he gained strokes in all major categories, including 3.4 on approach. Harbour Town is the type of golf course that should fit his skill set well, and Im is the number one player in this entire field off the tee on shorter golf courses. Due to elite accuracy off the tee, the two-time PGA Tour winner is one of the biggest risers when placed on more shorter, positional golf courses. I expect Im to rise to the occasion this week and find himself firmly in the mix come Sunday afternoon in Hilton Head.

Top-10 results from the Masters: Everyone: 0 for 1

Top-10 results from this season: Gdula: 8 for 23 (up 14.1 units); Gehman: 7 for 23 (up 10 units); Mayo: 6 for 22 (up 6.1 units); Hennessey: 5 for 23 (up 4.35 units); Lack: 4 for 13 (up 2.5 units); Caddie: 6 for 23 (up 0.5 units); Powers: 2 for 23 (down 14.9 units)

RBC Heritage picks 2023: One and Done

Gehman: Collin Morikawa — Harbour Town is one of the best courses on the schedule for Morikawa who only has one flaw – lack of distance. That’s not going to matter this week as driving accuracy will be more important than distance, then most golfers will play their second shots from the same spot into small greens. That’s the perfect set-up for Morikawa coming off a top-10 finish at the Masters, marking his fifth such finish in his last nine starts.

Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Emiliano Grillo. Sanderson Farms Championship: Sam Burns. Shriners: Taylor Montgomery. Zozo: Sungjae Im. CJ Cup: Matt Fitzpatrick. Bermuda: Denny McCarthy. Mayakoba: Viktor Hovland. Houston Open: Aaron Wise. RSM Classic: Brian Harman. Sentry TOC: Cameron Young. Sony Open: Hideki Matsuyama. American Express: Brian Harman. Farmers: Jason Day. AT&T Pebble Beach: Maverick McNealy. WMPO: Scottie Scheffler. Genesis: Justin Thomas. Honda: Sungjae Im. API: Rory McIlroy. Players: Jon Rahm. Valspar: Justin Rose. WGC-Match Play: Cameron Young. Valero: Rickie Fowler. Masters: Jordan Spieth.

Hennessey: Jordan Spieth — Everything seems to be clicking for Spieth. His comments on being tired last week are probably being overblown—he’ll have had multiple days to recharge and contend once again at Harbour Town.

Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Cam Davis. Sanderson Farms Championship: Denny McCarthy. Shriners: Emiliano Grillo. Zozo: Hideki Matsuyama. CJ Cup: Sungjae Im. Bermuda: Mark Hubbard. Mayakoba: Viktor Hovland. Houston Open: Jason Day. RSM Classic: Brendon Todd. Sentry TOC: Patrick Cantlay. Sony Open: Matt Kuchar. American Express: Brian Harman. Farmers: Will Zalatoris. AT&T Pebble Beach: Seamus Power. WMPO: Collin Morikawa. Genesis: Justin Thomas. Honda: Chris Kirk. API: Keith Mitchell. Players: Rory McIlroy. Valspar: Adam Hadwin. WGC-Match Play: Tyrrell Hatton. Valero: Nick Taylor. Masters: Scottie Scheffler.

Powers: Rickie Fowler — I convinced myself on Rickie in the top 10 column. He is hitting his irons well enough to hang in an elevated event.

Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Sahith Theegala. Sanderson Farms Championship: J.T. Poston. Shriners: Sungjae Im. Zozo: Hideki Matsuyama. CJ Cup: Tyrrell Hatton. Bermuda: Russell Knox. Mayakoba: Thomas Detry. Houston Open: Sepp Straka. RSM Classic: Davis Riley. Sentry TOC: Xander Schauffele. Sony Open: Gary Woodland. American Express: Cameron Young. Farmers: Taylor Montgomery. AT&T Pebble Beach: Maverick McNealy. WMPO: Sungjae Im. Genesis: Collin Morikawa. Honda: Chris Kirk. API: Will Zalatoris. Players: Patrick Cantlay. Valspar: Justin Suh. WGC-Match Play: Tom Kim. Valero: Matt Kuchar. Masters: Tony Finau.

About our experts

Pat Mayo is an award-winning video host and producer of long and short-form content, and the host of The Pat Mayo Experience daily talk show. Mayo helped create the golf stats and research website Fantasy National along with the Race for the Mayo Cup One and Done contest. Mayo won the 2022 Fantasy Sports Writing Association Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year and is a finalist for three FSWA Awards in 2023 (Best Podcast, Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year). His 27 FSWA nominations lead all writers this decade and are second-most all-time. Follow him on Twitter: @ThePME.

Brandon Gdula, managing editor and analyst for NumberFire, a FanDuel daily-fantasy analysis company, recently won the 2018 FSWA Golf Writer of the Year. Gdula also co-hosts the DFS Heat Check podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @gdula13.

Rick Gehman is the founder of and the RickRunGood YouTube Channel, is one of the industry’s leading experts on golf DFS and gambling. Gehman is co-host of the First Cut Podcast and appears regularly on the Pat Mayo Experience golf podcasts. Follow him on Twitter: @RickRunGood.

Andy Lack is a PGA Tour writer and podcaster from New York City who now resides in Los Angeles. He hosts Inside Golf, a twice weekly podcast focused on the PGA Tour, betting, daily fantasy, golf course architecture, and interviews, as part of the BlueWire podcast network. As well as contributing to Golf Digest, Andy is also a data analyst and writer for, where he covers PGA Tour betting and daily fantasy. He came to Golf Digest’s betting panel after previously writing for, the Score and GolfWRX. In his free time, Andy can likely be found on a golf course. Follow him on Twitter: @adplacksports