STIXApril 16, 2019

The stat that predicts success at the RBC Heritage, year after year

The Honda Classic - Round One
Sam GreenwoodPALM BEACH GARDENS, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 28: Lucas Glover on the sixth green during the first round of the Honda Classic at PGA National Resort and Spa on February 28, 2019 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

The RBC Heritage might be considered a respite for many players after the pressure of Masters week, but to win the event there can be no let up when playing around the greens. Harbour Town’s notoriously small greens mean fewer greens in regulation than at most events, placing a high premium on the ability to get the ball up-and-down. In the past six years, the winner has been no worse than T-13 in scrambling for the week and three of the champions—Wesley Bryan in2017; Jim Furyk in 2015 and Graeme McDowell in 2013—have led the field in that stat. Who is most likely to add to the every-other-year winning while topping the field in scrambling? We look at the five players in the RBC Heritage field with the best scrambling numbers so far this year and the highest-lofted wedge they use.

Sam Greenwood

Lucas Glover
Wedge: Titleist Vokey SM5, 60 degrees
Scrambling: 70.45 percent After some lean years, Lucas Glover has found a successful formula that has him 29th in earnings on the PGA Tour. That recipe is hit greens (he ranks 10th in greens in regulation on the season) and then get up and down when he misses. The tour’s leader in scrambling uses a 60-degree Titleist Vokey SM5. The club boasts a raw finish--a favorite of many tour pros as it reduces glare—and has an M grind with 8 degrees of bounce. The M grind is one of Vokey’s favorites and is designed for players that like to rotate the club face open and closed to manufacture shots around the green.

Sean M. Haffey

Jonathan Byrd
Wedge: Titleist Vokey SM6, 60 degrees
Scrambling: 69.64 percent Like Glover, Jonathan Byrd uses an older Vokey model, this one a 60-degree SM6. Byrd’s scrambling numbers stand out in two areas. He’s money from 10 to 20 yards, ranking third on tour from that distance, converting 33 of 42 tries, and also from rough , where he ranks on ninth on tour. His SM6 features loft-specific grooves to optimize spin for the type of shot being played.

Richard Heathcote

Aaron Baddeley
Wedge: Titleist Vokey Spin Milled, 60 degrees
Scrambling: 69.02 percent If Aaron Baddeley is within 20 yards of the hole, odds are he’s making par—or even birdie. On his chipping from the fringe stats, Badds is two under par for the season, quite the accomplishment and first on tour. He also ranks second in scrambling from 10 to 20 yards. Baddeley’s Titleist Vokey Spin Milled 60-degree wedge has a raw finish and 12 degrees bounce. It also has two holes where material has been removed in the back heel and toe areas to help raise the center of gravity for a more controlled flight.

Stacy Revere

Jim Furyk
Wedge: Callaway Mack Daddy 4, 60 degrees
Scrambling: 67.70 percent One of the tour’s shortest hitters off the tee, Jim Furyk more than makes up for it with his short game. Originally a tour-only option, the X grind on Furyk’s 60-degree Callaway Mack Daddy 4 wedge is not part of the company’s consumer lineup as well. The X grind is designed for players with moderate-to-steep attack angles and medium-to-soft course conditions.

Darren Carroll

Marc Leishman
Wedge: Titleist Vokey SM7, 60 degrees
Scrambling: 65.22 percent Marc Leishman’s prowess around the greens should serve him well on the sporty Harbour Town Golf Links layout. The Aussie’s 60-degree Titleist Vokey SM7 has a scant 4 degrees of bounce, which should work well if the conditions are firm. Although it’s easy to know what the “Leish” stamped on the back is for, it’s less known to many what the AD stamped near the toe is in regards to. That stands for Vokey’s right-hand man, Aaron Dill, who creates many of the wedges the tour pros use.