RBC Heritage first-round leader predictions: PGA Tour odds, picks, best bets

RBC Heritage first-round leader predictions: PGA Tour odds, picks, best bets

This year’s Masters has come and gone, with pre-tournament odds favorite Scottie Scheffler taking care of business for his second green jacket despite the impending birth of his first child.

Many of the top players on the PGA Tour, including Scheffler for now, will take the short trip from Augusta National to Hilton Head Island, S.C., to play in the RBC Heritage this week.

Driving accuracy reigns supreme at Harbour Town, a Pete Dye-designed course that allows shorter hitters to contend.

Let’s dive into our first-round leader best bets for the Heritage.

Top odds for RBC Heritage first-round leader

Golfer Odds Golfer Odds
Scottie Scheffler +1200 Collin Morikawa +2500
Xander Schauffele +1800 Matt Fitzpatrick +3000
Rory McIlroy +2000 Matt Fitzpatrick +3000
Ludvig Åberg +2200 Cameron Young +3000
Patrick Cantlay +2500 Will Zalatoris +3000
Tommy Fleetwood +2500 Max Homa +3000
Odds via FanDuel

Shane Lowry (+3500, DraftKings)

There is a reason why the end of Round 1 leader odds are so long, even for superstars like Scottie Scheffler (+1200) and Rory McIlroy (+2000).

Last year, the leader at the end of the first round of the Heritage was Aaron Rai, who was +11000 on DraftKings to post the low round. Another long shot, Jimmy Walker (+25000), finished T2 at 6-under.

Shane Lowry has great value at +4000 to lead this year after the first round due to his exceptional driving accuracy; he hits 85% of fairways off the tee this season, ranking first on the PGA Tour by a fairly wide margin.

While Harbour Town’s roughs are not the most antagonizing on the tour, having clean looks into these tight, small Bermuda greens is imperative.

Additionally, Lowry ranks third in shots gained approaching the green and 22nd in GIR (greens in regulation) percentage from the fairway through the first few months of this season, giving him added value on a shorter course that requires strategic positioning throughout.

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Lowry has also had some success on Hilton Head Island, finishing in third place twice in his past six appearances.

Since 2018, he has shot a first-round 65 (2018-19 season) and a 66 (2021-22 season), which certainly could put him in contention for leader after the first round if duplicated on Thursday.

With solid iron play and great putting, Brian Harman’s game fits like a glove at Harbour Town. Getty Images

Brian Harman (+4000, FanDuel)

Despite his poor current form that has seen him miss cuts in two of his past three tournaments, Harman’s game fits like a glove at Harbour Town, a course that benefits players with solid iron play and great putting. 

Harman is short off the tee, which can make it difficult for him to compete on longer courses, but on a course with small greens and tight fairways, he can post a low score.

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