After a near miss at the US Masters, where all three picks finished inside the top-12, Steve Rawlings is back with four more monster-priced hopefuls spread across the week's two tournaments...
"The 2013 RBC Heritage winner, Graeme McDowell, is an extraordinarily big price here given he’s in search of his third win in just over two years."
It was a case of close but no cigar at Augusta last week with all three column picks finishing inside the top-12. Kevin Na was never really in-contention after an opening round of 75 but both Brian Harman, who hit a low of 14.013/1, and Corey Conners, who was matched at just 12.011/1, were in the thick of the action throughout.
With the first lay-back targets set at 10.09/1, neither player quite traded low enough so it was a frustrating week in the end but buoyed by such a fine effort, I'm back with four picks this week, spread over the two events - the RBC Heritage and the Austrian Open. I'll start in the states with what really is a fascinating betting heat.
As highlighted in the RBC Heritage preview, the market is dominated by players that played at Augusta but history tells us that competing there can be a huge negative here. Playing in a major is always stressful and it's very hard to get going again the following week - especially for those that contended.
The RSM Classic, an event the correlates well with this one, followed Dustin Johnson's win at Augusta in November and the leaderboard there was dominated by players that either didn't play in the US Masters the week before or that had disappointing weeks at Augusta, and it's been a similar tale here over the years too.
On the last 13 occasions that the RBC Heritage has followed the US Masters, the winner here has either missed the cut at the US Masters or they haven't played there. Contending throughout the weekend is a big negative and not playing at all at Augusta is a plus.
Given so many at the head of the market played last week, there are a plethora of outsiders worth chancing and I've backed more than the three listed below.
At odds ranging between 750.0749/1 and 1000.0, recent PGA Tour winners, Robert Streb, Brian Gay, Andrew Landry and Hudson Swafford, are all far too big on a course that suits them and they've all been backed but the first official bet is on course specialist, JT Poston.
Back Poston to deliver the goods
JT Poston is a very straightforward selection. In two visits to Harbour Town he's finished sixth and eighth and he's a winner of the Wyndham Championship - an event that correlates brilliantly.
Recent top-22 finishes at the Farmers Insurance Open, the Phoenix Open and the Players Championship are all decent efforts and although he failed to get out of his group at the WGC-Matchplay last time out, he halved his first match against the world number four, Collin Morikawa, and he beat the eventual winner, Billy Horschel, in his second group tie 4&2.
He was eliminated on the third day when he lost to Max Homa but he was the only man all week to beat the eventual winner and that should give him confidence.
Keep faith in Kizzire
Patton Kizzire was a selection for the column last time out when playing in the Texas Open for the first time. He was a fancy there based not only on his reasonable current form but on the fact that his two wins to date had come at venues that appeared to correlate nicely with TPC San Antonio and those two venues, Waialae Country Club (home of the Sony Open) and El Camaleon (host course for the Mayakoba Golf Classic) both correlate nicely here too.
The theory worked as he finished ninth after a slow start and he looks worth chancing again at a huge price on the back of that performance.
Although his course form figures read an uninspiring 14-32-MC-45-MC, it's worth highlighting that he hasn't been in the great form when playing here recently and that he sat foruth at halfway, and with a round to go, before finishing 14th on debut. This place does suit his game and having ranked third for Greens In Regulation in Texas, where he also putted nicely, he looks far too big at 220.0219/1.
Prolific G-Mac a huge price to win again
The 2013 RBC Heritage winner, Graeme McDowell, is an extraordinarily big price here given he's in search of his third win in just over two years having won the Saudi International in February last year and the Corales Puntacana R&C Championship in 2019.
Although he only finished 54th in Texas last time out, he was a big eye-catcher at the Corales the week before when he missed out a playoff by two strokes when finishing fourth, where he ranked fifth for Greens in Regulation and sixth for Putting Average.
G-Mac is no back number and it's interesting to see that when he won in Saudi last year he did so on the back of a poor performance - a missed cut in Dubai - but he'd been fourth in his previous outing - at the aforementioned Sony Open. There's a nice bit of synergy there and I wouldn't be at all surprised to see the 2010 US Open champ bounce back and contend here.
McEvoy's the Diamond geezer in Austria
It's never easy to gauge the wellbeing of players on the stop-start European Tour but I'm happy to take a small chance on 41-year-old Englishman, Richard McEvoy, in the Austrian Open (previewed here) despite his missed cut in the Kenya Savannah Classic last time out, given he was playing OK before that - finishing fifth in Qatar and 28th in the Kenya Open.
The 2018 European Open winner, who got the better of Bryson DeChambeau on the back-nine that day, has also won three times on the Challenge Tour and he's also played very well around this week's venue - the Diamond Golf Course.
Despite being in poor form on both occasions, he finished third and fifth here in 2017 and '18 and at odds in excess of 200.0199/1, I'm happy to chance him.
*You can follow me on Twitter @SteveThePunter
Back J.T Poston 2u @ 160.0159/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1 & 10u @ 2.35/4
Back Patton Kizzire 1 ½ u @ 220.0219/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1 & 10u @ 2.01/1
Back Graeme McDowell 1u @ 450.0449/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1 & 10u @ 2.01/1
STEVE'S 2021 FIND ME A 100 WINNER P/L
Staked: 74.5 units
Returned: 22.5 units
P/L: -52 units