Find Me a 100 Winner: Try this trio to maintain the run of Heritage outsider winners

Golfer Brian Stuard
Brian Stuard produced the joint best round on Sunday at Colonial

The last three renewals at Harbour Town Golf Links have produced shock winners at big odds. Paul Krishnamurty has three cracks at finding another...

"From a limited number of starts this term, Furyk ranks third for proximity to the hole. That stat counts for plenty on these small greens and he is one of the best Bermuda putters around."

Back Jim Furyk 1u each-way @ 125/1

The PGA Tour's welcome return at Colonial produced great entertainment, if hardly ideal from this column's perspective. A couple of my picks - Brian Harman and Joel Dahmen - played well enough for top-25 finishes, but were never even close to hitting lay targets, such was the strength up top.

Indeed, it wasn't the sort of Colonial renewal we're used to. A
second-tier event became almost major-esque, or at least a WGC or FedEx Cup play off, such was the strength of the field and bombers on the leaderboard.

Will that prove the same at The Heritage? This longstanding fixture always follows the Masters, and never attracts anything like this strength of field. Once again, it may be wishful thinking for an outsider to win or even trade short, so including a place option makes sense.

Bombers unlikely to dominate at Harbour Town

One crucial difference is that there is no way Harbour Town Links will suddenly becomes a bombers' paradise. The last three winners were all big outsiders - C.T. Pan, Sotashi Kodaira and Wesley Bryan - and prove that this is one of those increasingly rare tracks where short-hitters can still win.

Rather, as Steve Rawlings explains in his comprehensive preview, this is a short, positional track where accuracy off the tee and to very small greens is the order of the day.

Trust course form to offer big clues

Back Jim Furyk 1u each-way @ 125/1

Indeed I'm sticking with the theory that there is no substitute for experience around this tricky, strategic layout. Nobody can best my first selection in that regard. Furyk is a twice former champion here and has twice been runner-up.

Backing one of my favourite all-time players is going to be a hard habit to break. Sure, he is now 50 and is further behind the bombers off the tee than ever, but he nearly landed a massive touch at 309-1 when runner-up in last year's Players Championship - a better event than this. That wasn't his only decent result by any means and he still looks a force when conditions allow.

From a limited number of starts this term, he ranks third for proximity to the hole. That stat counts for plenty on these small greens and he is one of the best Bermuda putters around. Moreover, there was much to like about last week's return effort after lockdown, holding a top-25 position going into Sunday.

Back Kevin Streelman 1u @ 240.0239/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 15.014/1

Back Kevin Streelman for a Top 10 Finish 1u @ 15.5

Likewise, the straight-hitting Streelman's course pedigree brings him into the argument. His last six visits to Harbour Town have yielded four top-17 finishes, thrice inside the top-seven. He's been a runner-up this year too, in classy company at Pebble Beach.

Missing the cut last week is a slight worry but he hit over 70% of fairways and greens - in line with stats that record him second for greens in regulation among these over the past year. Plus we needn't worry about preparedness, as he turned up at the Scottsdale Open, finishing tenth, during lockdown.

Stick with Stuard after hot Sunday

Back Brian Stuard 0.5u @ 340.0339/1
Back Brian Stuard for a Top 20 Finish 1.5u @ 10.09/1

I doubt he can realistically contend at huge odds but do expect a good week from Brian Stuard. He was very consistent during 2019 on courses where short hitters can win and with a premium on short game excellence. Notably his form is good, closing with 64 at Colonial for the joint best round of the day.

Stuard has some previous here, finishing 19th last year and a best of fifth in 2014. He putts better on Bermuda and also has strong form on courses that correlate well, particularly Waialae Country Club where he has registered no fewer than four top-eight finishes.

Todd rated best value among the rest

First reserve is Brendon Todd at 240.0239/1. He won consecutive tournaments last autumn and has the perfect skills-set for Harbour Town. The only negative is last week's missed cut. I see Steve has included him and another of his picks, Mackenzie Hughes 640.0639/1, appeared on my radar too.

Rory Sabbatini 150.0149/1 is always respected here and finally, a word for an enormous outsider. Brice Garnett 850.0849/1 has finished 11th here previously, is a good scrambler, and has excellent numbers other short tracks such as Corales and El Camaleon.

Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty


2020: -15.5 units
2019: +70.5 units

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