The Punter

Find Me a 100 Winner: Is Svensson set for another Sea Island success?

Golfer Adam Svensson
Adam Svensson in action at the Players Championship

The PGA Tour stops off at Harbour Town this week for the RBC Heritage and our man has three outsiders to trade in an event that's produced more than its fair share of longshots...

Another US Masters is all done and dusted and yet again another well-fancied player has won.

Jon Rahm was a pre-event 11.521/2 chance and it's now 15 years since a triple-figure priced winner took the title, so we were always up against it at Augusta with this column.

Woefully out-of-form, the three-time winner, Phil Mickelson, who finished brilliantly to finish tied for second, was generally a 600.0599/1 chance before the off but he never really looked like winning and he was matched at no shorter than 12.5.

And Patrick Reed, who was a 110.0109/1 selection for the column, finished tied for fourth, but he traded no lower than 23.022/1!

In contrast to the year's first major championship, this week's event, the RBC Heritage, has been a far happier hunting ground for longshots and as detailed in the preview, Stewart Cink was a 150.0149/1 chance two years ago and C.T Pan, who went off at 460.0459/1, was the third consecutive big outsider to take the title in 2019.

The US Masters is a glorious tournament, but we've got a far better chance of landing a longshot here and I've picked out three...

Well-rested Wallace can contend again

Players from the UK have a decent record at Harbour Town. Nick Faldo took the title back in 1984, Graeme McDowell won here ten years ago, Brian Davies and Darren Clarke both should have won here, Russell Knox has finished second recently and Luke Donald has finished runner-up as many as five times!

And the list goes on. Tommy Fleetwood finished 10th 12 months ago, Ireland's Shane Lowry traded at odds-on and both Matt Fitzpatrick and my pre-event fancy, Tyrrell Hatton, have top-four finishes here in the last three years.

England's Matt Wallace, who has course form figures reading MC-64-18, should probably have a place to his name at least too given he sat fourth with a round to on the last occasion he played here in 2021 and he can contend again this time around if his recent form is anything to go by.

Wallace wins the Corales.jpg

After three missed cuts in four, Wallace finished an impressive seventh at the Valspar Championship before winning the Corales Puntacana Championship the following week.

The Corales is staged on a blustery coastal track with plenty of similarities to this one and G-Mac franked the course correlation when he won there in 2019.

Wallace finished only 28th in the Valero Texas Open the following week but that's understandable given he'd just won on the PGA Tour for the first time, and he'll be raring to go again here having not been in the field at Augusta.

1 pt Matt Wallace @ 250.0249/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1 & 10u @ 2.01/1

Is Svensson set for another Sea Island success?

Canada's Adam Svensson will have been disappointed by his Augusta debut last week. Rounds of 75 and 80 saw him miss the cut and it was in stark contrast to his recent debut at the Players Championship, where he led by two at the halfway stage before eventually finishing tied for 13th.

Like Harbour Town, the Players Championship host course, Sawgrass, is also designed by Pete Dye and Svensson took to this venue immediately too. He sat third after an opening 66 last year before going on to finish 26th on debut after rounds of 73, 67 and 71.

His seventh at the Sony Open last year is an eye-catching performance given how nicely this venue and Waialae Country Club appear to correlate and his victory at the RSM Classic in November is also a great pointer.

The Seaside Course, where the RSM Classic is staged, is only round the corner from Harbour Town and form crosses over between the two venues repeatedly.

Back 1 u Adam Svensson @ 300.0299/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1 & 10u @ 2.01/1

Hughes can get hot at Harbour Town

My third and final column pick is another Canadian winner of the RSM Classic - Mackenzie Hughes - who like Svensson, is looking to follow in the footsteps of fellow Canadian, Corey Connors, who won the Valero Texas Open for a second time two weeks ago.

Inspiration by comparison was the term phrased by renowned golf punter, Keith Elliott, when looking at scenarios where fellow countrymen won tournaments in batches, and it happens with surprising regularity. We've seen a batch of strong performances by Germans on the DP World Tour of late for example.

In truth, Connors winning lately is merely a nice fillip because a strong case can easily be made for Hughes regardless.

In addition to winning the RSM Classic in 2016, Hughes finished second in the event in 2021 and he has high finishes at other venues that correlate nicely, including a second and a third in the Corales.

Mackenzie Hughes.jpg

Hughes has only ordinary course form reading MC-63-70-52-MC but he has the game to improve on those numbers considerably and he appears to have come into the event under the radar given how nicely he's played in each of his last two outings.

Hughes reached the quarter-finals of the WGC Match Play three weeks ago where he lost to the eventual winner, Sam Burns, and his tied 29th in the Masters last week, where he shot 69 on Friday, was an improvement on anything he'd done there before.

Back 2 u Mackenzie Hughes @ 350.0349/1
Place order to lay 10u @ 10.09/1 & 10u @ 2.01/1

I'm going to stick with just three for the column but terrific scrambler, J.J Spaun, the recent Arnold Palmer Invitational winner, Kurt Kitayama, and another RSM Classic winner, Tyler Duncan, all came close to inclusion.

I'll be back on Friday with the In-Play Blog.

*You can follow me on Twitter @SteveThePunter

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