RBC Heritage Power Rankings
Wow. What a memorable weekend. Tiger Woods turned back the clock and did what many thought he’d never do again, dominate a major championship. His fifth green jacket and first Masters win since 2005 will surely be one of the biggest stories of the summer. Tiger is once again the king of the golf world, and at 43 years young. Maybe he and Tom Brady can tell the rest of us where the fountain of youth is located.
Many of the stars of Sunday’s action at Augusta will be making the short trek over to Hilton Head Island for the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links. The 7,099 yard Pete Dye track is short, tight, and tree lined. It is a course that traditionally rewards small-ball artists with past winners including Matt Kuchar, Jim Furyk, Branden Grace, and five-time winner Davis Love III whose game has fit perfectly here in 30 starts lifetime. Oddly enough, another jacket will be awarded this week: the Tartan. Who will slip it on?
10) Tommy Fleetwood
Hasn’t played here before, otherwise would be higher up on this list. Still firing on all cylinders despite not finding the winner’s circle yet on the PGA Tour. Fell back at Augusta after a strong start, eventually fading to T36. Five top 25s so far this season, first in Strokes Gained (SG): Off-the-Tee, eighth in SG: Total. You either like this course or you don’t so it will be interesting to see how Tommy likes the low country.
9) Jim Furyk
Humming since his second place finish at The PLAYERS and with six top 25s on tour already this year, Jim will walk onto a course where he has won and has multiple other top 10s to his credit. Confidence and comfort are key on the PGA Tour and Furyk has both in spades at the moment. He is third on Tour in SG: Total which tells you where his game is at currently. Even more importantly he is fourth in SG: Approach and 26th in SG: Around-the Green both of which are critical this week in Hilton Head. It would be surprising to not see Furyk’s name high on the leaderboard come Sunday.
8) Kevin Kisner
Kevin Kisner is another player with local roots to keep an eye on this week. Kis has three top 11s here dating back to 2014 and is another Georgia Bulldog in the field this week. Fresh off his impressive win at the WGC Dell Matchplay he will take aim at securing his second win of the season. Kevin is 14th in SG: Total and 26th in SG: Approach. He will be a popular pick this week.
7) Webb Simpson
Seems surprising that Webb Simpson hs not found the winner’s circle in Hilton Head during his career. He is a great fit on this track and his results prove it with three top 11s and a second place finish. His poor off the tee ranking won’t hurt him much this week as precision with shorter clubs will be the key and Simpson has that in spades. He ranks 11th in SG: Around the Green and 21st in SG: Approach thus far the wraparound season. Had been scuffling heading into Augusta but will be rejuvenated following a top-five finish in the year’s first major.
6) Xander Schauffele
Xander continued his great recent form last week at Augusta finishing strong with a tie for second. The ninth-ranked player in the world has seven top 25s so far this season and of course his win in the exclusive Hyundai Tournament of Champions and WGC-HSBC Champions. Xander has shown us time and again that he is not intimidated by the big stage and that he will be a presence on the PGA Tour for years to come. X currently sits 14th on Tour in SG: Approach, fourth in SG: Total and eighth in scoring average. T32 in his maiden trip to Hilton Head last season.
5) Patrick Cantlay
Things continue to point up for the 27-year-old who survived a tragic car accident to come back and compete at an elite level on the PGA Tour. Cantlay shot one of the low rounds Sunday at Augusta, his 68 helped him backdoor a top 10 and move up to 18th in the Official World Golf Ranking. Cantlay has some positive results at Harbour Town to his name as well with a third and seventh place finish in two trips. A deep dive into his stats shows an incredibly well-balanced player. Cantlay is 24th in SG: Approach, 10th in SG: Total, 10th in SG: Tee-to-Green and 33rd in SG: Around the Green. Strike while the iron is hot.
4) Matt Kuchar
Kuch is another horse for a course this week coming into a tournament where he hasn’t missed the cut a single time. He has three top tens and one Tartan Jacket. Kuchar is apart of the group of players who live an hour or so South of Hilton Head in Sea Island, Georgia and this will be somewhat of a home game for many of these local touring pros. Kuchar’s game fits like a glove here, and he has the stats to match. He currently stands third in SG: Approach, fourth in SG: Tee-to-Green and fourth in Bunker Save Percentage. Five top 10s and two wins on the young season. Employ him with confidence.
3) Bryson DeChambeau
Harbour Town is seemingly a perfect fit for a strategist like Bryson. With many forced carries, overhanging limbs and tricky approaches, Bryson’s thorough preparation should pay off this week. He has a great track record at The Heritage with a tie for third here last year and another tie for fourth in 2016. He ranks 19th in SG: Total and fifth in Birdies. He will be looking for his fourth top 10 this season and sixth win in under a year.
2) Francesco Molinari
An uncharacteristic Sunday collapse from Molinari at Augusta showed us that he isn’t emotionless after all. The Italian continued what has been an absolutely phenomenal calendar year with another top 10 in a major. He gets to walk a course this week where he has made the cut in all three of his appearances dating back to 2016. His best finish here is a T22, but he is a different player now (poor course history didn’t stop him last week). Three top 10s in only six events stateside thus far this year including his win at the Arnold Palmer a few weeks back. Fifth on Tour in Sand Saves, 26th in SG: Putting, no better way to get over a heartbreaking loss than to immediately get back out there. Don’t be shocked if he’s singing Redemption Song this coming Sunday at Harbour Town.
1) Dustin Johnson
DJ strengthened his hold on the Number One ranking in the world with a rather quiet tie for Second at The Masters Sunday. Johnson has been masterful for most of this season with eight top 10s worldwide and two wins already to his name. The South Carolina native teed it up at Harbour Town last year for the first time and finished a respectable T16. He is not just a long hitter, either. He is dialed in around the greens, too, ranking fifth in SG: Approach. In fact, you may not even see him use a driver very much this week, and that’s ok. He is first in SG: Total which shows how well balanced he is through the bag. Will he pick up win number three of the young year this week?