This article is part of our Weekly Preview series.
Harbour Town G.L.
Hilton Head, SC
The PGA Tour heads to Hilton Head, SC with some momentum as the first event held in three months went off without a hitch. Not only were there no COVID-19 issues, but we actually got a heck of a tournament, as many of the best players in the world hit the ground running. When you think about it, though, it's really a numbers game. Not all the big names brought their best game, but there were so many highly-ranked players in the field that we were bound to get an interesting leaderboard. We now look ahead to Harbour Town, and just like last week, we have plenty of course history in play. Unlike last week, we have recent form and a better idea of how some of these guys will handle playing without fans. To be honest, I didn't really even notice the absence of spectators, and for the most part, I'm sure the players really didn't either. Fans will be absent again this week, but the big guns will return. Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas and many other big names are in the field again this week.
Rory McIlroy (11-1)
McIlroy is a favorite among the betting public, which is why he's listed as the favorite here even after a lackluster effort last week at Colonial, where he was also the favorite. He's the top-ranked player in the world, but he shouldn't be the favorite this week. He has virtually no history here and he's not in top form right now. There's no value here.
Bryson DeChambeau (12-1)
After an impressive showing last week and an eye-catching physical transformation, DeChambeau jumps Jon Rahm in my rankings. Going strictly by the numbers, DeChambeau should even be favored over McIlroy this week. His form is strong entering, with four consecutive top-5 finishes, and he has played well here in two of four starts. DeChambeau finished T3 here in 2018 and T4 in 2016.
Jon Rahm (16-1)
It's interesting that two of the top three players on the odds list this week come in with no form and no history at this event. It's safe to say that both Rahm's and McIlroy's odds are based solely on public perception and potential. Sure, Rahm and McIlroy are two of the best players in the field this week, but there's no reason to think either one will flip a switch and win. Like McIlroy, there's just no value here this week.
THE NEXT TIER
Xander Schauffele (18-1)
I had a tough choice to start this section as I wanted to put just one guy at 20-1 odds or better, which meant that Justin Thomas missed the cut. I like Thomas' prospects this week, but I prefer Schauffele here. Schauffele is very streaky and seems to have put his streak of poor play behind him, nearly winning last week if not for a couple late mishaps. Schauffele has only played here twice, but I'm not too concerned about that as his form is on point.
Justin Rose (25-1)
Rose is very close right now. He jumped out to the first-round lead this past week, and although he faded the next couple days, he did make a charge late and ended up with a T3. Like many in the field this week, he doesn't have much of a track record here. But since a lot of guys are in the boat, perhaps it won't matter much.
Jordan Spieth (28-1)
Spieth, even with a stellar Charles Schwab Challenge history, entered last week as a 40-1 long shot. However after a strong showing, his odds have jumped considerably. It's been a rough go of it for Spieth for a while, but enough people still believe. While Spieth's track record at the RBC Heritage isn't as strong as it was in last week's event, it's still pretty good. In four starts at Hilton Head, Spieth has three finishes inside the top 12. He figures to get it all ironed out at some point, so time is running out to get these kinds of odds on him.
Matt Kuchar (33-1)
Unlike many of the favorites, Kuchar actually has a strong track record in this event. Track records didn't seem to matter much last week, but this is a new week and it's a risky proposition to simply ignore course history. With that in mind, Kuchar makes the list as a very strong long shot option. Kuchar has made the cut in 15 of 16 starts here and he's cracked the top 10 six times. He won this event in 2014 and he finished runner-up to C.T. Pan last year.
Branden Grace (50-1)
Grace has a nice balance of recent form and track history in this event. He faded a bit down the stretch this past week, but he managed to stay inside the top 20. His track record here is very solid, with three top-10s in four starts, including a win in 2016.
Highly-owned pick: Bryson DeChambeau – DeChambeau certainly got plenty of attention for his new bulked-up look, but by the end of the week, we were all talking about his game once again. It appears as though the change in his physique had no ill effects whatsoever. DeChambeau is locked-in right now, and this looks like the right time to get on board.
Moderately-owned pick: Daniel Berger – After a couple down seasons, mostly due to injury, it was easy to forget how good Berger was. However, we got a reminder this past week as Berger took home the title. Perhaps there will be a hangover as it's been a while since Berger won, but he was getting hot before the break, and I have a feeling he'll carry the momentum.
Lightly-owned pick: Jordan Spieth – I assumed Spieth would be a pretty popular selection this past week, but as it turned out, not many had faith in him. I'm expecting that to be the case again this week as the public still doesn't seem to buy the notion that Spieth can put four rounds together. I believe he will sooner than later, and timing is everything with this game, which means this might be the last week to take him without may others doing so.
Buyer Beware: Jon Rahm – I had McIlroy in this spot last week and that certainly paid off. If I can put the No. 1 player in the world in this spot, I can certainly put Rahm here. It's not that I'm down on Rahm; it's just that there are so many good options besides him.
Last Week: Sungjae Im (T10) $181,875 Season - $2,699,121
This Week: Bryson DeChambeau – This was a tough pick. I had it narrowed down to DeChambeau and Rose, and I could have gone either way. But I like getting DeChambeau when he's rolling and right now, he's definitely rolling. Completely unrelated, but I like being able to use DeChambeau again this soon after using him at THE PLAYERS and not seeing that tournament finish.
Last Week: Jordan Spieth (T10) - Streak - 9
This Week: Matt Kuchar – The only potential problem with Kuchar is that he didn't play well last week, but his track record on this course is so strong. I can't imagine he'll miss the cut, even if he's not in top form. Besides, he only missed the cut by one stroke last week, so it's not like his game is way off by any means.