It may just be a week after The Masters, but there are two high calibre contests on either side of the Atlantic to look forward to.
In America, the Heritage is one of the favourite tournaments on the PGA calendar – played at the famed Harbour Town course and they have a very good field for their 50th staging of the event, including world number one Dustin Johnson.
In Spain, the Open de Espana returns after not being staged in 2017 – but they have assembled a good line-up including brilliant Spaniard Jon Rahm.
See below as we run through the tournament for you including facts, odds and picks from our own golfing professional Cliff Jackson and Betfair.
RBC WORLD HERITAGE
- Staged at the Harbour Town Golf Links, South Carolina
- First staged in 1969
- Current champion is Wesley Bryan
FIELD: The £1.2million winners cheque always assures a good field at Harbour Town, and that is no different this year – Wesley Bryan is defending champion, but he will have to overcome the likes of Dustin Johnson, Paul Casey and Australian stars Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith to record what would rank as a shock win.
QUOTES: Dustin Johnson had a good run at The Masters, but he admits his putting was a big let down and he is planning to work on that. “I know exactly what I need to work on. And it was the putting. I struck the ball very well. I drove it good. I did everything really well, just didn’t — the thing that’s most frustrating is it wasn’t that I was hitting bad putts, I was actually hitting good putts, they just weren’t going in.”
— Bill Haas (@BHaasGolf) April 11, 2018
OPEN DE ESPANA
- Staged at the Centro Nacional de Golf, Madrid
- First staged in 1912
- Current champion is Andrew Johnston – from 2016
FIELD: The organisers have assembled a brilliant home line-up with Jon Rahm, Rafa Cabrera Bello and Pablo Larrazabal teeing it up in Madrid, whilst defending champion ‘Beef’ Andrew Johnston is back after winning the title back in 2016.
QUOTES: Jon Rahm is making his tournament debut but it is very much a home from home for him. “I spent my last two years of high school at Centro Nacional de Golf. I’ve played the course many times and that was where I formed as a golfer. I’m really looking forward to it and hopefully one day to be the Open de España champion. I haven’t played there for six years, so I’m not sure how much will have changed, but I hit it way different than I used to when I played there. I’ll be familiar with the golf course but still it will be a little bit different.”
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) April 10, 2018
The pro’s point of view…
Our resident golf expert is Cliff Jackson. Cliff is a leading youth coach and PGA professional at the famed Seaton Carew Links – one of the oldest courses in the world.
Two good tournaments, think they are both good looking fields. In Spain, I have to look at home track advantage and home can you not go with Jon Rahm, he knows the course well and will have to have a bad week not to be in contention.
At Harbour Town, such a great venue and I think Paul Casey – as long as his back is OK could go close, along with Matt Kuchar – who I think is due.
The Bookie says…
We caught up with Betfair’s Joe Dyer to get their views on this week’s action
We’re back to the two tour pivot in the game of golf with good events on either side of the Atlantic this week.
A host of Masters high-finishers head the betting at the RBC Heritage where Dustin Johnson is 9/1 favourite, followed by 12/1 Paul Casey, 16/1 Matt Kuchar and 22/1 on either of the Aussie pair of Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman.
And there’s top quality on the European Tour with world number 4 Jon Rahm a very short price to land his home open at just 7/2. The only player available to back at less than 20/1 is fellow Spaniard Rafa Cabrera Bello at 14/1.
While Rahm is strongly fancied to win in Spain, there’s little doubt about which tournament will appeal more to bettors with Harbour Town Golf Links, the venue for the RBC Heritage, offering years of course form compared to just one visit to the Centro Nacional de Golf by the European Tour, and even that was in 2009.
So we know Harbour Town is a course that suits 40/1 Luke Donald, the Englishman finishing runner-up five times; 66/1 Jim Furyk has twice won the event; Matt Kuchar has won and finished top 10 on a further three occasions. That gives a flavour of the type of player who can succeed in South Carolina.