The RBC Heritage Classic begins Thursday, April 18th. The first tee time is scheduled for 7:10 AM. For a quick background on the Classic, check out my previous article. In this article, I’m going to discuss my top ten golfers to win the event.
10. Marc Leishman: FedEx Cup Rank 11, World Golf Rank 22
Leishman found success early on in the season. Topping off a win in his first event (The CIMB Classic) four of his five Top 10 finishes came during his first five events of the year. He has only missed the cut once in the eleven events played so far. However, since WGC- Mexico, his play has been up and down. Leishman will be hungry for another win to jumpstart his summer. After a T49 finish at the Masters, look for his to recover at the RBC Classic.
9. Ian Poulter: FedEx Cup Rank 43, World Golf Rank 30
So far, Poulter’s year has been less than perfect. His performance is middle of the line, as he has yet to miss the cut, but has only placed within the Top 10 twice. However, since his finish at The Players Championship, his game has been improving. Look for Poulter to come out strong early but the real test will come on Saturday. If he can score low over the weekend and battle from the top, we could see him finish in 1st on Sunday.
8. Jim Furyk: FedEx Cup Rank 26, World Golf Rank 51
Playing through the ups and downs of this year, Furyk is still looking for his first win. What would be a better place than an event he has already won twice? Winning the class twice by playoffs in 2010 and 2015, the veteran has already proven he can fight his way to victory at Harbour Town. This year, of the ten events played, he’s placed within the Top 10 three times and has missed the cut twice.
7. Tommy Fleetwood: FedEx Cup Rank 46, World Golf Rank 15
Fleetwood has played some impressive golf since his entrance into the tour in 2018. He came very close to wins at the AP Invitational and The Players this year. In his eight events played this year, he has placed in the Top 10 three times and has not missed a cut. Similar to Poulter, his best days seem to come early in the week. If he can hold his position on Saturday and play hard Sunday, Fleetwood could be looking at his first win on tour.
6. Charlie Hoffman: FedEx Cup 54, World Golf Rank 64
Hoffman placed T29 at the Masters with a final score of 4 under (-4), an impressive showing given the level of talent in the field last week. I had him at #9 on my list to win the Valero Open and he placed 2nd only two strokes behind the winner. Given his strong improvement since he was last cut from an event at The Players, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Hoffman near the top of the leaderboards all weekend. If he can remain consistent, he could find his first win of the year.
5. Bryson DeChambeau: FedEx Cup 18, World Golf Rank 8
Since his win early win at his first event of the season (The Shriners Hospital for Children Open), Dechambeau has struggled to play four strong and consistent days of golf. In the nine events total, he has yet to miss the cut but has only placed within the Top 10 three times. He failed to make waves at the Masters, with the exception of his first career hole in one on Sunday, finishing T29 at 4 under (-4). But he’s decided to avoid taking a break and this could be the event when his luck turns around.
4. Matt Kuchar: FedEx Cup Rank 1, World Golf Rank 16
Kuchar is no stranger to the RBC Heritage Classic; he won the event back in 2014 and is looking to repeat his previous success. In his twelve tour events this season, he’s yet to miss the cut and has won twice (Mayakoba Golf Classic and the Sony Open). This veteran’s early success has put him at the top of the FedEx Cup leaderboards and I’m sure he is looking to grow that advantage. He seems to find much more success at the smaller tour events and should have no trouble making some noise here.
3. Xander Schauffele: FedEx Cup Rank 2, World Golf Rank 9
Schauffele has had an impressive year so far. He’s won two events (WGC- HSBC Champions and the Sentry Tournament of Champions) while only missing the cut once in his eleven events played. He has been circling near the top of the FedEx Rankings all season and is quickly climbing up the World Golf Rankings. He should be able to ride the momentum of his T2 finish at the Masters into the Heritage Classic.
2. Francesco Molinari: FedEx Cup Rank 12, World Golf Rank 7
Molinari has an amazing showing at the Masters. Yet, back luck struck Sunday on the back 9 which lead to him losing his position and eventually settling at T5 with a final score of 11 under (-11). His play has been improving throughout the year, and he was even able to clinch his third win in his PGA Tour career at the AP Invitational. He’s proven that he can play with the best and should thrive at this event.
1. Dustin Johnson: FedEx Cup Rank 5, World Golf Rank 1
Last week, I had Dustin Johnson at #2 on my list of top golfers to win the Masters. His play did not disappoint, as he finished T2 with a score of 12 under (-12). Johnson has now made the Top 10 in six of his nine events and has yet to miss the cut. As long as can stay composed on his short game and finish strong, Johnson should earn his second win of the year.
My Featured Pairings for Thursday and Friday:
- Francesco Molinari, Webb Simpson, Jordan Spieth
- Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Satoshi Kodaira
- Scott Piercy, Ian Poulter, Brian Harmon
- Kevin Kisner, Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele
Sources: Dates, standings, and league info taken from pgatour.com
Featured Photo Source: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
For advertising and sponsorship opportunities with The Game Changer Sports Network please contact Jake at Jake.Jollymore@gmail.com