Bet PGA's RBC Heritage Classic: Kern likes Corey Connors, Cam Smith, longshot Christiaan Bezuidenhout, more

The RBC Heritage Classic tees off Thursday morning in Hilton Head, SC.
One of Mike Kern's longshots this week is South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout.
One of Mike Kern's longshots this week is South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout.@Sunshine_Tour on Twitter

Two weeks ago we gave out an exacta at the Texas Open, when Jordan Spieth won and Charley Hoffman at 30-some odds finished second. Not bad. Then, last week at Augusta, we had Xander Schauffele at 22-1 and he was two shots back with three holes to play before finding the water. It happens. He still got us a top five, which paid off at 5-1. And another one of our picks, Cam Smith, got a top 10 at 33-1, which at least got us some, if not all, of our money back. Hey, we try.

Now it’s on to the RBC Heritage Classic, in Hilton Head, which last year was played in June due to the pandemic. Let’s keep trying.

Defending champion Webb Simpson is the favorite, at 10-1. Dustin Johnson, who missed the cut at the Masters as the defending champ and hasn’t played well the last month, is 12-1. Patrick Cantlay is 16-1, Collin Morikawa 18-1 and Matthew Fitzpatrick and Tyrrell Hatton check in at 20-1.

After that it’s Daniel Berger, Cameron Smith and Will Zalatoris at 22-1. Zalatoris got second at the Masters in his debut there. Paul Casey and Corey Conners, who has four recent top 20s and was eighth at the Masters despite closing with a 74, are 25-1. Abraham Ancer, the runner-up last year, is 28-1 along with Brian Harman, who was in contention at Augusta, and Kevin Na, who has won this year. I have Ancer in my yearlong pool that I have to pick back in December, and that often doesn’t turn out well. As we found out with DJ last week. Don’t ask.

Sungjae Im is 33-1. My man Hoffman is 35-1. Sergio Garcia, Billy Horschel, who just won the match-play event, and Matt Kuchar are 40-1. I’m not going to list everyone, but Christiaan Bezuidenhout, who played decently at Augusta, is 66-1. He has two wins in Europe since finishing 28th here a year ago. Branden Grace, who won his first PGA Tour event here in 2016 and won in Puerto Rico not too long ago, is 66-1. As is Lee Westwood, who nearly won the Arnold Palmer and Players Championship before MCing at Augusta.

OK, that’s enough. Let’s try to figure something out.

I can’t play Dustin, just because of his recent form. And you know how I feel about chalk. I don’t know if Zalatoris can come right back and have another great week, but those are pretty enticing odds. But instead I think I’m going with Corey Conners, at 25-1. He’s one of the many good young players out there, and he’s been playing well. So there. He’s also +550 for a top five, so put something on that too, as your back-up investment in case you must miss.

I think I would also take a look at Cam Smith, at 22-1. And also +550 for a top five.

As for somebody who’s more of a longshot, nothing is really jumping out too much. So I’ll give you two, because I can. But only for a little. That Christiaan Bezuidenhout at 66-1 (and 14-1 for a top five, 7-1 for a top 10), and Lee Westwood at the same numbers. Maybe the magic is over for Westwood, but you never know. He was on a pretty good roll there. And Christiaan is the kind of bloke who will probably get it done over here one of these days. Why not now? Is that asking too much? Hope not.

Whichever way you decide to go, have a fun week. It’s my birthday on Friday, so I’m hoping I will.

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