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Wednesday, April 17, 2013
RBC Heritage experts' picks


Each week of the season, our experts will share their insights into which players fit the criteria for our four categories: Horse for the Course (a golfer who knows the track inside and out), Birdie Buster (a guy who could take it low this week), Super Sleeper (a player who could unexpectedly contend) and Winner.

This week's tournament: RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head, S.C.

Horse for the Course


Michael Collins, ESPN.com senior golf analyst: Boo Weekley. Since 2007, he has had one finish below 13th at this course. With that kind of resume, if you play fantasy golf and he's not on your team this week, just quit the league because you don't know what you're doing.

Farrell Evans, ESPN.com senior golf writer: Boo Weekley. Golf's No. 1 country boy got both his PGA Tour wins here in back-to-back years in 2007 and 2008. After a few years of struggling with injuries, he's finally playing well again with two top-10s, including a second at the Tampa Bay Championship in March.

Bob Harig, ESPN.com senior golf writer: Jim Furyk. He has six top-10s in his past eight appearances, including a 2010 victory. He was tied for eighth last year.

Kevin Maguire, ESPN.com senior golf editor: Michael Thompson. Buoyed by a final-round 67 at the Masters to notch a T-25 finish, the Honda Classic winner's game should translate well to this week's venue, Harbour Town. Thompson is likely hoping for the conditions to toughen up the seaside course as he tends to play better with more difficult conditions (see 2012 U.S. Open).

Birdie Buster


Michael Collins Billy Horschel. He hasn't missed a cut all year and comes into the week having a second- and third-place finish this season. This may be a breakout year for the UF grad, and this course plays into his southern hands perfectly.

Farrell Evans: Matt Kuchar. His nickname should be Mr. Consistency. At the Masters, the former U.S. Amateur champion and reigning Accenture Match play champion tacked on his fourth top-10 of the year with a tie for eighth.

Bob Harig: Jason Day. The Aussie contended at the Masters again, missing a playoff by 2 strokes and finishing third, his second top-3 in two years at Augusta National. The good vibes should carry over to Hilton Head.

Kevin Maguire: Luke Donald. His T-25 finish at the Masters notwithstanding, Donald owns this week's venue, Harbour Town Golf Links. In the past four years, he's finished inside the top three on three separate occasions.

Super Sleeper


Michael Collins: Graham DeLaet. It's his third appearance in this event. DaLaet ranks 5th in Greens in Regulation on tour which it going to serve him very well this week facing some of the smallest greens on tour.

Farrell Evans: David Lynn. After a 68 in the first round of the Masters, the 39-year-old Englishman and runner-up in the 2012 PGA appeared as if he had a special thing for the majors. But then he shot an 80 in the third round to come back down to earth. Still, he got some confidence from that 68 that might help him this week at Hilton Head.

Bob Harig: Boo Weekley's only two career victories came at Harbour Town in 2007 and 2008, and he's had three top-15s since. Playing better this year, too, with eight consecutive made cuts.

Kevin Maguire: Kevin Stadler. To play well at Hilton Head, hitting greens in regulation always ranks high on any player's to-do list. Stadler's currently sixth on the PGA Tour in that stat. Toss in his T-4 in 2012 on the South Carolina gem of a track and you can expect big things from Stadler this week.

Winner


Michael Collins Jordan Spieth. Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to introduce you to your rookie of the year. In three of the four cuts he's made so far this year, he's got a top-25 and two top-10s. This kid has been ready to win since he was a senior in high school in Texas and almost won the Byron Nelson. Now look for him to take his temporary membership to full champion status in one fell swoop.

Farrell Evans: Jason Day. The 25-year-old Australian let the green jacket slip from his grasp on Sunday with two late bogeys, but his game has never looked better. Look for him to have a nice rebound this week at Hilton Head, where he last played in 2011, finishing in a tie for ninth.

Bob Harig: Brandt Snedeker. That final round at Augusta National undoubtedly stings. He won at Harbour Town two years ago and is playing nicely this year, with a victory and two runner-up finishes.

Kevin Maguire: Matt Kuchar. Many thought Kuchar would be a contender at Augusta National, and he hung around for a T-8 finish. This week he contends at a much more laid-back venue that better suits him.