2021 RBC Heritage Power Rankings

Corey Conners at the 2020 RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links
Corey Conners reacts on the 8th green during the second round of the RBC Heritage on June 19, 2020 at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head Island, SC. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The first major of the 2021 PGA Tour season is now in the books, and despite the absence of Tiger Woods, still far-and-away golf’s top draw, last week’s Masters Tournament generated a great deal of buzz, as Hideki Matsuyama snapped a nearly four-year winless drought to become Japan’s first men’s major champion.

The tee-to-green marvel will not be in the field for this week’s event, the RBC Heritage, but for a week following a major, the field at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island is fantastic.

This week should be especially enjoyable for fans who like events that priorities precision over power. We feel that we have some glaring omissions this week, but here is our attempt to rank the best players in this week’s field:


2021 RBC Heritage Power Rankings

This week’s Power Rankings is powered by Taylormade Golf.

15. Luke Donald

Luke Donald
Luke Donald plays his shot from the 14th tee during day three of the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook’s Copperhead Coure on Mar 23, 2019 in Palm Harbor, FL. Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

The former World No. 1 is currently the World No. 584, and has missed his last nine cuts, and 14 of his last 16. The field is not weak, so why even bother with him? Luke Donald at the RBC Heritage is basically Phil Mickelson at the U.S. Open: five runner-ups and two T3s.

His game looks like a mess on paper, but he has seen some improvements, and Harbour Town obviously suits him well.

The 43-year-old Brit has to be green with envy seeing fellow countrymen Paul Casey and Lee Westwood re-find their games in their 40s lately. This week has a feeling of destiny.

OWGR: 584; Odds: 500-1; 2020 RBC: MC


14. Si Woo Kim

Si Woo Kim RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links
Si Woo Kim reacts following a missed birdie putt on the 18th green during the final round of the 2018 RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links on April 15, 2018 in Hilton Head Island, SC. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Kim is absurdly hit-or-miss this season, but he should feel encouraged by his third quality start in his last four outings, a T12 at The Masters where he had just one over-par round.

The 25-year old should have won here in 2018, when he lost in a playoff to Satoshi Kodaira after one of the worst weeks on the greens we have ever seen from a player who contended at an event.

Suddenly though, he ranks positive on Tour at 94th in strokes gained: putting.

OWGR: 47; Odds: 40-1; 2020 RBC: MC


13. Stewart Cink

Henrik Stenson and Stewart Cink 2021 Masters Tournament Augusta National Golf Club
Henrik Stenson and Stewart Cink shake hands after finishing their final round on the 18th green of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 11, 2021 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

It is easy to be tricked into assuming that the 47-year-old Cink is a Jim Furyk type, which would typically thrive in this environment. He has surprising power, still smashing it over 300 yards off the tees, but still ranks second on Tour in greens in regulation.

The winner of the season-opening Safeway Open, Cink is coming off a T12 at The Masters and ranks 24th on Tour in birdie average.

There are names we have below him that FEEL like they should be above Stewart, but we think this week sets up well for him.

OWGR: 115; Odds: 150-1; 2020 RBC: T62


12. Sungjae Im

Sungjae Im Wins The Honda Classic
Sungjae Im and caddie walk off the 11th green during the final round of The Honda Classic at PGA National Champion course on Mar 1, 2020 in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. (Photo by Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

A bet on Im could be a sagacious one this week, as he is likely to provide some value. It is difficult to see many flocking to the 23-year-old given that he has missed the cut in both his starts here, and somehow shot 77-80 in a disastrous missed cut at last week’s Masters, despite finishing T2 at Augusta National just five months prior.

His game is a strong fit for Harbour Town, and he posted a T8 at the Honda Classic less than a month ago.

OWGR: 20; Odds: 40-1; 2020 RBC: MC


11. Abraham Ancer

Abraham Ancer 2020 Masters
Abraham Ancer stands on the second green during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on November 15, 2020 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

He looks SO close to notching his first career Tour victory, and it nearly happened at this event a year ago, where a 64-65-65 finish left him just one back after Webb Simpson obliterated the late stretch of holes.

Ancer did well to finish T26 at The Masters last week, overcoming a ticky-tack grounding penalty in a first-round 75 that could have derailed his tournament.

Ancer has been very consistent with his results, but has struggled lately not posting that one big number. He ranks second on Tour in driving percentage, something that is an especially big advantage at Harbour Town.

OWGR: 32; Odds: 33-1; 2020 RBC: 2


10. Collin Morikawa

Collin Morikawa Wins WGC-Workday Championship
Collin Morikawa reacts to saving par on the 11th green during the final round of WGC-Workday Championship at The Concession on Feb 28, 2021 in Bradenton, FL. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

The world No. 4 was T64 in his Harbour Town debut a year ago, but he was fresh off a heartbreaking playoff loss at the Charles Schwab Challenge (missed a three-foot putt that handed the tournament to Daniel Berger), and really only had one bad round.

He has been hit-or-miss in 2021, and we see him being close to hit after a stellar final-round 70 at Augusta to finish a respectable T18.

Morikawa leads the Tour in strokes gained: approach-the-green.

OWGR: 4; Odds: 20-1; 2020 RBC: T64


9. Paul Casey

Paul Casey Wins Valspar Championship
Paul Casey and caddie John McLaren talk on the 18th green after winning the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook’s on the Copperhead Course on Mar 24, 2019 in Palm Harbor, FL. Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

A T26 at The Masters last week was a minor disappointment after four straight top 10s in stroke play events, but whatever was plaguing him early on seemed to dissipate on Sunday, as the 43-year-old Englishman shot a 3-under 69 that included four straight back-nine birdies.

Casey has a proclivity for getting bogeys in bunches, but there should be less pressure on him this week, and he has played with a killer instinct this season (at least by his standards) that we did not realize he even had. His tee-to-green game has been superb in 2021.

OWGR: 19; Odds: 30-1; 2018 RBC: MC


8. Dustin Johnson

Dustin Johnson
Dustin Johnson and caddie stand on the 10th tee box during round three of the WGC-Dell Match Play at Austin CC on Mar 26, 2021 in Austin, TX. (Photo by Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

OK, it’s officially a slump. After three straight poor outings, the world No. 1 missed the cut in his title defense of last November’s Masters.

Still, it’s DJ, and he could easily start a new unbeatable streak this week. He has been surprisingly not amazing in this event, with results of T17, T27, and T16 in his last three Harbour Town starts, respectively.

OWGR: 1; Odds: 10-1; 2020 RBC: T17


7. Brian Harman

Brian Harman
Brian Harman plays a shot on the 18th hole during the first round of THE PLAYERS Championship on The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass on Mar 11, 2021 in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The diminutive lefty has caught fire as of late, with a T3 at THE PLAYERS Championship followed up by a fifth place finish at the WGC-Match Play, and then a T12 at last week’s Masters, where he was right in the thick of the 36-hole mix.

A near perfect fit for this course, he has two previous top 10s here. It might also be notable that he is in tremendous form while trying to snap a winless drought dating back to 2017. Where have we heard that before?

OWGR: 48; Odds: 35-1; 2020 RBC: T28


6. Will Zalatoris

Will Zalatoris 2021 Masters Tournament Augusta National Golf Club
Will Zalatoris lines up a putt on the tenth green during the final round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 11, 2021 in Augusta, GA. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Close followers of the PGA Tour have been on the Zalatoris wagon for at least a few months now, but after a solo-second place finish at The Masters last weekend, the 24-year-old has officially arrived as a household name in the game.

A minor let-down after his first week in seriously major contention is certainly possible, if not likely, but considering he was not really expected to contend at Augusta, there is a good chance he is able to ride the momentum rather than burn out.

He’s fourth on Tour in strokes gained: tee-to-green, and now boasts the Tour’s 10th ranked scoring average.

OWGR: 27; Odds: 25-1; 2020 RBC: Debut


5. Cameron Smith

Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith tees off on the 6th hole during the third round of the WGC-Mexico Championship at Club de Golf Chapultepec on Feb 23, 2019 in Mexico City. Photo by Keyur Khamar/Getty Images via PGA TOUR

The 27-year-old Aussie now has back-to-back top-10s at The Masters, posting a T10 last weekend after finishing co-runner-up to Dustin Johnson in November. It had to be frustrating for him last week to go on scoring binges that would get him on the periphery of contention, only to fall back again.

Still, that is four finishes of T17 or better in his last five starts, and his short game is phenomenal, which makes him among the favorites this week, despite a mediocre recent history at this event, which includes missed cuts in his last two attempts.

OWGR: 26; Odds: 30-1; 2020 RBC: MC


4. Tyrrell Hatton

Tyrrell Hatton at the 2020 RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links
Tyrrell Hatton talks with his caddie on the 18th hole during the third round of the RBC Heritage on June 20, 2020 at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head Island, SC. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The former Arnold Palmer Invitational winner held the 54-hole co-lead at Harbour Town a year ago, and then got off to a blazing Sunday start (four birdies in his first six holes) before a pedestrian back nine led to the Brit getting overtaken by a late Webb Simpson surge.

A Friday 63 plus a Saturday 64 showed a tremendous level of comfort here. It seems like he is capable of shooting any kind of round at any given time, but he sounded encouraged with a Sunday 4-under 68 at The Masters, his first sub-70 round out of 16 attempts.

OWGR: 8; Odds: 25-1; 2020 RBC: T3


3. Webb Simpson

Webb Simpson at the 2020 RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links
Webb Simpson lines up a putt on the 15th green during the first round of the RBC Heritage on June 18, 2020 at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head Island, SC. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Webb has been very hit-or-miss at Harbour Town, but his hits have been especially prominent, with a win, a runner-up, and several more times well in contention.

That win happened in the most recent edition of this event, where he appeared to have squandered the 54-hole co-lead, only to explode with five birdies over the final seven holes to finish one ahead of Abraham Ancer.

Three rounds of 2-under 70 at The Masters last week, combined with his prowess in this event, has him feeling good about his chances of a successful defense, something that has been surprisingly rare on Tour in recent years.

OWGR: 9; Odds: 14-1; 2020 RBC: W


2. Corey Conners

Corey Conners Wins Valero Texas Open
Corey Conners celebrates on the 18th green after winning the Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio on April 7, 2019 in San Antonio, TX. Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The 29-year-old Canadian finished T8 at The Masters last weekend, in spite of a four-hole front-nine stretch on Sunday where he went bogey-bogey-double bogey-bogey.

That makes four straight finishes of T14 or better in the last four stroke play starts for Conners, who ranks in the top 10 on Tour in both driving average and greens in regulation.

He was T21 a year ago, exploding into the mix after a second-round 63, which tied for the low round of the week.

OWGR: 42; Odds: 35-1; 2020 RBC: T21


1. Patrick Cantlay

Patrick Cantlay
Patrick Cantlay plays a shot on the 13th hole during the third round of The Genesis Invitational at Riviera CC on Feb 20, 2021 in Pacific Palisades, CA. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

What the heck was that? DJ and Rory were in poor form going into The Masters, and Brooks was fresh off an injury, if not playing hurt, so while it was surprising to see those three perform poorly at The Masters, none of them were absolutely shocking.

As for Cantlay’s 79-73 missed cut? We have no idea: it should have been his week. Maybe there is something going on that has not been reported, but we have a hard time staying down on him long.

He has finished T17 or better in his last six stroke play events that weren’t at Augusta National or TPC Sawgrass, and while Harbour Town in a beautiful course that we would give up a limb to play, it’s not Augusta National or TPC Sawgrass.

It also helps that he has gone T3, T7, T3 respectively in his three Heritage starts.

OWGR: 10; Odds: 14-1; 2019 RBC: 3


Next Five: Daniel Berger, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Matt Wallace, Kevin Kisner, Robert MacIntyre


2021 RBC Heritage Power Rankings:
1. Patrick Cantlay
2. Corey Conners
3. Webb Simpson
4. Tyrrell Hatton
5. Cameron Smith
6. Will Zalatoris
7. Brian Harman
8. Dustin Johnson
9. Paul Casey
10. Collin Morikawa
11. Abraham Ancer
12. Sungjae Im
13. Stewart Cink
14. Si Woo Kim
15. Luke Donald
16. Daniel Berger
17. Matthew Fitzpatrick
18. Matt Wallace
19. Kevin Kisner
20. Robert MacIntyre


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