RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Preview, Picks + Predictions Plus the Driver-Off-The-Deck BOLD Play of the Week

In a 2011 Golf Digest poll, PGA Tour players ranked Harbour Town ranked as their 2nd favorite venue on the annual Tour rota.  Considering the company of other renowned courses on Tour, that’s quite the honor.  Only ranked behind Augusta National, this means that Harbour Town ranked ahead of Muirfield Village, Colonial, Torrey Pines, Bay Hill, Riviera, Pebble Beach and all of the others the Tour visits each year.

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2013 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club Betting Odds

*******Updated 6/10- Click here for updated odds and my value picks as of 6/10

The 2013 Masters may have just wrapped up (and damn, Adam Scott looks good in green), but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start talking about golf’s next major- The U.S. Open.

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Driver-off-the-Deck BOLD Prediction of the Week- Rory (Wildly) Will Miss Cut at Valero Texas Open

Driver-off-the-Deck Bold Prediction of the Week:

Rory McIlroy is going to miss the cut at this week’s Valero Texas Open.  In one sense that might sound like a bold statement, as predicting that the world’s #2 player won’t even make it past the halfway point may sound a bit loony, but, in another sense, it may not sound so bold as Rory’s four PGA Tour events this year have gone like this:

–        WGC Accenture Match Play Championship- 1st round loss

–        The Honda Classic- Fake wisdom toothache while seemingly 200 over par, eventual WD

–        WGC Cadillac Championship at Doral- T-8th (final round Sunday low 65)

–        Shell Houston Open- T-45th

It’s been a tumultuous start to the year to say the least following the equipment change to Nike.  Rory did seem to iron out a few kinks and seemed ever so slightly more comfortable over the ball last week at Shell, but he just squeaked into the weekend on the cut line and never cracked 70 on a score-able course.

Overall, his whole game is still a mess.  He’s spraying it everywhere off the tee (particularly prone to the pull-hooks, which is goodnight nurse territory for anyone’s game), is struggling with distance control especially with his short irons and is hardly holing anything on the greens.  The old Rory rolled the rock with confidence; the Nike-ified Rory is rolling it with hesitation, which leads to wobbly pars, not electric birdies.

The TPC San Antonio course, site of this week’s Valero Texas Open is extremely demanding off the tee, with bunkers and other hazards galore.  Those pull-snipes with those new red-headed Nike Covert woods are just screaming for trouble.  Swooshes will be flying every which way, and penalty strokes and a frustrated Rory will be hunching his shoulders all week.

The idea of Rory heading to San Antonio looking to get more reps in and to hopefully build some momentum heading into the Masters is great (and I’m glad to see that he gave this back to the Tour), but the course couldn’t fit the current state of his game any worse, and I wouldn’t at all be shocked to see some mid to even upper 70s shot by Rors this week (for prediction’s sake I’ll go with 77-73 for his MC).  Commence further media uproar heading into Augusta next week.

Joel Harrington