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Brandt a bet in open RBC Heritage

| 15.04.2017

Former winner looking to prove a point

With the drama of the US Masters still fresh in our minds, we go in search of golf’s next big price winner when sorting through the highlight of this week’s schedule, the RBC Heritage Classic. The actions gets going on Thursday evening, live on Sky Sports, and punters have a wide-open betting market in front of them.

Matt Kuchar starts as the pre-tournament favourite with Coral, but the fact there’s plenty of 12/1 going around on the American proves sports traders are still scratching their heads over picking a winner at Harbour Town. Kuch is a former champ of this title, coming to bank the prize money in 2014 with a winning score of 11 under-par.

If you would like to take the jolly on with something a bit more recent, we have Branden Grace as defending champion. The young South African topped the charts 12-months ago with a score of nine-under, which was pretty low, judging by the efforts of recent winners, but there’s nothing low about two in-a-row for Grace, with a massive 20/1 available on him doubling up. That is sure to attract plenty of attention this week. We’re happy to overlook both when putting forward our best bet of the competition however.

Steve Palmer fancies Matt Kuchar to be top US wildcard among the special bets on offer with Coral.

Snedeker eager to bounce back

The man to carry our stake money is his golf bag from Thursday through to Sunday, hopefully, is Brandt Snedeker. Another near the top end of the market and another former winner of this title. Snedeker was top dog in 2011, coming through a play-off vs Luke Donald to get the job done, handing in -12. The 36-year-old from Franklin, Tennessee doesn’t arrive on the best of form, and after being widely fancied to do something in the Masters, he let followers down, coasting around without ever making his presence felt. He fell off the pace early and seemed happy enough to make do.

That could turn punters against him, with some rather less forgiving than we are. He has put in a couple of real flops at this course in previous visits too, but when playing well there’s few who could match him, and his winning effort in 2011 was something special. He had been written off by most going in to the final day, but produced a stunning round of golf, worthy of winning any title anywhere in the world, and cut through the pack with ease.

Brandt Snedeker smiles after chipping on the 17th hole of the south course at Torrey Pines Golf Course during the second round of the Farmers Insurance Open on Friday, Jan. 27, 2017. (K.C. Alfred/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS)

Selection to roll back the years

This competition will hold fond memories for Snedeker, and at a time he could do with a bit of confidence back onside, he will view this is a perfect opportunity to show his critics he’s still a major player at this level. The challenges of the course seem to play to his strengths, and that win aside, he is a methodical player who more than makes up for his driving distance with a steady, calculated, sensible approach. He’s not a big risk taker, which is important here, but instead will look to keep pace in the early exchanges and see where that leaves him at the weekend.

Coral are giving 16/1 on Snedeker to win the RBC Heritage Classic, with each-way players getting 1/5 the odds the best seven back in the clubhouse. That’s much more than most of our competitors, and gives a safety net to those who fancy a go at a bigger price.

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Frank Monkhouse