Golf Pick 'Em: Heritage matchup breakdowns

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Will Gray
·6 min read
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Golf Pick 'Em is back for another season of picks and prizes in the NBC Sports Predictor app.

The free-to-play game has returned in 2021 and continues this week with the RBC Heritage. Each week participants will choose between a series of head-to-head matchups, plus select an overall tournament champion and winning score (or in this case total number of holes played).

Participants can compete for weekly cash prizes, with a $50,000 jackpot available for any participants who earn a perfect score (increasing up to $100,000 during some of the biggest events of the year). There will also be at least $1,000 awarded each week in cash and prizes, even if there is no player with a perfect score.

Jackpots have been paid in out two of the last four weeks of the Predictor game, as the Arnold Palmer Invitational and The Players both saw participants splitting the $50,000 prize after notching perfect scores.

Here's a look at some of the keys to this week's set of 10 matchups at Harbour Town Golf Links, where Dustin Johnson headlines the field and Webb Simpson returns to defend the title he won here in June:

Dustin Johnson vs. Webb Simpson

Keys: Johnson is teeing it up in his native South Carolina for the fourth straight year, looking to bounce back from an unexpected missed cut in his Masters title defense. The world No. 1 has put up three straight finishes between T-16 and T-18 at Harbour Town. Simpson set all sorts of scoring records en route to victory last summer, when this was the second event after the Tour resumed play, and he finished T-12 last week at Augusta National. He has finished T-16 or better four years in a row here and also lost a playoff in 2013.

Edge: Simpson

Daniel Berger vs. Collin Morikawa

Keys: Berger finished T-3 at this event last summer one week after breaking through for a win at Colonial, and he enters off a missed cut at the Masters where he shot rounds of 75-73. He has made the cut in each of his three Heritage appearances, highlighted by last year when he shot 63-65 over the weekend. Morikawa finished T-18 in Augusta last week after a final-round 70. The reigning PGA champ also finished T-64 last year in his Harbour Town debut.

Edge: Berger (Note: Berger replaced Bryson DeChambeau, who withdrew Monday.)

Will Zalatoris vs. Patrick Cantlay

Keys: Two players coming in from opposite sides of the spectrum. Zalatoris dazzled in his Masters debut, finishing second behind Hideki Matsuyama despite still not being fully exempt on Tour. Cantlay was one of the pre-tournament favorites but made a quick exit after rounds of 79-73 after also missing the cut at The Players. Cantlay has an amazing record here, finishing T-3 twice and T-7 once in three prior trips, while Zalatoris will be making his debut.

Edge: Zalatoris

Matt Kuchar vs. Sergio Garcia

Keys: Two veterans looking to rebound from early exits at Augusta. Kuchar had flashed some form at the Match Play and Valero before missing the cut last week, and now he returns to a course where he holed a bunker shot on the 72nd hole to win in 2014 and has three top-10 finishes since. Garcia missed the weekend by a shot and now turns his attention east, having finished T-5 here in June in his first Heritage appearance since 2010.

Edge: Kuchar

Lee Westwood vs. Paul Casey

Keys: A pair of Englishmen square off here, as Westwood picked up a lot of Masters momentum with his runner-up finishes at Bay Hill and TPC Sawgrass but ultimately missed the cut in the first major of the year. He hasn't played this event since 2005, and he has shot over par in each of his six competitive rounds at Harbour Town. Casey shot a final-round 69 to move up to T-23 at the Masters and has three prior top-20 finishes at this event, but none since 2014 as he has missed the cut in two subsequent appearances.

Edge: Casey

Brandt Snedeker vs. Luke Donald

Keys: These two veterans each have a decorated history at this event. Snedeker won this event back in 2011 but hasn't cracked the top 10 since, although he does enter with some momentum after a T-6 result two weeks ago in San Antonio. Donald has done everything but win at Hilton Head, finishing second three times in a four-year stretch from 2014-17. He'll need to rekindle that form to break out of a lengthy slump, as the former world No. 1 has missed nine straight cuts dating back to November.

Edge: Snedeker

Kevin Kisner vs. Si Woo Kim

Keys: Two men who know what it's like to lose this event in overtime. Kisner was edged by Jim Furyk in a playoff back in 2015, while Kim lost to Satoshi Kodaira three years later. Kisner has since added a T-7 finish but missed the cut both last year and last week, while Kim endured a tumultuous week in Augusta that included a broken putter mid-round but still managed to snag a T-12 finish that earned him an invite back for 2022.

Edge: Kim

Tommy Fleetwood vs. Tyrrell Hatton

Keys: Both Englishman played the weekend in Augusta, with Fleetwood finishing T-46 thanks in part to an opening-round ace and Hatton moving up to T-18 with a final-round 68. Fleetwood finished T-25 in his tournament debut two years ago but didn't play last year, while Hatton finished T-3 last year after shooting 64-63-66 over the final 54 holes.

Edge: Hatton

Ian Poulter vs. Matthew Fitzpatrick

Keys: Poulter has a stout record at Harbour Town, finishing T-14 or better each of the last four years, and enters off a T-23 result at the Masters. Fitzpatrick lists this as his favorite course on Tour and even has a Harbour Town headcover in play most weeks, and he has finished T-14 here two of the last three years. He finished T-34 at Augusta after shooting 73-73 over the weekend.

Edge: Poulter

Jim Furyk vs. Graeme McDowell

Keys: Two past champions of this event, as Furyk beat Brian Davis in a playoff here in 2010 and topped Kisner in another playoff five years later. McDowell won his Heritage title in sudden death over Webb Simpson in 2013. Furyk has missed the cut in each of his last two starts, while McDowell finished T-4 in Punta Cana a couple weeks ago but hasn't cracked the top 20 at Harbour Town since his win.

Edge: Furyk (Note: McDowell replaced Steve Stricker, who withdrew Sunday.)