2024 RBC Heritage leaderboard, scores: J.T. Poston leads with Masters star Ludvig Åberg in hunt after Round 1

In one of the stranger transitions this PGA Tour season, the RBC Heritage started on Thursday just four days after the final round of the Masters. It’s a great field in a no-cut, big-money event, which is fun for fans. However, it felt odd to watch golfers play a regular PGA Tour stop so quickly after the first major championship of the year.

So, it was no surprise to see some of the bigger stars struggle a bit and some lesser names rise to the top of the leaderboard. One of those names is J.T. Poston, who shot a round-of-the-day 8-under 63. He’s trailed by, well, everybody else in the field at the $20 million event at Hilton Head.

Let’s take a look at his round as well as those on the chase going into Round 2 on Friday.

The leader

1. J.T. Poston (-8)

Poston was second in the field in putting on Thursday, which is why he’s leading. But he also hit it well, which has not been the case. After putting together five top 20s in six starts on the West Coast, Poston has no top 20s in four starts since heading east. 

He credited better ball-striking (he was top 15 in that category on Thursday), but also gave a shout out to his wife for allowing him to get a little sleep with their newborn on the road.

“We’ve got a two-bedroom condo,” explained Poston. “My mom is staying with us. We’ve got her in her little setup. Last night my wife was great; she got up in the middle of the night a couple times when she was ready to eat or being fussy and let me sleep, so maybe we’ll keep doing that.”

Other contenders

T2. Collin Morikawa, Seamus Power (-6)
T4. Austin Eckroat, Mackenzie Hughes, Sahith Theegala, Patrick Rodgers, Ludvig Aberg, Sepp Straka (-5)

Åberg has the look you want to see from a young potential star going into this event off a solo second at the Masters. He’s a flusher’s flusher, hit 13 of 14 fairways on Thursday with that perfect swing of his and cruised to a 66 with absolutely nothing on or around the greens.

Terrifying stuff.

“My focus shifted right when I got here,” said Åberg. “We were trying to make sure that last week was last week and this week was this week. But, yeah, obviously last week is still something I look back on with a smile. But, yeah, my focus is here this week, and hopefully we’ll be able to keep up good golf.

“I’d like to think that I’m young and I’ll be able to handle it,” he added about playing three consecutive weeks. “But, yes, I think I’ll crash for a few days next week when I’m not playing. But I’m looking forward to the rest of the week.”

Scottie … again?

Scottie Scheffler has lost to one golfer since March 1 — that was Stephan Jager at the Houston Open a few weeks ago. He’s defeated … everyone else he’s played, including wins at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Players Championship and, of course, last week’s Masters. Could that continue this week? He’s off to a decent start at 2 under that included a double bogey. 

It’s his 36th consecutive round at or under par to start 2024.

“It would have felt better if I got off to a better start,” said Scheffler, who made double at the third hole after botching a bunker shot and failing to get up and down. “I tried to give myself a little bit of grace there, but I got pretty frustrated towards the middle of the round because I was playing good, felt like I was hitting good putts and my speed was maybe a touch off. 

“I shanked the bunker shot on 3. I shank it a decent amount, but never in competition … I tried to kind of give myself a little bit of grace there. It clearly was just a mental lapse and I wasn’t quite into it yet. Tried to give myself a little bit of time. I had a much better back nine. Hit a lot of really good shots. Hit some nice putts, too. Looking forward to the rest of the week.”

Scheffler looked the way anyone would look after winning the Masters: physically and emotionally exhausted.

“I think I was maybe too settled down to start the day. I wasn’t quite into the competition. I think maybe it was a bit of fatigue, whatever it was. But I felt like I was still kind of getting adjusted to the golf course.”

Scheffler is not in a great position for a fourth win in five starts because of when this tournament lands on the schedule. Beating the best players in the world in a given week is difficult enough as it is. Doing so after the emotional toll of winning a Masters is monumental. If anyone can do it, it’s him. But there were definitely some mistakes in there early for Scheffler that we are unaccustomed to seeing. 

Those mistakes will be cleaned up eventually, and Scheffler will play his way into the tournament. The question for him after Round 1 is whether falling outside the top 20 after the first day will prohibit him from yet another victory.

2024 RBC Heritage updated odds, picks

Odds via Sportsline consensus

  • Collin Morikawa: 6-1
  • J.T. Poston: 7-1
  • Ludvig Aberg: 7-1
  • Scottie Scheffler: 10-1
  • Rory McIlroy: 11-1
  • Patrick Cantlay: 12-1

I’m in on Åberg getting a victory this week, and I like those 7-1 odds. Which means Scheffler is definitely going to shoot 64 on Friday and surge into the lead. Guys who hit it great and you should keep an eye on include Cameron Young (20-1) and Russell Henley (28-1).


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