Deja Vu for Spieth and Cantlay at RBC Heritage?

Jordan Spieth, 2023 RBC Heritage, Harbour Town,(Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Jordan Spieth, 2023 RBC Heritage, Harbour Town,(Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images) /

A lot has changed since last year’s RBC Heritage, the stakes are higher and the field is vastly improved, the winner of this year’s event will pad their wallet significantly, and the 55th playing of the RBC Heritage is one of the PGA Tour’s new ‘Designated Events’.

But for as much that has changed, some things remain very much the same. Both Jordan Spieth and Patrick Cantlay must be feeling some sense of Deja vu after both players have made their way near the top of the leaderboard once again heading into Sunday’s final round at Harbour Town.

Around this time last year, Jordan Spieth was putting the finishing touches on a playoff victory over the aforementioned Cantlay.

Both players are looking up at Matt Fitzpatrick this time around, though. Fitzpatrick jolted up the leaderboard following his lowest-ever round on the PGA Tour on Saturday.

The Englishman’s superb 8-under 63 on Saturday sees him holding a one-shot lead over Patrick Cantlay and a two-shot lead over Jordan Spieth heading into the final round of this year’s RBC Heritage.

The 2022 U.S. Open champion is looking for just his second professional win on this side of the pond after last year’s famous victory at Brookline. 

Though Spieth and Cantlay are the Englishman’s closest challengers after the conclusion of the third round, the reality is that a handful of players still have a very realistic shot at claiming the trophy during what is shaping up to be a terrific final round at Harbour Town.

But Jordan Spieth and Patrick Cantlay will be hoping for a similar finish to the one that played out here one year ago. And they both will be taking very different approaches into the final round this time around.

“Just to stay patient. I’ve had a good track record around this golf course and had a number of chances, so should be nothing new tomorrow. I’ll have a chance and I’ll go out and do my best,” Cantlay answered when asked about the approach he would be taking into Sunday’s final round.

After losing in the playoff to Spieth last year and finishing inside of the top 3 at this event in three of his last five starts at Harbour Town, Patrick is hopeful that this year is finally his time.

“I hope so,” he added after his round on Saturday when asked about whether or not he felt this tournament owed him one.

Spieth is taking the opposite approach on Sunday at the RBC Heritage.

While Cantlay is planning on remaining patient during the final round, Jordan Spieth plans to be aggressive and take advantage of the soft and scoreable conditions that are expected as a result of the incoming weather.

“But if it gets rain, then you’ve got to keep the gas pedal on. If you look at the leaderboard, you go down the list of names, try and tell me one of them isn’t going to shoot 4- or 5-under,” Jordan responded when asked about what he needed to do in order to close out a potential second consecutive win at the RBC Heritage.

"“It’s going to be about trying to win the golf tournament, not play protective. This course can make you try to maybe try chip shots or be tentative with how tight it is, but you just have to play freely tomorrow and look to make birdies.”"

Both Spieth and Cantlay turned in matching 5-under 66s on Saturday and will be hoping for a similar or better performance during the final round.

Next. 2023 RBC Heritage: Winnings and Final Payouts by Position. dark

Could the conclusion of this year’s RBC Heritage turn out to be a Deja vu experience for both Spieth and Cantlay? Perhaps, but you can bet that Fitzpatrick and the rest of the chasing pack will have something to say about all of that before a new champion is crowned on Sunday at Harbour Town.