Well, we have closed the book on the 2013 Masters and there are stories that will be told from this year’s installment at Augusta National. Congratulations to Adam Scott who broke a personal 0-47 slump in the Majors and the curse that kept an Australian from winning a green jacket. Congratulations are also in order for Guan Tianlang, the 14 year old from China, who played in and made the cut at this year’s Masters.
There is no rest for the PGA Tour this week as the players head to Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head in South Carolina for the RBC Heritage. Harbour Town has been the host course since the tournaments inception in 1969 when Arnold Palmer won the inaugural event. The course is an ode to the Scottish and plays to 7,101 yards and a par of 71. It is a Pete Dye creation (with consultation by Jack Nicklaus) and is yearly regarded as one of the preferred course by PGA Tour professionals. The RBC Heritage also prides itself on the Green Initiatives in place to limit environmental impact of such a large scale event. Click here if you would like to read more about their Green Initiatives .
One if the interesting things about the Harbour Town course is that it is no “bombers paradise;” you have to work the ball around this track. This opens up the course to almost any professional that has a great week striking the ball. While every shot requires complete attention there is a group of holes that will factor greatly into who stands alone on Sunday.Number 14 is a par three that will cover 192 yards. While not gargantuan in length the water, pot bunker, overhanging trees and small green will create their share of trouble moments for the players this week.
Number 15 is a 588 yard par five that will test the mental acumen of every player in the field. With water left and two challenging bunkers guarding the opening to the green a birdie opportunity can quickly turn into a bogey or worse.Number 16 is a par four that will play to 434 yards. It is not a long hole but it is not devoid of concern. In fact its length can fool a player into relaxing when they should be focusing. The key here is to avoid the left and then be careful with a mid to short iron into a green that can crush a players hopes if an miscue catches the bunkers on the right.
The postcard moment at Harbour Town is the 474 yard par 4 18th with its iconic lighthouse. The players tee shots should be focused on a wide landing area that juts into the sound. A middle to long iron will be in most players hands as they attempt to navigate home. Players will have to pay mind to mounds that can quickly turn a closing par into much worse.
Throughout the RBC Heritage history there has been a veritable who’s who of golfs elite that have won this event. As I previously mentioned Arnold Palmer won the inaugural event. Other great have raised their hands in victory on Hilton Head as well. Jack Nicklaus, Hale Irwin, Johnny Miller, Tom Watson, Nick Faldo, Greg Norman, Davis Love, Payne Stewart are just some of the greats that have won the Heritage. Davis Love holds the record for tournament victories at an astonishing five. The tournament record was set by Brian Gay in 2009 with a 20 under 264. The low 18 hole total was set by David Frost in 1994 with a 10 under par 61.
It would not be a PGA Tour stop if there wasn’t valuable charity benefiting from the weeks festivities. At the RBC Heritage the main beneficiary of charitable donations is the Heritage Classic Foundation. The foundation has redistributed over $23M since its inception. The PGA Tour website explains the Heritage Classic Foundation as:
“Proceeds from this tournament have assisted hundreds of groups ranging from medical institutions, the arts, children’s programs and education. In 2012, the Foundation distributed $1.5 million to those in need.”
As a military veteran I wanted to point out that the RBC Heritage also honors America’s heroes by providing free admission to active-duty military personnel and their family to the event. I give great credit to the RBC Heritage for that.
Due to the history associated with the RBC Heritage there are many moments that will ring as special to many golf fans. Do you remember Davis Love III and his five wins, Stewart Cink’s playoff victory in 2004 or what about Brandt Snedeker’s charge in the final round of 2011? No? Here is your chance to relive some of those moments.
YouTube Video Courtesy of pgatour
Now that we have previewed the event, discussed a few of the holes that will help shape the tournaments results and even watched some of the resounding moments in RBC Heritage history lets break down who some of the logical win candidates are for the 2013 edition.
Up Next: The Contenders