After last week’s thrilling Masters Tournament, the PGA Tour heads to the South Carolina coast for the RBC Heritage. Brandt Snedeker defends the title and a strong field has assembled.
Designed by Pete Dye with the assistance of Jack Nicklaus, the course at Harbour Town is one of the professional’s favourite tracks. With its iconic lighthouse and Scottish feel, it’s also one of the most attractive on the circuit.
First contested in 1969, Arnold Palmer was the inaugural winner of this event and there have been some notable champions, including Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Watson and Greg Norman.
In the 1990s and early 2000s, Davis Love III earned a reputation as a Harbour Town specialist. He won five times between 1991 and 2003.
Last season Brandt Snedeker produced an excellent closing round of 64 to catch Luke Donald at the top of the leaderboard. The American went on to take the title on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff.
This event looked to be in trouble last year with no sponsor and a shift from its usual week after the Masters. But the tournament is back on the right track – moved back in the schedule and with sponsorship by RBC secured through 2016.
Venue: Harbour Town Golf Links, Hilton Head, South Carolina
Date: Apr 12-15
Course stats: par 71, 6,973 yards
Purse: $5,700,000 Winner: $1,026,000
Defending Champion: Brandt Snedeker (-12)
Thursday 12 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Friday 13 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Saturday 14 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Sunday 15 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Matt Kuchar – The ever consistent American finished tied for third at Augusta and could have threatened for the title. He’s a top-10 machine with four straight on the PGA Tour after last week. He also has a good record at Harbour Town – no missed cuts in seven starts.
Luke Donald – Last year’s runner-up, the Englishman will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing Masters. Apart from losing a playoff here in 2011, he was tied third in 2010 and tied second in 2009. He’s clearly a horse suited to this course.
Jim Furyk – The 2010 champion is on a solid run of form stretching back to his playoff defeat in the Transitions Championship mid March. His game is perfect for this layout and his skills in scrambling will come to the fore.
Key hole: 14th. A par-3 of 192 yards with water all along the right side. Overhanging trees and a treacherous pot-bunker make this a very small target. It ranked as the toughest hole on the course in 2011.
Skills required: Course management. This isn’t a long course but careful placement from the tee and on approaches is crucial if players are to successfully negotiate Harbour Town’s numerous hazards.
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