The PGA Tour heads to Hilton Head, South Carolina this week for the prestigious Heritage Tournament over Harbour Town Golf Links. Jim Furyk defends a title he won in a playoff against England’s Brian Davis last season.
Designed by Pete Dye with the assistance of Jack Nicklaus, the course at Harbour Town is one of the professionals’ 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 Jim Furyk won the title, beating England’s Brian Davis in a dramatic sudden-death playoff. At the first extra hole Davis pulled his second shot slightly and it ended on the beach to the left of the green. He played his third back on to the putting surface but felt he may have touched a loose reed on his backswing. A check of the video replay confirmed his fear and he conceded the tournament to Furyk. It was one of golf’s great displays of honesty and sportsmanship.
Venue: Harbour Town Golf Links, Hilton Head, South Carolina
Date: April 21-24
Course stats: par 71, 6,973 yards
Purse: $5,700,000, Winner: $1,026,000
Defending Champion: Jim Furyk (-13)
Thursday 21 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 9.30pm
Friday 22 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 8pm
Saturday 23 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 7pm
Sunday 24 – Live on Sky Sports 3 from 6pm
Luke Donald – The Englishman must be considered one of the favourites. He is on a great run of form, including a fine performance at The Masters. He’s finished in the top-three in each of the last two years here.
Matt Kuchar – Another solid and consistent performer, even if his up and down performance at Augusta belied that fact. He’s made the cut every time he’s started at Harbour Town.
Jason Day – The Australian showed amazing grit and determination at Augusta. He looks to have a superb all-round game and could well contend again this week.
Key hole: 17th. A par three of 185 yards with water everywhere. Strong crosswinds often affect the tee shot and anything that catches the breeze can end up in the lagoon.
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 find the small greens and to negotiate Harbour Town’s numerous hazards.
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