Lowdown: The PGA Tour moves to the Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina where most of last week’s Masters competitors will battle for the $1,026,000 prize.
The Verizon Heritage was first played in 1969 when Arnold Palmer won over the Harbour Town Golf Links course. The event boasts a host of other former winners who have also held world number one status, including Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Greg Norman. Last year American Brian Gay created tournament history when he shot a final-round 64 to win by a record ten shots and the lowest four-round total, a score of 20-under par. This year, the Verizon Heritage will see top-ten players Paul Casey, Ian Poulter and Jim Furyk tee it up for FedEx points. South Korean K.J. Choi and American Ricky Barnes both finished in the top-ten of the Masters and both make up the 142-man field. The course opened in 1967 and was designed by architect, Pete Dye and 1975 champion, Jack Nicklaus. It is now ranked the number one course in South Carolina.
Venue: Harbour Town Golf Links, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Date: Apr 15-18
Course stats: Par 71, 6973 yards
Purse: $5,700,000 Winner: $1,026,000
Defending champion: Brian Gay (-20)
Thursday 15 – Live on Sky Sports 2 from 8pm
Friday 16 – Live on Sky Sports 2 from 8pm
Saturday 17 – Live on Sky Sports 2 from 6pm
Sunday 18 – Live on Sky Sports 2 from 6pm
Ian Poulter – The world number five has tasted victory in 2010 with the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship and comes from a relatively successful Masters, where he finished in a tie for tenth.
K.J. Choi – The South Korean has risen from 88 to 33 in the world rankings this year following a second place finish at the Transitions Championship and a tie for fourth at the Masters.
Camilo Villegas – With victory at the Honda Classic and two other top-ten finishes, the 28-year old from Colombia is currently sixth in the FedEx Cup.
Key hole: The 17th. Playing only 185 yards, this intimidating par-3 will test the nerves of any tournament leader. The green is surrounded by water and a 90-yard bunker, so only a confident iron shot will escape trouble. The hole regularly experiences high head or crosswinds, which can carry the ball into the lagoon.
Skills required: Strategic shot choice. Many of the holes on the Harbour Town Golf Links present a significant risk/reward scenario. A number of doglegs make tee shots a challenge, and although the course is not the longest on tour, overhanging trees and zealous bunkers make positioning a key factor for success.