Sports Network Selections
- Pick To Win:
- Ian Poulter
- Charley Hoffman
- Last Week's Pick To Win - J.Spieth, D.Johnson, H.Stenson
- Won, T-6, T-19
- Last Week's Darkhorse - R.Palmer, B.Horschel, M.Every
The PGA Tour's annual trek to the shores of South Carolina continues this
week, as players attempt to add their name to the list of impressive champions
at the RBC Heritage. Past winners of this prestigious event include: Arnold
Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Johnny Miller, Hale Irwin, Fuzzy Zoeller,
Nick Faldo, Greg Norman, Bernhard Langer, Payne Stewart, Nick Price, Davis
Love III and Jim Furyk. The purse increased $100,000 from last year to $5.9
million, with the winner receiving $1,062,000.
Eight of the top 25 players in the world are set to play, led by Masters
champion Jordan Spieth, who is now ranked No. 2 in the world. The 21-year-old
Spieth is coming off an impressive victory at Augusta National Golf Club last
week, where he captured his first major championship. He has been the hottest
player in the world in 2015, with two victories, two second place finishes and
seven top-10's in nine events. Spieth has finished first, second, tied for
second, and first in his last four tournaments. He currently leads the PGA
Tour money list with over $4.9 million in earnings.
Another player to keep an eye on this week is former world No. 1 Luke Donald,
who has an outstanding record at this event. In his last six appearances here,
Donald has finished second three times and third twice. He is still looking
for his first win at this tournament.
Harbour Town has the smallest greens on the PGA Tour and has hosted this event
since its inception in 1969. The Ocean Course on Hilton Head Island was used
for the first two rounds in 1972. There have been nine multiple winners of
Last year, Matt Kuchar holed a bunker shot for birdie on the 18th in the final
round to shoot a 7-under 64 and come from behind to win. Kuchar, who won for
the seventh time on the PGA Tour, finished at 11-under-par 273. Kuchar tied
Stewart Cink (2004), Brian Gay (2009) and Brandt Snedeker (2011) for the
lowest final round by a winner in tournament history.
The 91 players that made the 36-hole cut in 2013 marked the first time in 32
years that more than 90 players made the 36-hole cut in a non-major
championship. The last time it happened was at the 1981 Travelers
In 2010, Jim Furyk won after Brian Davis called a penalty on himself during a
playoff. Davis hit his second left of the green and into a hazard populated by
sand and rocks. Davis blasted out 30 feet past the flag, then immediately
called for a PGA Tour rules official. Davis' club hit a dead branch on his
backswing and it was deemed a 2-stroke penalty. Furyk made his par putt and
collected his second of three wins in 2010 on his way to winning the FedExCup.
Furyk and Davis were the only players in the field to shoot all four rounds in
Gay fired a 7-under 64 in the final round in 2009 to cruise to an easy 10-
stroke victory over Briny Baird and Donald. Gay finished at 20-under 264,
which established a new tournament record. Loren Roberts shot the old mark of
265 back in 1996 when he won, and Gay's 10-shot win also represented a new
tournament record for margin of victory. He was the only player in the field
to fire four rounds in the 60s. Gay carded just two bogeys in four rounds in
2009, the fewest since 1983 when Roberts had three.
In 2008, Boo Weekley shot rounds of 69-64-65-71 to successfully defend his
title. He finished at 15-under-par 269. Weekley holed two shots from off the
green on the back nine in the final round, both times for birdie, and did
enough to fend off Anthony Kim and Aaron Baddeley for a 3-shot win. Weekley
has claimed two of his three PGA Tour wins at Harbour Town. He was the first
player to win in his first two appearances. Weekley became the first back-to-
back Heritage champion since Love, a 5-time winner, won in 1991-92. Weekley,
Love and Stewart are the only players to win two straight years. Stewart did
it in 1989-90.
Weekley escaped 17 and 18 with chip-in pars in the final round on Monday to
win the title in 2007. Those closing pars secured a round of 3-under 68 and
Weekley's first PGA Tour crown. He finished at 14-under-par 270. Weekley was
the only player in the field to shoot all four rounds in the 60s. With that
win, Weekley became the 10th first-time winner in the history of this event,
joining Irwin (1971), Graham Marsh (1977), Doug Tewell (1980), Faldo (1984),
Love (1987), Glen Day (1999), Jose Coceres (2001), Peter Lonard (2005) and
Aaron Baddeley (2006). Weekley also became the fifth player to win the title
in his first appearance, joining Palmer (1969), Bob Goalby (1970), Cink (2000)
and Coceres (2001).
Lonard opened with a first-round 62 in 2005 and held on to win. Lonard carded
a 4-over 75 in the final round to finish at 7-under-par 277 for his first
career victory on the PGA Tour. He finished two strokes ahead of Billy
Andrade, Darren Clarke, Furyk and Love. Lonard's first-round 62 tied the
first-round course record set by Love in 2002. His final-round 75 set the
tournament record for high finish by a winner, previously held by Palmer (74)
in 1969. Lonard's 72-hole total of 277 was the highest winning score since
Tom Watson (280) in 1982. The scoring average for the 2005 tournament (73.246)
was the highest in the history of the event since statistics were first kept
in 1983. The previous highest scoring average (72.757) was in 1986.
David Frost set the PGA Tour record for fewest putts in a 72-hole event with
92 in 2005, breaking the mark of 93 set by Kenny Knox at this event in 1989
and Mark Calcavecchia at the 2002 Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic. Frost
finished in a tie for 38th.
Cink overcame a 9-shot deficit in the final round to win in 2004. The tour
record for largest final-round comeback is Paul Lawrie's 10-shot turnaround at
the 1999 British Open, but Cink's is the biggest on American soil. Cink has
fared well here with two wins (2000, 2004) and five top-10s.
In 2003, Love added his name to the history books when he became the 17th
player to capture a single PGA Tour event at least five times. Not only does
Love have five wins (1987, 1991-92, 1998, 2003), he has 11 top-10s in 26
starts and has shot par or better in 66 of 93 rounds at Harbour Town. Love has
recorded a top 10 at Harbour Town in eight of his last 16 appearances. It
comes as no surprise that he is the all-time money leader with $2,638,466.
There have been only three wire-to-wire winners in tournament history: Miller
in 1974, Watson in 1979 and Price in 1997. Of the 33 players who have won this
event, 19 have won at least one of golf's four majors.
The PGA Tour moves to Louisiana next week for the Zurich Classic of New
Orleans, where Seung-Yul Noh captured the title last year.
04/14 15:31:14 ET