2018 RBC Heritage Preview

2018 RBC Heritage Preview

2018 RBC Heritage Preview
Dates: April 9-15, 2018
Where: Harbour Town Golf Links; Hilton Head Island, SC
Par/Yards: 36-35—71/7,099
Format: 72-hole stroke play;
Field: 132
FedExCup: 500 points to winner;
Purse: $6.7 million ($1,206,000 to the winner)
2017 Champion: Wesley Bryan
Twitter: @RBC_Heritage;
Facebook: RBC Heritage;
Instagram: RBCHeritage
50 years of the RBC Heritage

  • This is the 50th RBC Heritage, regarded as one of the TOUR’s most popular stops. One of Pete Dye’s signature designs is annually ranked among the country’s top courses and has produced a winner’s roster including inaugural winner Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Hale Irwin, Fuzzy Zoeller, Tom Watson, Nick Faldo, Davis Love III, Greg Norman and Nick Price.
  • In honor of 50 years of the RBC Heritage, Hilton Head Island’s historic lighthouse will be wrapped in the tournament’s traditional plaid during the tournament on April 9-15 at Harbour Town Golf Links.
  • The tournament has invited all past champions to attend the week’s festivities.

A look back at the 2017 RBC Heritage

  • Beginning the final round four shots back of the lead, Wesley Bryan edged out Luke Donald by one shot to become the first South Carolina native in the 49-year history of the RBC Heritage to win the event, doing so with a 13-under 271 total.
  • Bryan posted his first bogey in 43 holes at the par-4 third hole, but reeled off four consecutive birdies at Nos. 4-7 and two more at Nos. 13 and 15 to post a 4-under 67. Bryan earned his first career PGA TOUR victory at the age of 27 years, 21 days in his 18th career start.

Final 2017 Leaderboard

  1. Wesley Bryan                69-67-68-67—271 (-13)
  2. Luke Donald                  65-67-72-68—272 (-12)
  3. Patrick Cantlay              70-66-70-67—273 (-11)
  4. Ollie Schniederjans       68-68-69-68—273 (-11)
  5. William McGirt               68-68-68-69—273 (-11)

More on defending champion Wesley Bryan

  • Winner of the Tartan Jacket, given annually to the RBC Heritage winner.
  • Seeking to join Payne Stewart (1989-90), Davis Love III (1991-92) & Boo Weekley (2007-08) as the only back- to-back winners at the RBC Heritage.
  • No defending champion who has teed it up the year following his win has missed the cut at the RBC Heritage since Davis Love III in 1993 (most recently, Branden Grace finished T11 in 2017).
  • Became only the sixth player in 49 years to win the RBC Heritage on his first try, joining Arnold Palmer (1969), Bob Goalby (1970), Stewart Cink (2000), Jose Coceres (2001) and Boo Weekley (2007).
  • Became the 12th player to post his first PGA TOUR victory at the RBC Heritage, joining Hale Irwin (1971), Graham Marsh (1977), Doug Tewell (1980), Nick Faldo (1984), Davis Love III (1987), Glen Day (1999), Jose Coceres (2001), Peter Lonard (2005), Aaron Baddeley (2006), Boo Weekley (2007) Branden Grace (2016).
  • Seeking to join multiple RBC Heritage winners Davis Love III (5), Hale Irwin (3), and two-time winners Johnny Miller, Hubert Green, Tom Watson, Fuzzy Zoeller, Payne Stewart, Stewart Cink, Boo Weekley and Jim Furyk.
  • Having entered the final round trailing by four, his come-from-behind victory marked the fifth consecutive time the winner of the RBC Heritage came from at least three shots back on Sunday to win. Bryan (2017), Jim Furyk (2015), Matt Kuchar (2014) and Graeme McDowell (2013) were each four strokes back entering the final round during their victory, while Branden Grace came from three shots back in 2016.
  • Since the RBC Heritage moved into its slot after the Masters in 1983, Bryan became the seventh player to win the event without having competed in the Masters the week before: Bryan (2017), Carl Pettersson (2012), Brian Gay (2009), Boo Weekley (2007), Aaron Baddeley (2006), Bob Tway (1995) and Davis Love III (1987).

RBC Golf Ambassadors dominating RBC Heritage

  • One year after RBC began sponsoring this event in 2012, RBC Ambassadors won three consecutive times in Hilton Head: Graeme McDowell (2013), Matt Kuchar (2014) and Jim Furyk (2015).
  • In the two years preceding their sponsorship, current RBC Ambassadors Furyk (2010) and Brandt Snedeker (2011) won in Hilton Head. Further enhancing the connection, 2012 RBC Heritage champion Carl Pettersson won the RBC Canadian Open in 2010.
  • Here’s a list of RBC Ambassadors expected to tee it up this week: Jim Furyk, Adam Hadwin, David Hearn, Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar, Graeme McDowell, Ryan Palmer, Brandt Snedeker, Nick Taylor.

FedExCup notes

  • 14 of the top 30 in the FedExCup, led by Patton Kizzire (2), Dustin Johnson (7) and Paul Casey (10).
  • Past FedExCup winners in the field: Jim Furyk (2010), Bill Haas (2011), Brandt Snedeker (2012), Billy Horschel (2014).
  • Seven of the 11 winners of the RBC Heritage in the FedExCup era (since 2007) have qualified for the season- ending TOUR Championship. The last two RBC Heritage winners (Branden Grace and Wesley Bryan) went on to finish No. 41 in the final FedExCup standings each of their respective years.
  • Jim Furyk (2010) went on to win the FedExCup the same year he won the RBC Heritage.

Luke Donald

  • Could 2018 be the year Luke Donald finally dons the tartan jacket given annually to the RBC Heritage champion?
  • He owns a remarkable seven top-three finishes (including five runner-up finishes) in 12 previous starts at Harbour Town Golf Links (2-2017, T2-2016, 2-2014, T3-2013, 2-2011, T3-2010, T2-2009).
  • Since 1934 (official PGA TOUR events), Donald is one of five players (six times) to finish runner-up in an event five or more times. Only two players have more runner-up finishes in an event during that span: Jack Nicklaus (7, RBC Canadian Open) and Phil Mickelson (6, U.S. Open). Payne Stewart (5, The Honda Classic), Jack Nicklaus (5, Ford Championship at Doral) and Greg Norman (5, BMW Championship) each have five runner-up finishes in the same event.
  • Five TOUR victories (2012 Valspar Championship, 2011 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, 2011 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic, 2006 The Honda Classic, 2002 Sanderson Farms Championship).
  • Has held three 54-hole leads at the RBC Heritage (2016, 2014, 2011) and failed to convert any into victory.
  • 32 of Donald’s last 35 rounds at Harbour Town have been even-par or better.

A glance at the field

  • 14 of the top 30 in the FedExCup, led by Patton Kizzire (2), Dustin Johnson (7) and Paul Casey (10).
  • Seven of the top 25 in the Official World Golf Ranking: Dustin Johnson (1), Paul Casey (13), Marc Leishman (16), Tyrrell Hatton (18), Matt Kuchar (21), Brian Harman (23), Kevin Kisner (25).
  • RBC Heritage winners: Wesley Bryan (2017), Branden Grace (2016), Jim Furyk (2015, 2010), Matt Kuchar (2014), Graeme McDowell (2013), Carl Pettersson (2012), Brandt Snedeker (2011), Brian Gay (2009), Aaron Baddeley (2006), Stewart Cink (2004, 2000), Davis Love III (2003, 1998, 1992, 1991, 1987), Glen Day (1999).
  • Players with 10 or more PGA TOUR wins: Davis Love III (21), Dustin Johnson (17), Jim Furyk (17), Zach Johnson (12).

RBC Heritage and the Masters Tournament

  • In its traditional spot immediately after the Masters for the seventh straight season. In 2011, was played two weeks after the Masters, marking the first time it was not played the week after the Masters since 1982.
  • Former Masters champions in the field: Vijay Singh (2000), Zach Johnson (2007), Charl Schwartzel (2011).
  • Best finishers in the 2018 Masters: Cameron Smith (T5), Marc Leishman (9), Dustin Johnson (T10).
  • Since the RBC Heritage moved into its slot after the Masters in 1983, Wesley Bryan became the seventh player to win the event without having competed in the Masters the week before joining Carl Pettersson (2012), Brian Gay (2009), Boo Weekley (2007), Aaron Baddeley (2006), Bob Tway (1995) and Davis Love III (1987).

Additional RBC Heritage Notes

  • There have been 11 international winners of the RBC Heritage: Branden Grace (2016), Graeme McDowell (2013), Carl Pettersson (2012), Aaron Baddeley (2006), Peter Lonard (2005), Jose Coceres (2001), Nick Price (1997), Greg Norman (1988), Bernhard Langer (1985), Nick Faldo (1984) and Graham Marsh (1977).
  • The RBC Heritage has had 13 playoffs, including both of Jim Furyk’s wins (2010, 2015).
  • The RBC Heritage has had 12 first-time winners: Hale Irwin (1971), Graham Marsh (1977), Doug Tewell (1980), Nick Faldo (1984), Davis Love III (1987), Glen Day (1999), Jose Coceres (2001), Peter Lonard (2005), Aaron Baddeley (2006), Boo Weekley (2007), Branden Grace (2016), Wesley Bryan (2017).
  • Just six players have won the RBC Heritage in their first appearance: Arnold Palmer (1969), Bob Goalby (*1970), Stewart Cink (2000), Jose Coceres (2001), Boo Weekley (2007), Wesley Bryan (2017).
  • Oldest winner of the RBC Heritage: Hale Irwin (1994; 48 years, 10 months, 14 days).
  • Youngest RBC Heritage winner: Davis Love III (23 years, 6 days) when he won the first of five titles in 1987.
  • Brian Gay owns the low winning score (264; 2009) and largest winning margin (10; 2009) at the RBC Heritage.
  • The largest final-round comeback at the RBC Heritage is nine strokes (Stewart Cink, 2004).
  • Harbour Town is one of eight courses that have hosted at least one TOUR Championship. In 1989, Harbour Town was the site, as usual, of the RBC Heritage, won by Payne Stewart. Six months later, Harbour Town also hosted the season-ending TOUR Championship. Stewart just missed winning twice on the same course in the same season when he fell in a two-hole playoff to Tom Kite.
  • David Frost set the PGA TOUR’s all-time 72-hole putting record with 92 total putts at Harbour Town in 2005. The old mark was also set at Harbour Town when Kenny Knox had just 93 putts in 1989, later matched at other events by Mark Calcavecchia and Brian Gay.
  • In 2016, Jason Day finished T23 as he became first player ranked No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking to play the RBC Heritage since Luke Donald in 2012. Current top-ranked Dustin Johnson will make his first start at the RBC Heritage since missing the cut in 2008 and 2009.

The 2018 RBC Heritage Preview is via PGA TOUR.

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