RBC Heritage Preview 2017
RBC Heritage Preview 2017
Dates: April 13-16, 2017
Where: Harbour Town Golf Links; Hilton Head Island, SC
Format: 72-hole stroke play; Field: 132
FedExCup: 500 points to winner
Purse: $6.5 million ($1,170,000 to the winner)
2016 Champion: Branden Grace
Twitter: @RBC_Heritage; Facebook: Heritage Classic Foundation
A look back at the 2016 RBC Heritage
South African Branden Grace captured his first PGA TOUR victory at the 2016 RBC Heritage, shooting a final-round 5- under 66 and coming from three strokes back to win by one stroke over Scotland’s Russell Knox and England’s Luke Donald.
Final 2016 Leaderboard
- Branden Grace 66-74-69-66—275 (-9)
- Russell Knox 72-65-73-67—277 (-7)
- Luke Donald 66-71-69-71—277 (-7)
- Bryson DeChambeau 70-69-72-68—279 (-5)
- Kevin Na 73-71-66-69—279 (-5)
More on Branden Grace’s win at the 2016 RBC Heritage
- Winner of the Tartan Jacket in 2016, 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.
- Victory at Harbour Town came in his 51st PGA TOUR start at 27 years, 10 months and 28 days. The win was his first on TOUR and replaced a third-place finish at the 2015 PGA Championship as his best finish.
- Won in his second start at the RBC Heritage (T7-2015).
- Has just one round over par (74/R2/2016) in his eight trips around Harbour Town Golf Links;
- • Became the 11th first-time winner of the RBC Heritage: 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) and Branden Grace (2016).
- Became the 11th international player to win the RBC Heritage, joining 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).
RBC Golf Ambassadors dominating RBC Heritage
- In 2015, Jim Furyk became the third consecutive RBC Golf Ambassador to win the RBC Heritage, joining 2013
champion Graeme McDowell and 2014 winner Matt Kuchar. RBC began sponsoring this event in 2012.
- In the two years preceding their sponsorship, current RBC Ambassadors Furyk (2010) and Brandt Snedeker (2011) won in Hilton Head. To further enhance the connection, Carl Pettersson, who won the RBC Heritage in 2012, also won the RBC Canadian Open in 2010.
- Here’s a list of RBC Ambassadors expected to tee it up this week: Graham DeLaet, Ernie Els, Jim Furyk, Adam Hadwin, David Hearn, Matt Kuchar, Graeme McDowell, Ryan Palmer, Brandt Snedeker, Nick Taylor.
- Jim Furyk
- Two-time RBC Heritage champion and RBC ambassador Jim Furyk (2010, 2015) was unable to defend his title last year after having wrist surgery on a bone contusion in his left wrist. He’ll return in 2017 for his 18th start at the RBC Heritage, where he owns eight top-10 finishes
- Furyk had entered the final round of the 2015 RBC Heritage four shots behind third-round leader Troy Merritt, coming back to win his 17th PGA TOUR event and first since the 2010 TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola
- The win came in his 532nd start at the age of 44 years, 11 months and 7 days
- In 2015, Furyk set the tournament record for the low finish by a winner at the RBC Heritage with a 63. The previous mark was a 64 by Brandt Snedeker (2011), Brian Gay (2009) and Stewart Cink (2004)
- With his win in 2015, Furyk became the second oldest winner of the RBC Heritage behind Hale Irwin
- One of 10 multiple winners of the RBC Heritage, along with Davis Love III (5), Hale Irwin (3), Johnny Miller (2), Hubert Green (2), Tom Watson (2), Fuzzy Zoeller (2), Payne Stewart (2), Stewart Cink (2), Boo Weekley (2)
- In addition to his two victories (2010, 2015), Furyk finished runner-up at Harbour Town in 2005 and 2006
- Luke Donald
- Could 2017 be the year Luke Donald finally dons the tartan jacket given annually to the RBC Heritage champion? He owns a remarkable six top-3 finishes in 11 previous starts at Harbour Town Golf Links (T2-2016, 2nd-2014, T3-2013, 2nd-2011, T3-2010, T2-2009).
- Since 1934 (official PGA TOUR events), Donald is one of 14 players to finish runner-up in an event four times. Only five players have more runner-up finishes in an event during that span: Jack Nicklaus (7, RBC Canadian Open), Phil Mickelson (6, U.S. Open), Payne Stewart (5, The Honda Classic), Jack Nicklaus (5, Ford
Championship at Doral), Greg Norman (5, BMW Championship).
- Owns five PGA TOUR victories (2012 Valspar Championship, 2011 World Golf Championships-Dell 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.
- Including all four rounds at the 2016 RBC Heritage, 29 of Donald’s last 31 rounds at Harbour Town have been even-par or better.
A glance at the field – RBC Heritage Preview 2017
- Eight of the top 20 in the FedExCup, led by Adam Hadwin (5), Pat Perez (7), Russell Henley (No. 11), MarcLeishman (13), Charles Howell III (17), Bill Haas (18), Luke List (19), Kevin Kisner (20).
- Eight of the top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking: Tyrrell Hatton (16), Matt Kuchar (17), Danny Willett (19), Branden Grace (22), Brandt Snedeker (25), Russell Knox (27), Rafa Cabrera Bello (28), Francesco Molinari
- Past RBC Heritage champions: Branden Grace (2016), Jim Furyk (2015, 2010), Matt Kuchar (2014), Graeme McDowell (2013), Carl Pettersson (2012), Brandt Snedeker (2011), Brian Gay (2009), Boo Weekley (2008, 2007), Aaron Baddeley (2006), Stewart Cink (2004, 2000), Davis Love III (2003, 1998, 1992, 1991, 1987).
- Ten players with six or more PGA TOUR wins: Vijay Singh (34), Davis Love III (21), Ernie Els (19), Jim Furyk (17), K.J. Choi (8), Geoff Ogilvy (8), Brandt Snedeker (8), Matt Kuchar (7), Stewart Cink (6), Bill Haas (6).
- 13 Major Championship winners: Ernie Els (4), Vijay Singh (3), Martin Kaymer (2), Keegan Bradley, Stewart Cink, Jason Dufner, Jim Furyk, Lucas Glover, Davis Love III, Graeme McDowell, Geoff Ogilvy, Webb Simpson, Danny Willett.
- 2016-17 Season winners: Rod Pampling (Shriners Hospitals for Children Open), Pat Perez (OHL Classic at Mayakoba), Adam Hadwin (Valspar Championship), Marc Leishman (Arnold Palmer Invitational), D.A. Points (Puerto Rico Open), Russell Henley (Shell Houston Open).
- Five past FedExCup champions in the field: Vijay Singh (2008), Brandt Snedeker (2010), Bill Haas (2011), Brandt Snedeker (2012), Billy Horschel (2014).
- Eight of the top 20 in the FedExCup, led by Adam Hadwin (5), Pat Perez (7), Russell Henley (No. 11), Marc Leishman (13), Charles Howell III (17), Bill Haas (18), Luke List (19), Kevin Kisner (20).
- Seven of the 10 winners of the RBC Heritage in the FedExCup era (since 2007) have qualified for the season ending TOUR Championship.
- Jim Furyk (2010) went on to win the FedExCup the same year he won the RBC Heritage.
- With a victory last week at the Masters, Sergio Garcia made the largest FedExCup standings jump of the week, up 58 spots from No. 70 to No. 12.
Additional Player Notes
- Winning U.S. Ryder Cup captain and five-time RBC Heritage winner Davis Love III (1987, 1991, 1992, 1998, 2003) did not miss a start at Harbour Town between 1986-2011 (26 starts). He has since teed it up just twice in the six years (MC/2014, T59/2016). He’ll make his 29th start at the event this week as he seeks his 12th top 10, with Thursday’s opening round marking his 100th round at the RBC Heritage.
- Bryson DeChambeau finished T4 at the 2016 RBC Heritage in his PGA TOUR professional debut after briefly holding a share of the lead early in Saturday’s third round. While competing for Southern Methodist University in 2015, DeChambeau became just the fifth golfer in history to win both the U.S. Amateur Championship and NCAA Division I golf championship in the same season.
- Kevin Kisner lost in a playoff to Furyk in 2015 in his bid to become the first South Carolinian to win the RBC Heritage. Here’s a look at his four starts here (MC-2011, T38-2014, 2-2015, T69-2016).
- Boo Weekley owns five top 15s in 10 RBC Heritage starts (1-2007, 1-2008, T13-2009, T12-2010, T6-2012).
- Five-time PGA TOUR winner Carl Pettersson’s last two victories have been at RBC-sponsored events (2010, RBC Canadian Open, 2012 RBC Heritage).
RBC Heritage and the Masters Tournament
- In its traditional spot immediately after the Masters for the sixth straight season. Six years ago, was played two weeks after the Masters, marking the first time it was not played the week after the Masters since 1982.
- Field includes two former Masters champions: Vijay Singh (2000), Danny Willett (2016).
- With his T4 finish in Augusta, Matt Kuchar recorded the best finish of players who are also participating in theRBC Heritage.
- Since the RBC Heritage moved into its slot after the Masters in 1983, just six players have won the event without having competed in the Masters the week before: Carl Pettersson (2012), Brian Gay (2009), BooWeekley (2007), Aaron Baddeley (2006), Bob Tway (1995) and Davis Love III (1987).
Additional RBC Heritage Preview 2017 Notes
- This is the 49th 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.
- 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 12 playoffs, including both of Jim Furyk’s wins (2010, 2015).
- The RBC Heritage has had 11 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).
- Multiple winners of the RBC Heritage: Davis Love III (5), Hale Irwin (3), Johnny Miller (2), Hubert Green (2), Tom Watson (2), Fuzzy Zoeller (2), Payne Stewart (2), Stewart Cink (2), Boo Weekley (2), Jim Furyk (2).
- Just five players have won the RBC Heritage in their first appearance: Stewart Cink (2000), Jose Coceres (2001), Bob Goalby (1970), Arnold Palmer (1969) and Boo Weekley (2007).
- The RBC Heritage has been won by a player aged 40 and above six times, including Arnold Palmer (40 years, 2 months, 20 days) at the inaugural 1969 tournament, Bob Goalby (1970; 41 years, 8 months, 15 days), Hale Irwin (1994; 48 years, 10 months, 14 days), Loren Roberts (1996; 40 years, 9 months, 27 days), Nick Price (1997; 40 years, 20 months, 22 days) and Jim Furyk (2015; 44 years, 11 months, 7 days)
- Youngest RBC Heritage winner: Davis Love III (23 years, 6 days) when he won the first of five titles in 1987.
- Brian Gay’s 264 winning score in 2009 broke the previous scoring record at the RBC Heritage, which was set by Loren Roberts in 1996 (19-under 265). The 10-stroke winning margin was also a tournament record, besting Davis Love III’s seven-stroke win in 1998.
- 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.
- The largest final-round comeback at the RBC Heritage is nine strokes (Stewart Cink, 2004).
- The third-round lead/co-leader has won 31 of 48 times at the RBC Heritage, most recently Carl Pettersson in 2012, who entered the final round one shot clear of Colt Knost.
- 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 (matched by MarkCalcavecchia at the 2002 Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic).
- Nine players (11 times) have won the RBC Heritage with four rounds in the 60s, including Nick Faldo (1984),Payne Stewart (1989), Hale Irwin (1994), Loren Roberts (1996), Nick Price (1997), Davis Love III (1992, 1998, 2003), Boo Weekley (2007), Brian Gay (2009) and Jim Furyk (2010).
- A player has posted four rounds in the 60s 32 times throughout the history of the RBC Heritage, with six players performing the feat in 2015 (Kevin Kisner, Troy Merritt, Matt Kuchar, Louis Oosthuizen, Morgan Hoffmann, Bo Van Pelt ). Nick Price holds the event record with nine straight sub-70 rounds.
- 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. Day’s caddie/coach, Colin Swatton, is a resident of Berkeley Hall in nearby Bluffton, S.C
- In 2015, Troy Merritt carded a back-nine 7-under 28 during the second round, topping the previous record on that nine by one stroke (Jeff Maggert/2006, Steve Flesch/2001, Chris Perry/2000, Brad Faxon/1997). The only other 28 at the RBC Heritage occurred on the front nine (Craig Barlow in 2003).
Strong local contingent set to descend on Hilton Head
- Mark Anderson – Former South Carolina Gamecock and Beaufort native earned first exemption into the RBC Heritage by winning the 2008 Players Amateur. Making sixth start (MC-2009, T81-2010, MC-2011, T13-2012, T68-2014). Will participate this week via a sponsor’s exemption.
- Brooks Blackburn – Head Professional at famed Palmetto Golf Club in Aiken, S.C. will make his first start at the RBC Heritage after qualifying via the Carolina’s PGA Head Professoinal Championship. Plans to play aTuesday practice round with fellow Palmetto members Scott Brown and Kevin Kisner.
- Scott Brown – Former University of South Carolina-Aiken standout and North Augusta, South Carolina resident will make his fifth start at the RBC Heritage (T64-2013, T5-2014, T37-2015, T64-2016). The 2013 Puerto Rico Open champion was inducted into the USC-Aiken Athletic Hall of Fame based on having led the Pacers to three-consecutive NCAA Division II National Championships (2004-06).
- Wesley Bryan – 2012 University of South Carolina graduate and Columbia, S.C. native will be making his first ever start at the RBC Heritage. The trick-shot artist was named the 2016 Web.com Tour Player of the Year.
- Tommy Gainey – “Two Gloves” is native of Darlington, South Carolina and resident of Columbia. Attended Central Carolina Tech but is a huge Gamecock fan. Will be making eighth start at the RBC Heritage (MC-2008, T58-2009, 3-2011, T52-2012, T71-2013, T64-2014, WD-2016).
- Lucas Glover – Greenville, S.C. native and former Clemson standout making15th start at the RBC (MC-2002, T16-2004, T47-2005, T12-2006, MC-2007, T7-2008, T26-2009, MC-2010, MC-2011, 69-2012, MC-2013, MC-2014, T18-2015, T33-2016).
- Bill Haas – Greenville, South Carolina resident and 2011 FedExCup champion will be making his 13th start at the RBC Heritage, with a T14 in 2016 his best finish among six made cuts.
- Brian Harman – Savannah, Georgia native and University of Georgia grad received first RBC Heritage exemption in 2004 and another in 2006 after winning the 2005 Players Amateur. Missed the cut in 2004, 2006 and 2016, with made cuts coming in 2012 (T70), 2013 (T59), 2014 (T7) and 2015 (T44).
- Charles Howell III – Two-time Junior Heritage Champion and Augusta, Georgia native making 12th career start at the tournament (T19-2002, MC-2003, T12-2008, T37-2009, T22-2010, MC-2011, T29-2012, MC-2013, T53-2014, MC-2015, T23-2016).
- Kevin Kisner – Aiken, South Carolina native and resident and former University of Georgia Bulldog will be making his fifth start at the RBC Heritage (MC-2011, T38-2014, P2-2015, T69-2016). Kisner is in search of his second PGA TOUR victory (2015 RSM Classic).
- Ben Martin – Grew up in Rome, Georgia before attending Clemson University. Finished T56 in 2011, T3 in 2014, T37 in 2015 and T45 in 2016 in his only previous starts at the RBC Heritage.
- William McGirt – Lumberton, North Carolina native who attended Wofford College (Spartanburg, S.C.) is making his seventh RBC Heritage start (MC-2011, MC-2012, T88-2013, T9-2014, T31-2015, T9-2016).
- Sam Saunders – The grandson of Arnold Palmer, who attended Clemson University through his junior season before turning pro, will make his fourth start at the RBC Heritage (missed cut in 2011, 2015 and 2016).
- Kyle Stanley – Former Clemson Tiger plays out of Bluffton’s Berkeley Hall GC. 2005 Sea Pines Junior Heritage champ is making his sixth start (MC-2011, T60-2012, MC-2013, MC-2014, T33-2016)
RBC Heritage Preview 2017 VIA PGA TOUR
Harbour Town Course Photo Credit: By Dan Perry – Harbour Town Golf, Hilton Head, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15659480