Now that the 2014 Masters is over, the PGA Tour moves on to The Harbour Town Golf Links this week in Hilton Head, South Carolina for the 2014 RBC Heritage. A nice field of 132 players will tee it up on Thursday morning for a piece of the $5.8 Million Dollar purse, including defending champion, Graeme McDowell, and Master’s runner-up Jordan Spieth.
The Harbour Town Golf Links is a par 71, 7101 yard layout that was a dual effort by Jack Nicklaus and Pete Dye. It is one of the shortest tracks on the PGA Tour, and was Jack Nicklaus’ first attempt at golf course design. David Frost set the 18-hole course record 61 here in 1994. Harbour Town’s iconic red-and-white lighthouse behind the 18th green still helps vessels navigate Calibogue Sound.
Graeme McDowell picked up his second PGA Tour win in 2013 when he made up a four-shot deficit on Sunday with a -2 under par 69. He beat Webb Simpson on the first playoff hole, Luke Donald finished third.
Jimmy Walker continues to lead the FedEx Cup points standings after his T8 finish at The Masters on Sunday, but is starting to get some heat from 2014 Masters Champ, Bubba Watson. Bubba is probably still dining at the Waffle House, and will not be in the field this week. Patrick Reed, Dustin Johnson and Harris English round out the top five.
Despite Harbour Town’s lack of length, only 26 men in the event’s 45-year history have managed to break 70 in all four rounds. The last time it happened was in 2010, when playoff foes Jim Furyk and Brian Davis did so.
The RBC Heritage is a nice tournament to follow the Masters as it has since 1983. Some players in the field are hungry because they didn’t finish well at Augusta, and some are coming off a week of rest because they didn’t get an invitation. It’s a nice event with a less than demanding golf course and typically provides an exciting finish.
• TELEVISION: Thursday-Friday, 3-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 1-2:30 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (CBS).