HILTON HEAD ISLAND – The RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing will be held April 15-21 at the Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island.
The RBC Heritage is the only PGA Tour event in South Carolina. Played over the Harbour Town course (7,101 yards, par 71) since 1969, the event is celebrating its 45th year.
For information on how to “Get Your Plaid On!”, call 843-671-2448, visit rbcheritage.com or Facebook (Heritage Classic Foundation, RBC Heritage) and Twitter (@RBC_Heritage).
Daily tickets and badges for the tournament are on sale online at rbcheritage.com or at the Will Call trailer in the parking lot of the Sea Pines Welcome Center.
Golf Channel (Thursday-Friday, 3-6 p.m., 9:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.; Saturday, 1-2:30 p.m., 9:30 p.m.-2 a.m.; Sunday 1-2:30 p.m., 7-11:30 p.m.) and CBS (Saturday-Sunday, 3-6 p.m.).
Champ talks rules
Carl Pettersson can certainly relate to the situation Tiger Woods found himself in this past week at the Masters. And that’s why the defending champion of the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing says golf needs to change.
Woods was assessed a two-stroke penalty for an illegal drop on the 15th hole Saturday after he signed his scorecard. He was, however, not disqualified after Masters officials ruled the error was not his fault because rules officials initially said there was no violation.
As reported by Mike McCombs of The Island Packet, Petterson said Monday shortly after hitting his ceremonial opening tee shot into the Calibogue Sound, “The ruling with Tiger was certainly a different one. But yes, I think golf has some silly rules. It just needs to be simplified, I think. With the call-in viewers and stuff, it’s a little different (than other sports) I think.”
Pettersson won his fifth PGA Tour title with last year’s victory at Harbour Town, tying Jesper Parnevik for the most by Swedish players. Zach Johnson was second, five strokes back.
The Heritage field
Aaron Baddeley, Scott Brown and Tim Clark were the last PGA Tour pros to commit to the RBC Heritage.
They will be joined by other PGA pros including defending champ Pettersson, KJ Choi, Nicolas Colsaerts, John Daly, Luke Donald, Ernie Els, Jim Furyk, Brian Gay, Bill Haas, Martin Kaymer, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Graeme McDowell, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker and Boo Weekley.
Snedeker, coming off a sixth-place tie in the Masters, won in 2011 at Harbour Town. He closed with a 64 to overcome a six-stroke deficit, then beat Donald with a par on the third extra hole.
Furyk won the 2010 event on the first playoff hole after Brian Davis called a two-stroke penalty on himself for moving a loose impediment in a hazard during his backswing.
In 2009, Gay finished with a 64 for a tournament-record 10-stroke victory. Gay also broke the event scoring record, finishing at 20-under 264. He won the Humana Challenge in January.
Weekley won in 2007 and 2008.
Australian Jason Day is the top Masters finisher in the field. He was third at Augusta National, two strokes out of the playoff.
The entire group will be shooting for the top prize of $1,044,000 from a purse of $5,800,000.
Those attending Friday’s second round of the tournament will experience a thrill when a Boeing 747-8 Freighter will fly over the 18th hole at noon, pending final flight certificates and clear weather.
“Friday’s flyover at the RBC Heritage will provide spectators with a unique opportunity to see Boeing’s newest 747-8 airplane up close and personal as it makes two low-altitude passes along the 18th fairway,” said Jack Jones, Boeing South Carolina vice president and general manager. “Boeing is proud to showcase our iconic wide-body airplane at the RBC Heritage, one of the most exciting PGA TOUR events of the season.”
The Heritage Classic Foundation unveiled plans for the Heritage Lawn, a new feature at Harbour Town.
“Our goal during tournament week is to ensure every spectator has the best experience possible at the RBC Heritage,” tournament director Wilmot said. “Our plans for the Heritage Lawn are to ensure just that. The Heritage Lawn is located between holes 17 and 18 — prime real estate at Harbour Town Golf Links just steps from the Calibogue Sound and sure to become a favorite gathering spot for fans.”
Among the variety of activities offered on the Heritage Lawn, fans can enjoy a beverage at the Grey Goose Lounge, stop by the Hilton Head Island Bluffton Chamber of Commerce Social Media Lounge to share experiences and get all the latest Hilton Head Island Insider travel information, participate in the RBC Fan Experience and the Bridgestone Interactive Tent.
“Fans can watch some great golf on a new video board that will play the Golf Channel and CBS Sports’ broadcasts each day or visit the Heritage Classic Foundation tent where volunteers will be giving away Birdies Buttons to anyone who makes a Birdies For Charity pledge to their favorite charity,” Wilmot said.
On Saturday, Sir Willie will host his annual Tartan Day contests on the Heritage Lawn from noon until to 2 p.m., and later that night The Headliners will perform once play ends until 8 p.m. Buses will continue to run until the concert is over.
Els vs. autism
The RBC Heritage is stepping up to support Els for Autism this April to recognize Autism Awareness Month at the PGA Tour stop at Hilton Head Island.
Tournament organizers have teamed up with Els for Autism on a number of initiatives to raise awareness of autism, highlight the importance of early detection and raise funds to help build the Els Center of Excellence which will serve people on the autism spectrum from ages 3-21.
The RBC Heritage has designated Friday, April 19, to be the tournament’s Autism Awareness Day, and players and fans are being encouraged to wear blue to the event and join World of Golf Hall of Famer and four-time major champion Ernie Els in showing support for those affected by autism spectrum disorders.
PGA Tour professionals, spectators, volunteers and media will be asked to wear blue on Friday and have the opportunity to donate $5 and receive Els for Autism’s blue and white puzzle pin — designed to provide international awareness about the disorder.
Els for Autism founder, Ernie Els, said: “Since Liezl and I announced that our son Ben was touched by autism five years ago, we have been blown away by the support we have received, especially from the golf community. We are extremely touched by this support from the RBC Heritage, whose team is helping our efforts to use golf as a platform to raise awareness of the disorder and promote the importance of early detection during April. The RBC Heritage has always been one of my favorite stops on Tour and one that I always try to bring the whole family to – this year it’s going to be even more special!”