PGA Tour: RBC Heritage preview
The PGA Tour is officially back in full swing, with the RBC Heritage set to begin next Thursday in Hilton Head, South Carolina.
Following this week’s star-studded Charles Schwab Challenge, the RBC Heritage will provide the second Tour event since the PGA suspended the season back in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The top five players in the world — Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, and Dustin Johnson — are all confirmed for the 52nd annual event. Another name many hope to see listed among the field is 44-year-old Tiger Woods.
The 15-time major champion last finished 68th at the Genesis Invitational in mid-February and hasn’t confirmed when he’ll make his next appearance on Tour. Woods competed in the RBC Heritage just once, back in 1999, when he tied for 18th. However, with the tournament pushed to June this year — as opposed to the week after the Masters — Woods may feel inclined to pull out his golf clubs. He’ll have until Friday to commit, when the full field is revealed.
For Rahm and Koepka, the RBC Heritage is an unfamiliar competition. Both will make their first start at the event, hosted at Harbour Town Golf Links, a par-71, 7,099-yard course designed by Pete Dye and Jack Nicklaus.
Harbour Town is one of the shortest courses on the PGA Tour and features narrow fairways, lined by a variety of overhanging trees, as well as small greens surrounded by sand or large bodies of water.
McIlroy hasn’t played the event since 2009, when he was 19. Meanwhile Dustin Johnson — a South Carolina native — signed a multi-year sponsorship agreement with Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) in 2018, which assured his yearly commitment to the RBC Canadian Open and RBC Heritage. Since then, Johnson has posted 16th- and 28th-place finishes at the Heritage.
Thomas finished 11th in Hilton Head in 2015 and 75th in 2016, his only two appearances.
The winner of the tournament will receive a portion of the $7.1 million purse, a trophy and a plaid jacket.
C.T. Pan claimed last year’s RBC Heritage by one stroke over Matt Kuchar, who won the 2014 event. Davis Love III holds the record for most victories (5).
The 2020 rendition will be held without fans, as a precaution to the coronavirus. CBS Sports, the Golf Channel, and PGA Tour Live will broadcast the event, from Thursday through Sunday.