Jhonattan Vegas shoots an 8-under 63 to tie William McGirt for the overnight lead.
By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM Site Producer
Not everyone is taking the belly putter plunge, though it may feel so on TOUR these days. Some, if you will, are just exchanging information instead of full-fledged dating.
Garrett Willis played with a belly putter at a Beaufort, S.C., course early in the week of The Heritage, used one in a practice round at Harbour Town and continued to work with one on the putting green early Thursday before Round 1. He auditioned some 10 putters during the week, including bellies.
But he just couldn’t take a belly putter to the course when it counted. He sent his caddie to the car to get “Old Faithful” just before the round, a Scotty Cameron prototype he had been using for more than five years.
“I've been having 31, 32, 33 putts a round, which is leading to a lot of missed cuts. And this week is the week I'm going to break away, I'm going to do it, I'm going to switch,” Willis said. “I say that almost every week, but I don't have the guts enough to do it.”
Lack of guts served him well Thursday, as he opened with 64 and ultimately finished T9. And he was, ahem, fourth in putting average.
There’s something to be said for those Old Faithfuls.
NEW WEAPON: Heritage champion Brandt Snedeker carried an Adams Idea Pro a12 hybrid, a new club that will be available to the public in early May. The black-headed club is available in lofts from 16 to 26 degrees and features a steel sole plate with a weight screw inside. Check it out here.
MORE TWEAKS: Matt Kuchar added three inches to his TaylorMade Rossa Corza Ghost putter earlier this year, then two more, to get to a current length of 45 inches. And as he said at The Heritage, he’s not done yet.
“I don't know that it's perfect, but I actually have added an extra degree of loft. So I'm continuing to refine it still and probably will continue to make sure that it's right, may even fiddle with a couple of different putter heads,” said Kuchar, who’s 17th in putting average. “I'm very happy with the way I'm putting and very happy with the putter. It's all new and I want to make sure it's all right.”
RED HOT: Odyssey putters claimed not just winner Snedeker (White Hot XG Rossie) but the entire top 5 at The Heritage. Luke Donald wielded an XG #7H model, Tommy Gainey had a Backstryke Blade, Tim Herron had a White Hot 2-Ball and Ricky Barnes used a White Ice #9 model.
DIALED DOWN: Golf World wrote that Long John Daly wasn’t quite himself at The Heritage – he didn’t have a driver in the bag for the tight, short Harbour Town Golf Links. His only wood was a 13.5-degree TaylorMade Burner SuperFast 2.0 3-wood.
FREE STUFF ALERT: TaylorMade is launching a campaign for its five-layer Penta TP ball, headlined on TOUR by defending FedExCup champion Jim Furyk, which involves giving away 50,000 free six-packs of the product. Go to taylormadegolf.com/testpenta to register (hint: read the rules and regulations to better your chances).
By Stan Awtrey, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. -- Tim Herron ran out of holes on Sunday, but the veteran completed his best performance of the season.
Herron shot a final-round 67 to finish at 10-under 274. That put him two shots behind Brandt Snedeker, the leader in the clubhouse. His key was accuracy; Herron hit 15 of 18 greens in regulation and made five birdies. His only slip came on the 18 th, where he failed to get up and down from the front of the green.
Herron had made only two cuts in eight previous starts. His best finishes have been a pair of ties for 29 th, at the Farmers Insurance Open and at the Mayakoba Golf Classic at Riviera Maya-Cancun.
Herron will definitely finish in the top 10, which he hasn’t accomplished on the TOUR since 2008. It will be his best career finish at The Heritage.
He's still 6 under, but Tim Herron double bogeyed the fourth hole and bogeyed the fifth to fall from a share of the lead into a tie for 10th. Herron, who teed off on the back nine, is back to even on the day.
Herron double bogeyed the par-4 fourth when he hit his tee shot way right and failed to get out of a bunker.
Tim Herron last won on the PGA TOUR at Colonial in 2006. That par-70 course shares a lot of similarities with Harbour Town -- tight, small greens. And it might explain his sudden turnaround this week.
Herron has missed his last five cuts, mainly due to bad iron play, but he's tied for fourth in the field in greens hit this week. The 65 he fired on Thursday matched his low of the year, and he's tacked on two more birdies to get to 8 under and into a four-way tie for second with Jim Furyk, Camilo Villegas and Jason Day.
TIM HERRON: Scorecard | Shot Tracker
The best videos from the first round of The Heritage. We’ll update this entry all day with new videos:
|Zach Johnson birdied from the back of the green on the first||Click to watch|
|Stewart Cink rolled in a 23-footer for birdie on the 10th||Click to watch|
|Bill Haas birdied the iconic 18th to go out in 30 on Thursday||Click to watch|
|Brendan Steele was off and running in his bid to go back-to-back||Click to watch|
|Camilo Villegas chips in from 43 feet for eagle at No. 5||Click to watch|
|Fredrik Jacobson sinks 31-foot birdie putt at No. 16||Click to watch|
|Matt Kuchar rolls in 17-foot putt at No. 12||Click to watch|
AFTER THEIR ROUNDS
|Tim Herron talks about his 6-under 65||Click to watch|
|Matt Bettencourt talks about his 6-under 65||Click to watch|
|Arjun Atwal talks about his 6-under 65||Click to watch|
|Garrett Willis talks about his 7-under 64||Click to watch|
Answer: About the same as usual.
The field is averaging 71.304 midway through the first round, putting it on par from 2010, when the field averaged 71.013 over four rounds.
The 452-yard 18th hole played as the third-toughest in 2010, and it's playing the third-toughest today. Jason Dufner, who shot 67, nearly jarred his approach to the 18th when he hit his approach to less than a foot.
Tim Herron, who fired an early 65 to match his low round of the year, said the course was ripe for the taking.
"This could be the calmest I've ever seen Harbour Town play," Herron said. "If it doesn't rain, we're in for a good week, good test, just because the greens are getting firm. You know, it receives the ball from the fairway. But it's getting firmer on the greens, chipping and stuff. So it will be a good test."