April 12 2013
Carl Pettersson hits his final tee shot en route to victory in 2012. (Martin/Getty Images)
By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
• COURSE: Harbour Town Golf Links, 7,101 yards, par 71. Jack Nicklaus’ first venture into course design, in collaboration with Pete Dye, is one of the shortest layouts on the PGA TOUR schedule but remains a timeless test. Narrow fairways and small greens combine to create a strategic challenge, requiring well-positioned shots to create birdie opportunities. Harbour Town’s iconic red-and-white lighthouse behind the 18th green still helps vessels navigate Calibogue Sound.
• FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 500 points.
• CHARITY: The Heritage Classic Foundation, which has contributed more than $23 million to organizations in South Carolina and Georgia since its 1987 start. Recipients include the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Lowcountry, the Child Abuse Prevention Association and the Volunteers in Medicine Clinic.
• FIELD WATCH: Former world No.1 Luke Donald and Brandt Snedeker, combatants in a 2011 playoff won by Snedeker, join defending champion Carl Pettersson in a field that gathers 10 of the top 25 in the world rankings. … British Open champion Ernie Els makes his 14th start at Harbour Town, still seeking his first victory on the island. He was runner-up to Boo Weekley in 2007. … Texas teen Jordan Spieth, who secured special temporary membership last month, tees it up for the fifth time in a seven-week stretch that began with his runner-up finish in Puerto Rico.
• 72-HOLE RECORD: 264, Brian Gay (2009).
• 18-HOLE RECORD: 61, David Frost (2nd round, 1994).
• LAST YEAR: Carl Pettersson cruised to a five-shot victory at Harbour Town, earning a fifth PGA TOUR victory that tied him with Jesper Parnevik for the most by a Swedish-born player. It also was Pettersson’s first as a U.S. citizen, having completed the naturalization process earlier in the year. Taking a one-stroke lead into the final round, Pettersson pulled away with three birdies in his first five holes on the way to a 2-under 69. Zach Johnson used a closing 70 to move past Colt Knost (74) for second. Donald tied for 37th, ceding his spot atop the world rankings back to Rory McIlroy.
• STORYLINES: Pettersson will attempt to become the RBC Heritage's fourth back-to-back winner, joining Payne Stewart (1989-90), Davis Love III (1991-92) and Weekley (2007-08). He bounced back from an opening 76 at the Masters with a 70 that put him above the cut line. … Two-time winner Stewart Cink arrives with new spring in his game. The former British Open champion tied for sixth at the Shell Houston Open in his last outing, two weeks after placing 14th at the Tampa Bay Championship. … Weekley returns to the site of his only two PGA TOUR wins, finally healthy again and only a month after a runner-up finish at Tampa Bay.
• SHORT CHIPS: Despite Harbour Town’s definitive lack of length, only 26 men in the event's 44-year history have managed to break 70 in all four rounds. You have to go back to 2010 to find the last to do it -- playoff foes Jim Furyk and Brian Davis in 2010. … … Davis Love III, a five-time Heritage champion, will miss the event for the second consecutive year. Last year's U.S. Ryder Cup captain continues to recover from neck surgery in early February. … No defending champion has missed the cut at Harbour Town since Love in 1993 – a run of 19 consecutive years.
• TELEVISION: Thursday-Friday, 3-6 p.m. EDT (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 1-2:30 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (CBS).
• RADIO: Thursday- Sunday, noon-6 p.m. EDT (SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio).