photo courtesy: Hilton Head Monthly
The PGA Tour returns to South Carolina’s Harbour Town Golf Links for the 2020 RBC Heritage, taking place June 18-21. The tournament dates back to 1969 and was traditionally held the week after the Masters, at least during years not experiencing global pandemics. The field looks to be stacked as the world’s best contend with one of the PGA Tour’s most difficult courses.
Harbour Town Golf Links
Harbour Town Golf Links was designed by Pete Dye with some help from Jack Nicklaus in 1967. Like many Dye creations, it splits golfers on whether it is an expertly designed course or merely a punishment for golfers to endure. Today the course is part of the Sea Pines Resort on the southern tip of Hilton Head Island. The course is not strictly penal, but it does require strategic golf with numerous high risk/reward opportunities for players. This is why the course is hailed by many as a pure test of golf. Fans should expect some established pros to struggle with the course and a few surprises as unheralded players get hot. The tight fairways, ample water, and fast greens combine to make for a brutal course that favors those with tight short games.
2019 Champion CT Pan
The 2019 RBC Heritage highlighted the difficulty of the course, as the scoring average actually dipped above par. It appeared early that Dustin Johnson would sail to victory before a few bad rounds took him out of the running. In the end, it was between Taiwanese golfer CT Pan and Matt Kuchar going into the final stretch. Ultimately Kuchar’s bogey on the 17th hole would prove decisive, with Pan taking a 1 stroke victory. The win was former University of Washington standout Pan’s first and to date only PGA Tour win.
CT Pan is looking to become the first back to back champion since Boo Weekley in 2007-2008. In his way will be an especially stacked field, including world number 1 Rory McIlroy. McIlroy has traditionally skipped the event, and will be competing for the first time in 11 years. The tournament is the first time that the 5 top golfers in the world, currently McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka, and Dustin Johnson, have competed in back-to-back events this year. FedExCup leader Im Sungjae continues his quest to claim an improbable season title, though Justin Thomas is only 55 point behind Im in the standings. Fans will also enjoy seeing elder statesman and world golf hall of famer Davis Love III tee off this weekend. Love currently holds the record for most RBC Heritage titles with 5 and the 56 year old would love the chance to add a 6th to his trophy cabinet.
Rory McIlroy. Getty Images
Television coverage is provided by Golf Channel and CBS. Thursday and Friday coverage is 3-6pm ET on the Golf Channel. Saturday and Sunday begins on Golf Channel 1-3pm ET, before ending on CBS on 3-6pm ET. The event is also streaming on PGA Tour Live and features coverage of select groups and holes. Radio coverage is provided by PGA Tour RAdio on SiriusXM satellite radio and streaming online.