Tournament: RBC Heritage, April 13-16
Course: Harbour Town Golf Links, 7,099 yards, par 71 (Hilton Head Island, SC)
Defending Champion: Brendan Grace. The South African had been playing very good golf for a couple of years, and finally got his first PGA Tour title after a final round 66 to win by 2 strokes. Technically, 2015 winner Jim Furyk will be defending his title as well, since he missed last year with a wrist injury.
Fun Fact: These guys have their own ceremonial tee shot to start the tournament. The defending champ lines up beside a cannon overlooking Calibogue Sound, and they hit a single shot as the cannon fires simultaneously. Quirky. This year they will have a moment of silence and a second cannon shot to remember the inaugural tourney champion, Arnold Palmer.
Television: Thursday-Friday, 3-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 1-2:30 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (CBS).
Former 'Dawgs in the Field (Five): Harris English, Russell Henley, Kevin Kisner, Brian Harman, Chris Kirk.
Everyone has a golf hangover from last week’s thrilling conclusion to the Masters. Long-suffering Spaniard Sergio Garcia held onto the Saturday night lead through 9 holes Sunday, gave it up after 11, made an incredible par on 13, and a beautiful eagle on 15 to tie, lost it on 16, tied on 17, and won it on the first playoff hole. Good on you, El Nino.. congrats on your first major title.
As you may have read, only 2 former ‘Dawgs made the cut (I believe that tied for most or 2nd most of any program alums) and Russell Henley got himself an invite back to next years Masters thanks to his top 12 finish (T11) and $233,200 for his efforts. Kevin Kisner’s T43 still made for a $40,700 check.
Per the hangover mentioned above... well, we all know that it is best treated with hair of the dawg that bit you (or scale of the dragon that burned you) and this week is a the perfect cure. A lovely traditional golf course, a laid back atmosphere, wonderful backdrop of Hilton Head Island and the Sound, and some great folks who know how to treat golfers and fans alike. Oh, and there is alcohol aplenty if you really do want to try that hangover cure (we don’t condone, we don’t discourage, we simply report the facts).
This week, five former hacks of UGA Men’s Golf Team Chris Haack will put peg to ground and try to capture this wonderful little nugget of the PGA Tour season. The field is full, but you can imagine many top pros stay home dealing with whatever demons or success Augusta National created for them. There are definitely good players entered, and plenty of the top 50 and 100 in the world rankings.
Speaking of Bulldogs in Augusta, the current UGA Men’s squad competed April 1-2 in the Augusta Invitational (Forest Hills, not Augusta National course) and finished 8th. Speaking of finishing 8th, sophomore Tye Waller finished 8th individually. The men’s team is off until next week, when they compete in the SEC Championships held on St. Simon’s Island.
Speaking of UGA golf teams (I love typing “Speaking of”, it makes me think I’ve woven segues where there were none), the UGA Women’s squad just won the Liz Murphey Collegiate, a match play competition. They came in first in pool play, then won the quarters and semis on day two, before defeating Alabama in the championship 3 1⁄2 to 1 1/2. They too, have a week off until the Women’s SEC Championship in Birmingham.
So instead of a Bloody Mary, turn your TV on over to CBS to catch former ‘Dawgs battling it out on the South Carolina coast. Or drink your Bloody Mary as you watch.
And as always...