The 54th edition of the RBC Heritage tees off this week at picturesque Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
The field will feature ten of the world’s top-20 ranked golfers, including five of the top 10.
In all, 136 golfers will vie for the tournament’s signature plaid jacket, along with a first-place check totaling $1.44 million.
Here’s more on what to expect at this year’s RBC Heritage.
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PGA Tour Skinny
Tournament: RBC Heritage
Title Sponsor: RBC
Dates: Apr. 14-17, 2022
Where: Hilton Head Island, SC
Course: Harbour Town Golf Links
Distance: Par 71, 7099 yards
Architect: Pete Dye
Format: 72-holes, stroke play
Winning Share: $1,440,000
Defending Champion: Stewart Cink
How to Follow the RBC Heritage
TELEVISION: Thu-Fri: 7 a.m.-6 p.m. (GOLF); Sat-Sun: 1-3 p.m. (GOLF), 3-6 p.m. (CBS)
PGA TOUR LIVE: Thu-Fri: 7 a.m.-6 p.m. (ESPN+); Sat-Sun: 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. (ESPN+)
Watch on ESPN+
PGA TOUR RADIO: Thu-Fri: 12-6 p.m.; Sat-Sun: 1-6 p.m.
(PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.com/liveaudio)
RBC Heritage History
The RBC Heritage, known for much of its time as the Heritage Classic, is a regular PGA Tour event in South Carolina, first played 52 years ago in 1969. It is currently contested in mid-April, usually the week following The Masters Tournament.
Harbour Town Golf Links, the famous Pete Dye design with help from Jack Nicklaus, has hosted the tournament since its inception in 1969.
The inaugural event, contested on Thanksgiving weekend in 1969, was somewhat overshadowed by the Vietnam War draft lottery, which took place the day after the tournament ended, but it was a thrilling four days, with one of the all-time greats, Arnold Palmer, winning by three strokes.
The win was Palmer’s first victory in more than a year, and the media, who covered the golf icon’s every move, cranked out hundreds of glowing stories and photos about the then 40-year old “breaking his winless streak” on “Pete Dye’s stunning new links course.”
Since that Thanksgiving weekend over 50 years ago – thanks in large part to the good fortune of Palmer claiming its maiden championship, “the Heritage,” Harbour Town Golf Links, and Hilton Head Island have gone on to become iconic as well, and an important part of golf’s history.
Co-course designer, Nicklaus, won the 1975 edition, which took place two weeks prior to his fifth Masters victory.
Hale Irwin, Johnny Miller, Tom Watson, Nick Faldo, Bernhard Langer, Payne Stewart, and Greg Norman are among other notable winners of the Heritage.
Davis Love III holds the tournament record for most wins with five. The only other player with more than two is Irwin, whose three victories include the first (1971) and last (1994) victories of his illustrious Hall-of-Fame career.
History: Tournament Names
- RBC Heritage (2012-22)
- The Heritage (2011)
- Verizon Heritage (2006-10)
- MCI Heritage (2003-05)
- WorldCom Classic (2001-02)
- MCI Classic (1995-2000)
- MCI Heritage Golf Classic (1987-1994)
- Sea Pines Heritage (1980-86)
- Sea Pines Heritage Classic (1979)
- Heritage Classic (1977-78)
- Sea Pines Heritage Classic (1971-76)
- Heritage Golf Classic (1969-70)
History: Tournament Months
The tournament has been played in the month of:
• November (1969–72)
• September (1973)
• March (1974–82) Two weeks before Masters
• April (1983–2019, 21–) Week after Masters
• June (2020) COVID-19 reschedule
History: Recent Winners
2021: Stewart Ciink (-19)
2020: Webb Simpson (-22)
2019: C.T. Pan (-12)
2018: Satoshi Kodaira (-12)
2017: Wesley Bryan (-13)
2016: Branden Grace (-9)
2015: Jim Furyk (-18)
2014: Matt Kuchar (-11)
2013: Graeme McDowell (-9)
History: RBC Heritage Records
Low Score: 262 – Webb Simpson (2020)
Low Under-Par: -22 – Webb Simpson (2020)
Largest Winning Margin: 10 Strokes – Brian Gay (2009)
Highest Winning Score: 283 – Arnold Palmer (1969)
Highest Winning To-Par: -1 – Arnold Palmer (1969)
Wins: 5 – Davis Love III (1987, 1991-92, 1998, 2003)
RBC Heritage Defending Champion
From July of 2009 until September of 2020, Stewart Cink was stuck on six career PGA Tour victories – a span of 11 years and two months. But following career win No. 7 last fall in Napa, Cink needed just seven months to grab No. 8.
The 47-year-old Georgia Tech product, and 1997 Tour Rookie of the Year, won for the second time, steadily holding onto a large 54-hole lead to win the RBC Heritage by four strokes over Harold Varner III and Emiliano Grillo.
The physically-imposing veteran, who dashed the hopes of sports fans worldwide when he took down 59-year-old Tom Watson in a playoff at the 2009 Open Championship, won the RBC Heritage for the third time in his career.
– Read Full Recap
Final Top-5 Finishers
Pos-Player-To Par-(Rd 4)
1. Stewart Cink -19 (-1)
2. Harold Varner -15 (-5)
2. Emiliano Grillo -15 (-3)
4. Maverick McNealy -13 (-4)
4. Matt Fitzpatrick -13 (-3)
The RBC Heritage Field
While not stacked like last week’s major at Augusta National, the field at Harbour Town Golf Links is nonetheless extremely solid, featuring ten of the top-20 ranked players in the world, headlined by five of the top-10.
Leading the way is world No. 2 Collin Morikawa, who will make his first start at Hilton Head. The 25-year-old will enter off a top-5 finish at the Masters.
Joining Morikawa will be four more top-10 ranked players, including Cameron Smith (5), Patrick Cantlay (6), Justin Thomas (8) and native son Dustin Johnson (9).
Five additional top-20 ranked stars will be hitting golf balls this week at Harbour Town, including Billy Horschel (13), Joaquin Niemann (15), Tyrrell Hatton (17), Abraham Ancer (18) and Jordan Spieth (20).
RBC Heritage Odds
Players will be tested by one of the tightest designs on the PGA Tour – the Pete Dye-masterpiece of Harbour Town Golf Links.
Bookmakers have made Justin Thomas the heavy favorite, with odds of 9-1. JT is entering off a T8 at the Masters – his fourth top-10 finish in his last five stroke-play starts.
Thomas is followed at 12-1 by Collin Morikawa, with Patrick Cantlay at 14-1.
Cameron Smith (16-1), Matt Fitzpatrick (18-1), Shane Lowry (18-1), Dustin Johnson (18-1) and Daniel Berger (18-1) round out the top-5 betting favorites.
Top-5 Betting Favorites
1. Justin Thomas (9-1)
2. Collin Morikawa (12-1)
3. Patrick Cantlay (14-1)
4. Cameron Smith (16-1)
5. Daniel Berger (18-1)
5. Shane Lowry (18-1)
5. Dustin Johnson (18-1)
5. Matt Fitzpatrick (18-1)
Full Field: Rank & Odds
Harbour Town Golf Links . Hilton Head Island, SC . Apr 15-18, 2022
Joel Cook and Carey Hoffman contributed to this preview.
Credits: PGA Tour Media, OWGR, Bovada, Getty Images