2023 RBC Heritage Primer: History, TV, Field, Odds

Jordan Spieth RBC Heritage
Jordan Spieth tees off on the 18th hole during the third round of the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links on April 18, 2015 in Hilton Head Island, SC. (Photo by Streeter Lecka via Getty Images)

The 55th 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 seven of the world’s top-10 ranked golfers, including three of the top five.

In all, 143 golfers will vie for the tournament’s signature plaid jacket, along with a first-place check totaling $3.6 million.

Here’s more on what to expect at this year’s RBC Heritage.

PGA Tour Skinny

Tournament: RBC Heritage
Title Sponsor: RBC
Dates: Apr. 13-16, 2023
Where: Hilton Head Island, SC
Course: Harbour Town Golf Links
Distance: Par 71, 7099 yards
Architect: Pete Dye
Format: 72-holes, stroke play
Purse: $20,000,000
Winning Share: $3,600,000
Defending Champion: Jordan Spieth

How to Follow the RBC Heritage

Tyrrell Hatton at the 2020 RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links
Tyrrell Hatton talks with his caddie on the 18th hole during the third round of the RBC Heritage on June 20, 2020 at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head Island, SC. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

TELEVISION: Thu-Fri: 2-6 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)

LINKS: Web | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

RBC Heritage History

Arnold Palmer Heritage Golf Classic
Arnold Palmer poses with the trophy after winning the Heritage Golf Classic on Nov. 30. 1969 in in Hilton Head, SC. (Courtesy RBC Heritage)

The RBC Heritage, known for much of its time as the Heritage Classic, is a regular PGA Tour event in South Carolina, first played 54 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.

Arnold Palmer Wins the Heritage Golf Classic
The Observer-Reporter newspaper article, dated Dec. 1, 1969, reporting on Arnold Palmer’s win at the inaugural Heritage Golf Classic.

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, Greg Norman, Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink, and Jordan Spieth are among other notable winners of the Heritage.

Davis Love III holds the tournament record for most wins with five, while Cink and Irwin own three apiece.

History: Tournament Names
  • RBC Heritage (2012-23)
  • 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: Jordan Spieth Ciink (-13)*
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)*
* Playoff

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); 3 – Stewart Cink (2000, 2004, 2021), Hale Irwin (1971, 1973, 1994)

RBC Heritage Defending Champion

Jordan Spieth Wins 2022 RBC Heritage
Jordan Spieth and grandfather Bob Julius pose with the trophy after winning the RBC Heritage in a playoff at Harbour Town Golf Links on April 17, 2022 in Hilton Head Island, SC. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox via Getty Images)

Jordan Spieth shot a final-round 6-under 66 and then beat Patrick Cantlay on the first playoff hole to claim victory at the RBC Heritage.

The then 28-year-old superstar entered Sunday’s finale at Harbour Town Golf Links three off the pace of 54-hole leader Harold Varner III. The Texan, though, quickly moved into the mix with a pair of eagles on the opening par-5s: Nos. 2 and 5. He added a birdie on 8 but fell off the pace with bogeys on 9 and 11. A birdie on the 13th gave Spieth one shot back and then he offset the other with a final-hole gain to join Cantlay on 13-under par.

Playing the 18th hole again in overtime, Spieth made par to clinch his 13th career PGA Tour title.

Top-5 Finishers

Pos-Player-To Par (Final Rd)
1. Jordan Spieth -13 (-5)
2. Patrick Cantlay -13 (-3)
3. Cam Davis -12 (-8)
3. J.T. Poston -12 (-7)
3. Cameron Young -12 (-5)
3. Sepp Straka -12 (-3)
3. Matt Kuchar -12 (-3)
3. Harold Varner III -12 (-1)

The RBC Heritage Field

Jon Rahm Wins 2023 Masters Tournament
Jon Rahm is awarded the Green Jacket by 2022 Masters champion Scottie Scheffler during the Green Jacket Ceremony after Rahm won the 2023 Masters Tournament at Augusta National on Apr 09, 2023 in Augusta, GA. (Photo by Christian Petersen via Getty Images)

As an elevated event, the field at Harbour Town Golf Links is stacked, featuring seven of the top-10 ranked players in the world, headlined by three of the top five.

Leading the way is world No. 1 Jon Rahm, fresh off his second career major win at the Masters. The 28-year-old Spaniard finished T33 in his debut (2020) at Harbour Town Links.

Rahm is the first reigning Masters Tournament winner to play the following week since Jordan Spieth in 2015, where he finished T11 at the RBC Heritage.

Joining Rahm will be six more top-10 ranked players, including Scottie Scheffler (2), Patrick Cantlay (4), Xander Schauffele (6), Max Homa (7), Viktor Hovland (9), and Sam Burns (10).

Each of the players, ranked from eleven (11) through twenty (20) in the OWGR, will also tee it up this week at Harbour Town, including Collin Morikawa (11), Justin Thomas (12), Cameron Young (13), Tony Finau (14), Jordan Spieth (15), Matt Fitzpatrick (16), Sungjae Im (17), Tyrrell Hatton (18), Tom Kim (19) and Kurt Kitayama (20).

RBC Heritage Odds

Justin Thomas and Collin Morikawa
Justin Thomas and Collin Morikawa look on from the 18th tee during the third round of the Workday Charity Open on July 11, 2020 at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

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 Scottie Scheffler the favorite with odds of 8-1. The Texas native enters off five top-10 finishes in his last six starts, highlighted by a pair of wins (Phoenix and the Players). Scheffler finished a very respectable T10 last week in defense of his 2022 Masters title.

Slightly behind Scheffler, at 10-1, is the newly-minted Masters winner, Jon Rahm. The 28-year-old Spaniard tees it up for the first time as a two-time major champion. Rahm finished T33 in his only appearance (2020) at Harbour Town.

Rounding out the top-3 favorites in Hilton Head is Patrick Cantlay, who is being offered at 12-1. The California native enters off five straight top-20 finishes including a solo third at Riviera and T4 at Bay Hill.

Defending champion Jordan Spieth is among a trio of stars at 20-1. The three-time major winner enters off another fantastic performance in Augusta (T4), his third top-5 finish in his five most recent starts. The others at 20-1 are two-time major winner Collin Morikawa and 2022 PGA Tour rookie of the year Cameron Young.

A severely slumping Justin Thomas (22-1), Sungjae Im (25-1), Viktor Hovland (25-1), and Xander Schauffele (25-1) fill out the top-10 betting favorites.

Top-10 Betting Favorites

1. Scottie Scheffler (8-1)
2. Jon Rahm (10-1)
3. Patrick Cantlay (12-1)
4. Jordan Spieth (20-1)
4. Collin Morikawa (20-1)
4. Cameron Young (20-1)
7. Justin Thomas (22-1)
8. Sungjae Im (25-1)
8. Viktor Hovland (25-1)
8. Xander Schauffele (25-1)

Full Field: Rank & Odds

Jordan Spieth Wins 2022 RBC Heritage
Jordan Spieth plays a shot from the bunker on the 18th hole in a playoff during the final round of the RBC Heritage at Harbor Town Golf Links on April 17, 2022 in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox via Getty Images)

Harbour Town Golf Links . Hilton Head Island, SC . Apr 13-16, 2023

Joel Cook and Carey Hoffman contributed to this preview.

Credits: PGA Tour Media, OWGR, Bovada, Getty Images, Wikipedia


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