Harbour Town heavyweight returning for RBC Heritage

By Lance Hanlin

Three hours, 48 minutes.

That’s how long it took professional golfers Carl Pettersson and Colt Knost to play a round at Harbour Town Golf Links last year.

“Pretty good … for a couple of fat guys,” Pettersson joked.

For the record, the PGA Tour media guide underrates Pettersson at 5-foot-11, 195 pounds. Knost is listed at 5-foot-9, 215 pounds.

Neither is considered morbidly obese compared to the general public. When compared to many of their athletic rivals on the PGA Tour though, both Pettersson and Knost could have seats reserved at the Klump family dinner table.

After winning the 2012 RBC Heritage by five strokes, Pettersson kept the self-deprecating humor rolling by channeling his inner Chris Farley while slipping on the tartan jacket.

“Fat guy in a little coat, huh,” he said.

Pettersson’s comfortable win proved once again you don’t have to be in great shape to play great golf.

“Ultimately it’s a hand-eye coordination sport,” Pettersson said. “Just because you don’t look like an athlete doesn’t mean you’re not an athlete. We’re not running marathons here, we’re just walking 18 holes.”

The leaderboard proved his point.

Knost was in contention all weekend and wound up in third place. Veterans Billy Mayfair (5-9, 195) and Kevin Stadler (5-10, 250) tied for fourth. Two-time winner Boo Weekley (6-0, 210) tied for sixth. All of those guys have a little extra padding around the midsection.

Pettersson will eye another big finish April 18-21 when the 45th annual RBC Heritage returns to Hilton Head Island. He is one of seven past champions who made an early commitment to play in South Carolina’s only PGA Tour stop.

Here is a look at the seven winners returning.

Name: Carl Pettersson
Nicknames: Redneck Swede
Born: Aug. 29, 1977 (age 35)
Height/weight: 5-11, 195
Nationality: Sweeden
Residence: Raleigh, N.C.
College: North Carolina State University
Turned professional: 2000
PGA Tour wins: 5
Majors won: None
Heritage appearances: 10
Heritage wins: 2012 (270)
On Harbour Town Golf Links: “I like all the holes.  I don't have one hole on the front nine where I feel awkward over the tee shot or second shot.  The back nine I've got a few holes, 10, I’m scared to go left. And 14 is a tough tee shot, the par 3. It’s fun to play. You have to hit shots. Even if you hit it into the trees, if you can move it right to left, left to right, you can usually get it on the green or close to the green. It’s a shotmaker’s golf course.”
Fun fact:  By working out and improving his diet, Pettersson lost 30 pounds prior to the 2009 season. After the slimmed-down Swede missed 12 cuts and dropped to 154th on the points list, he decided to put the weight back on. His diet? “Ten beers and a tub of ice cream before bed,” he joked. With five PGA Tour wins, he is tied with Jesper Parnevik for most victories by a Swedish player.

Name: Brandt Snedeker
Nicknames: Sneds
Born: Dec. 8, 1980 (age 32)
Height/weight: 6-1, 185
Nationality: United States
Residence: Nashville, Tenn.
College: Vanderbilt University
Turned professional: 2004
PGA Tour wins: 4
Majors won: None
Heritage appearances: 7
Heritage wins: 2011 (272)
On Harbour Town Golf Links: “It’s cool to go to a golf course that’s really old school.  This is an old traditional golf course, not real long. We don’t see it very often. When you’ve got something good, you don’t have to mess with it.  I think it stands the test of time. The winning scores have been about the same for the last 35 years. The technology has changed a whole lot, so it shows you what kind of golf course it is.”
Fun fact: Snedeker won the 2012 FedEx Cup, earning a check for $11.4 million. He compared the big payday to hitting the lottery. Despite the extra cash, he still drives the same GMC Denali he has for years (with a broken door handle) and still lives a mile from where he grew up in Nashville. He was PGA Tour Rookie of the Year in 2007. His big brother, Haymes, won Big Break X: Michigan.

Name: Jim Furyk
Nicknames: The Grinder, The Businessman
Born: May 12, 1970 (age 42)
Height/weight: 6-2, 185
Nationality: United States
Residence: Pointe Vedra Beach, Fla.
College: University of Arizona
Turned professional: 1992
PGA Tour wins: 16
Majors won: 2003 U.S. Open
Heritage appearances: 14
Heritage wins: 2010 (271)
On Harbour Town Golf Links: “You have to be able to control the golf ball. You have to hit high shots, low shots, curve it right to left, left to right. If you don’t have control of the golf ball you’re going to struggle at this golf course. You’re not going to skank it around for very long, and eventually you’re going to be in trouble. It’s about hitting fairways, but a lot of times it’s about hitting the proper side of the fairway.”
Fun fact: Furyk’s trademark looping golf swing begins with a setup that has the ball at the heel of the club instead of the center, or even the toe. This moves his 6-foot-2 frame in so close that his hands are virtually touching his thighs. Commentator David Feherty memorably described Furyk’s swing as “an octopus falling out of a tree.”

Name: Thomas Weekley
Nicknames: Boo
Born: July 23, 1973 (age 39)
Height/weight: 6-0, 210
Nationality: United States
Residence: Jay, Fla.
College: Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College
Turned professional: 1997
PGA Tour wins: 2
Majors won: None
Heritage appearances: 6
Heritage wins: 2007 (270), 2008 (269)
On Harbour Town Golf Links: “This golf course just suits me  It's very, very, very similar to what I grew up playing, having to hit it a certain distance off the tee, and having to shape your shots around the greens. When you stand on the tee box you can envision every shot. If I block it right or pull it left, I still feel like I’ve got a shot somewhere in my bag that I can get it up and down to make par.”
Fun fact: Weekley is best known in golf for riding his driver cowboy horse style in the 2008 Ryder Cup. He claims he fought an orangutan when he was 16 at the county fair (the ape knocked him unconscious with the bout’s first punch). In 2008, airport security found shotgun shells mistakenly left in his carry-on bag following a hunting trip. The most embarrassing part for Boo? The strip search.

Name: Stewart Cink
Nicknames: Big League Stew, Kitchen, 50 Cink
Born: May 21, 1973 (age 39)
Height/weight: 6-4, 205
Nationality:  United States
Residence: Duluth, Ga.
College: Georgia Tech
Turned professional: 1995
PGA Tour wins: 6
Majors won: 2009 British Open
Heritage appearances: 13
Heritage wins: 2000 (270), 2004 (274)
On Harbour Town Golf Links: “I think what this course does is it puts people into two camps psychologically: You either get into the camp where you feel like you’re in jail because of the trees and how close everything is and the small greens or you feel like your goal is well defined by a smaller target. I think I go in the second camp, so I just feel at ease.”
Fun fact: On the Late Show with David Letterman, Cink joked instead of “fore” he often yells, “hit the deck losers.” He also claimed he can fit seven golf balls in his mouth. His passion off the course? Barbecuing. He has perfected a few recipes and often shares on his Twitter account.

Name: Justin Leonard
Nicknames: Jasper
Born: June 15, 1972 (age 40)
Height/weight: 5-9, 170
Nationality: United States
Residence: Dallas, Texas
College: University of Texas
Turned professional: 1994
PGA Tour wins: 12
Majors won: 1997 British Open
Heritage appearances: 15
Heritage wins: 2002 (270)
On Harbour Town Golf Links: “Well, I’ve always loved the golf course but I really didn’t play very well there. I never could really figure out why and still haven’t, why I struggled there early in my career. But I love playing the golf course. I've had a little bit of success since ’02. Anytime you’ve had success, especially when you’ve won, it’s fun to come back and relive some of those shots and feelings.”
Fun fact: According to his wife, Leonard is deathly afraid of oceans and lakes. When he is home, he makes a juice of carrot, apple, lemon and kale each morning for breakfast and doesn’t eat solid food until lunch. He once hand-washed a courtesy car because he thought it was too dirty.

Name: Glen Day
Nicknames: All Day
Born: Nov. 16, 1965 (age 47)
Height/weight: 5-10, 170
Nationality: United States
Residence: Little Rock, Ark.
College: University of Oklahoma
Turned professional: 1988
PGA Tour wins: 1
Majors won: None
Heritage appearances: 19
Heritage wins: 1999 (274)
On the Heritage: “The list of players that have won here are very good players and it is extremely nice to see my name amongst that list.”
Fun fact: Day was the last player penalized a stroke for slow play on the PGA Tour. It happened in the 1995 Honda Classic, where it took more than four hours to complete his third round. Four years later, he defeated Payne Stewart in a playoff to win the MCI Classic. He was the first golfer to win a professional tournament using a Nike golf ball.

Four international PGA Tour professionals are also scheduled to play in the 45th RBC Heritage. KJ Choi, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell and Rory Sabbatini are all seeking their first tartan jacket. The rest of the 144-player field is expected to be announced by the end of the month.

DETAILS
What: 45th RBC Heritage, PGA Tour event
When: April 15-21
Where: Harbour Town Golf Links, Hilton Head Island
More information: www.rbcheritage.com; 843-671-2448

HERITAGE CHAMPIONS
Year    Player, Country            Score    Par
2012    Carl Pettersson. Sweden              270     -14
2011    Brandt Snedeker, United States    272    -12     
2010    Jim Furyk, United States              271     -13     
2009     Brian Gay, United States             264     -20     
2008     Boo Weekley, United States        269     -15     
2007     Boo Weekley, United States        270     -14     
2006     Aaron Baddeley, Australia           269     -15     
2005     Peter Lonard, Australia               277     -7     
2004     Stewart Cink, United States         274     -10     
2003     Davis Love III, United States      271     -13     
2002     Justin Leonard, United States      270     -14     
2001     José Cóceres, Argentina             273     -11     
2000     Stewart Cink, United States         270     -14     
1999     Glen Day, United States              274     -10     
1998     Davis Love III, United States       266     -18     
1997     Nick Price, Zimbabwe                  269     -15     
1996     Loren Roberts, United States       265     -19     
1995     Bob Tway, United States              275     -9     
1994     Hale Irwin, United States             266     -18     
1993     David Edwards, United States       273     -11     
1992     Davis Love III, United States       269     -15     
1991     Davis Love III, United States       271     -13     
1990     Payne Stewart, United States       276     -8     
1989     Payne Stewart, United States       268     -16     
1988     Greg Norman, Australia               271     -13     
1987     Davis Love III, United States       271     -13     
1986     Fuzzy Zoeller, United States         276     -8     
1985     Bernhard Langer, West Germany  273     -11     
1984     Nick Faldo, England                     270     -14     
1983     Fuzzy Zoeller, United States         275     -9     
1982     Tom Watson, United States         280     -4     
1981     Bill Rogers, United States            278     -6     
1980     Doug Tewell, United States          280     -4     
1979     Tom Watson, United States         270     -14     
1978     Hubert Green, United States        277     -7     
1977     Graham Marsh, Australia             273     -11     
1976     Hubert Green, United States        274     -10     
1975     Jack Nicklaus, United States        271     -13     
1974     Johnny Miller, United States         276     -8     
1973     Hale Irwin, United States             272     -12     
1972     Johnny Miller, United States        281     -4     
1971     Hale Irwin, United States            279     -5     
1970     Bob Goalby, United States          280     -4     
1969     Arnold Palmer, United States      283     -1     

MULTIPLE WINNERS
Nine men have won the Heritage more than once:

5 wins
Davis Love III: 1987, 1991, 1992, 1998, 2003

3 wins
Hale Irwin: 1971, 1973, 1994

2 wins
Johnny Miller: 1972, 1974
Hubert Green: 1976, 1978
Tom Watson: 1979, 1982
Fuzzy Zoeller: 1983, 1986
Payne Stewart: 1989, 1990
Stewart Cink: 2000, 2004
Boo Weekley: 2007, 2008

TICKETS NOW ON SALE
Tickets for the 45th RBC Heritage can be purchased online at www.rbeheritage.com or by calling tournament headquarters at 843-671-2448. Ages 15 and younger are admitted free when accompanied by a ticketed adult. Ticket options are:
•    Clubhouse Badge: $190. Offers access to the tournament grounds for all seven days of the event. Includes admission to the clubhouse featuring private restrooms and the Heritage Pavilion. Two on-course hospitality venues available with food and beverage for purchase.
•    Grounds Badge: $150. Access to the tournament grounds for all seven days of the event.
•    Arnold Palmer Pass: $395. Enhanced ticket booklet grants access to two private entertainment venues. Access to the tournament grounds and clubhouse for all seven days of the event. Admission to two on-course climate controlled venues on holes 15 and 18, Thursday through Sunday. A daily buffet, draft beer, wine and soft drinks included at both venues. Spirits are available for purchase.
•    Daily tickets: Friday and Saturday tickets are priced at $60 each.  Thursday and Sundays are $50 each. Access to the tournament grounds. Prices increase $10 per ticket during tournament week.
•    Practice round tickets: $35. Access to the practice rounds and Pro-Ams Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of tournament week. Autographs and cameras welcome.





 

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