The Biggest Wins and Losses of the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town


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PHOTO: Gerry Broome, AP Photo

The PGA Tour takes Hilton Head with the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town.

The 52nd annual RBC Heritage teed off Thursday, June 18 at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head, South Carolina. The event followed the PGA Tour’s official return last week for the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Golf Course in Fort Worth, Texas. In taking precautions against the spread of COVID-19, the PGA Tour has not admitted spectators to the event; however, new regulations did not discourage golf enthusiasts and onlookers from flocking to Hilton Head. Seafarers lined up in Calibogue Sound to catch a glimpse of competitors at Harbour Town’s iconic 18th hole.
 
During the fourth and final round of the tournament, a gnarly storm rolled in to force a two-hour-and-45-minute delay, forcing the players to weather the elements and impending nightfall to finish the round. In the midst of tumultuous and unprecedented circumstances, Webb Simpson made history as the 52nd champion of the RBC Heritage tournament. Simpson’s record-breaking performance was not the only highlight of the competition – we bring you: this weekend’s biggest wins and losses on the PGA Tour. 
 

iconic Harbour Town Lighthouse at rbc heritage classic. source: Heritage Classic Foundation

 

Wins 

The biggest winner this weekend is Webb Simpson, who smashed the tournament record at -22 by pulling ahead of Abraham Ancer and birdieing five of the last seven holes, finishing at seven-under 64. This is Simspon’s seventh overall win on the PGA Tour and second win this year, propelling him to the No. 1 spot in the FedEx Cup standings and No. 5 in the world.
 

 

Webb Simpson in action. Source: Heritage classic foundation

 
Simpson collected the tartan jacket and trophy, honoring his late father and sharing his victory with his wife and five children.
 
Other winners this weekend include Dylan Frittelli, who played the best round overall. Abraham Ancer placed second at -21, followed by Daniel Berger and Tyrrell Hatton at -20. Berger took home the trophy last weekend after winning the Charles Schwab Challenge at -15. Sergio Garcia and Joaquín Niemann finished at -19, and Brooks Koepka rounded out the top five scores at -18.
 

abraham ancer. source: heritage classic foundation

 
A tiny crab made its national television debut by occupying Bubba Watson’s ball in the greenside bunker at hole 17. The mischievous critter angled to get the best of Watson, who called for a rules official to oversee the predicament. Watson was notably concerned about the crustacean, explaining in an interview, “There was a camera and, you know, people get mad cause I’d hit an animal. … We got enough issues in our world right now, we don’t need crab issues.”
 
Thankfully, the crab relented and Watson was able to clear the ball from the bunker back into play without interference.
 

Losses 

Unfortunately, despite the PGA Tour’s best preventative efforts against the spread of COVID-19, golfer Nick Watney tested positive for the novel virus on Friday during the second round of the tournament. Upon receiving his results, Watney promptly withdrew himself from the competition. Players and staff were notified, and the PGA Tour released the following statement: 
 
“With Friday’s confirmed COVID-19 case of a competitor in the RBC Heritage field, the PGA TOUR implemented its response plan in consultation with medical experts, including working with those who may have had close contact with Nick Watney. As a result, 11 tests were conducted on Friday with all 11 tests being negative.”
 
Thankfully, no other golfers or staff have tested positive since Watney’s diagnosis.
 
In more COVID-19 news, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has reported 60 new cases in Beaufort County, indicating a rising trend in the area. Competitor Justin Thomas made headlines during the tournament in an interview, voicing his frustration with Hilton Head residents, saying, “they’re seeming to not take it very seriously. It’s an absolute zoo around here.” Thomas’ disappointment comes in the midst of the state’s ease on local operational restrictions.
 

Rory McIlroy. Source: Heritage Classic Foundation

 
One of the tournament’s biggest surprises was golfer Rory McIlroy’s less-than-stellar performance, finishing at 70 and tied for forty-first place after last week’s lackluster finish out of the top 30. Prior to the PGA Tour’s hiatus, McIlroy had placed no worse than fifth in seven consecutive worldwide events. Golf analysts and fans hope McIlroy can identify the weak point in his post-hiatus game and emerge on top in the next event, the Travelers Championship, beginning on June 25.

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