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RBC Heritage notebook: Wrapping up the 49th edition

  • Scott Schroeder/For Beaufort Today Wesley Bryan receives the winner’s tartan jacket Sunday at Harbour Town Golf Links.

Wesley Bryan on Sunday became the seventh player to win the RBC Heritage without having competed in the Masters the week before.

The others were Carl Pettersson in 2012, Brian Gay in 2009, Boo Weekley in 2007, Aaron Baddeley in 2006, Bob Tway in 1995 and Branden Grace in 2016.

Bryan joined 11 other golfers who won their first PGA event at the RBC Heritage: Hale Irwin (1971), Graham Marsh (1977), Doug Tewell (1980), Nick Faldo (1984), Davis Love III (1987), Glen Day (1999), Jose Coceres (2001), Peter Lonard (2005), Baddeley (2006), Weekley (2007) and Grace (2016).

This was Bryan’s fourth top-10 finish. His previous best results were ties for fourth at the Genesis Open and Honda Classic.

Bryan has endured some rough stretches in his golf career. He once shot a 100 in a tournament as a junior.

He watched his father, George Bryan III, compete in the RBC Heritage in 2004.

“Coming on tour, I knew I would be good enough to compete,” Bryan said.

Another runner-up

Luke Donald, who has never won the RBC Heritage, finished second in the tournament Sunday for a remarkable fifth time.

In PGA history, only Jack Nicklaus (seven, RBC Canadian Open) and Phil Mickelson (six, U.S. Open) have finished second in an event more times.

Donald has finished in the top 3 in seven of his past nine RBC Heritage appearances.

Locals play well

It was a nice weekend for golfers with regional ties, as Savannah’s Brian Harman tied for ninth at 9-under, Wofford College graduate William McGirt tied for third at 3-under and Beaufort’s Mark Anderson made the cut in his hometown event for the first time in three years. Anderson finished at 2-under.

Close encounter

Ian Poulter’s caddie had to push away an alligator with a golf club before Poulter’s second shot on the 10th hole Saturday.

The gator, which was resting on the edge of the water, was about five feet from Poulter’s ball, which was on the bank in the rough. The gator took the message and swam away slowly.

Furyk misses cut

Two-time Heritage champion Jim Furyk missed the first cut in his 18th start at the event. He also missed the cut at the Masters last week, the first time he has missed back-to-back cuts since July 2011.

Tournament facts

Tournament officials and statisticians said they don’t keep official attendance records, but with clear skies and temperatures from the high 70s to low 80s every day, they said it was likely the best attendance in recent memory.

The near-perfect weather impacted the scoring. The cut line of 1-under on Friday was the lowest in the 49-year history of the tournament.

The average score Friday was 70.89. It was 70.18 on Thursday. This was the first time the first two rounds at the RBC Heritage were both under par for the field.

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