You Oughta Know: RBC Heritage

By Randall MellApril 14, 2012, 11:00 pm

Some notes and nuggets to whet your appetite for Sunday’s final round of the RBC Heritage:

• Carl Pettersson knows how to close the deal when he’s in position to win a PGA Tour event. He has led or shared the lead going into the final round in three of his four PGA Tour victories. Overall, Pettersson has won three of the five times he has held or shared the 54-hole lead in a PGA Tour event. His Tour titles: ’05 Chrysler Classic, ’06 Memorial, ’08 Wyndham Championship, 2010 RBC Canadian.

• Colt Knost, a shot behind Pettersson at Harbour Town, forfeited his invitation to the 2008 Masters after winning both the U.S. Amateur Public Links and U.S. Amateur in ’07. He decided to turn professional instead of playing the Masters as an amateur. Knost still hasn’t earned back that invite to Augusta National, but he’ll get one if he wins Sunday at Hilton Head.

• Knost’s best finish in a PGA Tour event is a tie for third at the Mayakoba Golf Classic in late February. It is his only top-10 finish in 66 PGA Tour starts as a pro.

• Pettersson is No. 68 in the Official World Golf Ranking, Knost No. 366.

• Zach Johnson tees it up Sunday four shots off the lead, looking to win his eighth PGA Tour title. Nobody in the top 10 of the RBC Heritage leaderboard has won more PGA Tour titles than Johnson.

• Brandt Snedeker starts Sunday six shots behind, the same deficit he faced when he came from behind to win this event a year ago. Snedeker has a history of big comebacks, winning all three of his PGA Tour titles in that fashion. He was seven behind starting the final round when he won the Farmers Insurance Open in January. He was five back going into the final round when he won his first PGA Tour title, the Wyndham Championship in ’07.

• This is the season of the big comeback. So far in ’12, winners have overcome deficits of seven (Snedeker/Farmers Insurance Open), eight (Kyle Stanley/Waste Management Phoenix Open), six (Phil Mickelson/AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am) and seven (John Huh/Mayakoba Golf Classic).

• Bubba and Boo in back-to-back victories for the Blackwater River Region? A week after Bubba Watson won the Masters, Boo Weekley enters the final round in fourth place at the RBC Heritage. He is five shots off the lead. Watson and Weekley both grew up in the Florida Panhandle, both grew up playing at Tanglewood Country Club in Milton, Fla., and both attended Milton High School, though Weekley is five years older.  Weekley is a two-time RBC Heritage winner.

• Barring a torrid final round, the PGA Tour will feature a new world No. 1 come Sunday night with Rory McIlroy expected to move up. To prevent that, current No. 1 Luke Donald must finish tied for eighth or better at Harbour Town. Donald starts Sunday tied for 52nd and seven shots behind the current group tied for eighth.

John Hancock Pivotal Moments

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McCoy earns medalist honors at Q-School

By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Tour Q-School.

McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

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Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.



Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."

Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout

Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.