Harbour Town Golf Links is favorite among PGA Tour players and casual golf fans alike

By April 13, 2010, 12:46 am
harbour town brian gay
Brian Gay won the 2009 Verizon Heritage by a tournament-record 10 strokes. (Getty Images)

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – Fresh off a week of short rough and huge greens at Augusta National, the PGA Tour heads to Hilton Head Island and Harbour Town Golf Links. In addition to its status as one of the favorite stops for players on the PGA Tour, Harbour Town at Sea Pines Resort is the foremost location for golf on Hilton Head Island.

Hilton Head Island is a vacationer's paradise year round, but even more enchanting in the spring when its azaleas are in bloom, pleasing weather is the norm and the island is brimming with PGA Tour buzz. Golf legends, rising stars, robust competition, autograph opportunities, picturesque views, fabulous refreshments, friendly crowds, myriad activities and tons of fun for a great cause – for what else could you ask? You need only attend Hilton Head Island's historic tournament once to concur that there are at least a dozen reasons to put the Verizon Heritage at the top of your trip list.

For more golf in Hilton Head Island, or to plan your next trip visit:
The PGA Tour in Hilton Head: Heritage, history and high performance
Since Arnold Palmer claimed the tournament's first trophy in 1969, the Verizon Heritage has experienced a few name changes, but it has consistently drawn some of the most prominent names in golf. Jack Nicklaus, Bernhard Langer, Greg Norman, Nick Price, Davis Love III, the late Payne Stewart and the colorful Boo Weekley are past winners of the event.

Tournament week traditionally kicks off with opening ceremonies that celebrate golf's Scottish heritage. The tournament is famous for its kilted bagpipers and firing of a cannon into the Calibogue Sound while the defending champion simultaneously fires a tee shot using a hickory driver and feathery-style ball. And, of course, the tournament champion is awarded an attractive tartan jacket to accompany his Verizon Heritage winnings.

Many players head to the Verizon Heritage following the Masters. However, while the Verizon Heritage offers healthy competition, it boasts a less intense vibe amidst Hilton Head Island's idyllic atmosphere and is viewed by many golfers as an opportune time to vacation with their families.

Harbour Town Golf Links: One of the world's premier golf clubs
Harbour Town Golf Links, site of the Verizon Heritage, has long been hailed as one of the world's premier clubs. In addition to superb course conditions and its extraordinary, park-like setting, the well-appointed clubhouse and friendly and professional staff exude unrivaled hospitality. During tournament week, the Calibogue Sound and adjacent Harbour Town yacht basin, site of the iconic candy-cane striped Harbour Town lighthouse, are rippling with an impressive array of watercraft.

The tournament is held within Sea Pines Resort, which hosts shuttle service and abounds with bike paths, nature trails and wildlife. The resort also offers beach access, shops, dining, entertainment, recreation and accommodations. Whether you seek an all-inclusive resort or oceanfront home, experienced and reputable companies such as Sea Pines Resort, Resort Quest Hilton Head Island, Hilton Head Rentals & Golf and the Crowne Plaza Hilton Head Island Beach Resort, can assist you in securing quality accommodations Island-wide that are best suited to your needs.

Access the island via Hilton Head Island Airport (HHH) or Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV), about 45 minutes away. Hilton Head Island's proximity to several major cities, such as Jacksonville, Fla. and Atlanta, also makes it a popular drive-to destination.

Verizon Heritage: 'Get Your Plaid On' for eco-friendly fun, philanthropy
The Verizon Heritage annually attracts thousands because, quite simply, whether you are a golf enthusiast or not, it emphasizes fun for all ages! Some come for the thrill of the game and autograph opportunities, while others attend for the camaraderie and fashionable socializing. The tournament's schedule of events includes opportunities for amateurs to play with the pros, putting contests, Coca-Cola Youth Day and much more.

The Heritage Classic Foundation has donated millions to charitable organizations over the years, and has awarded thousands of dollars in scholarships. You can have fun while also supporting philanthropic efforts.

The Verizon Heritage has also partnered with Palmetto Electric regarding a commitment to green practices and recently introduced a new spokesperson, Sir William 'Willie' Innes, whose role will be to promote community pride in the tourney and support for a new 'Get Your Plaid On' marketing campaign. Said Tournament Director Steve Wilmot, 'Willie has his plaid on, and it is time to get your plaid on.'

A variety of Verizon Heritage ticket packages are available. 'Get Your Plaid On' and secure your piece of the fun, before this popular event sells out! Visit verizonheritage.com or call (800) 234-1107. Verizon Heritage tickets are also available through the Hilton Head Island – Bluffton Chamber of Commerce: www.hiltonheadisland.org or (800) 523-3373.

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Fleetwood rallies to defend Abu Dhabi title

By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 pm

The 2018 European Tour season has begun just as the 2017 one ended: with Tommy Fleetwood's name atop the standings.

Facing the most difficult conditions of the week, Fleetwood charged down the stretch to shoot a 7-under 65 in the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, good enough for a two-shot win and a successful title defense.

Abu Dhabi was the start of Fleetwood's resurgence a year ago, the first of two European Tour victories en route to the season-long Race to Dubai title. This time around the Englishman started the final round two shots off the lead but rallied with six birdies over his final nine holes to reclaim the trophy.

Fleetwood was five shots behind countryman Ross Fisher when he made made the turn, but he birdied the par-5 10th and then added four birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 12-16. The decisive shot came on the final hole, when his pitch from the left rough nestled within a few feet of the hole for a closing birdie.

Fleetwood's 22-under total left him two shots ahead of Fisher and four shots clear of Rory McIlroy and Matthew Fitzpatrick. After entering the week ranked No. 18, Fleetwood is expected to move to at least No. 12 in the world when the new rankings are published.

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Garcia cruises to five-shot win in Singapore

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:10 pm

SINGAPORE - Sergio Garcia played 27 holes on the last day without dropping a shot to win the Singapore Open by five strokes Sunday in an ominous display of his newfound self-belief as he prepares to defend his Masters title.

Still brimming with confidence after claiming his first major title at Augusta National last year, Garcia started his new season with a runaway victory at the Sentosa Golf Club, finishing at 14-under 270.

Returning to the course just after dawn to complete his third round after play was suspended on Saturday because of lightning strikes, Garcia finished his last nine holes in 4 under for a round of 66 to take a one-shot lead into the final round.

With organizers desperate to avert the constant threat of more bad weather and finish the tournament on time, Garcia promptly returned to the first tee shortly after and fired a flawless 3-under 68, cruising to victory with 10 straight pars as his rivals floundered in the stifling humidity.

''It may have looked easy, but it wasn't easy. You still have to hit a lot of good shots out there,'' Garcia said. ''It's always great to start with a win, to do it here at this golf course against a good field in Asia on conditions that weren't easy. Hopefully I can ride on this momentum.''

Garcia's closest rivals at the end were Japan's Satoshi Kodaira (71) and South African Shaun Norris (70). Both birdied the last hole to share second spot but neither was ever close enough on the last day to challenge the leader.

Full-field scores from the Singapore Open

''I could not reach Sergio. I was thinking, 12 or 13 under for the win, but he went beyond that,'' Kodaira said.

Jazz Janewattananond (71) and his fellow Thai Danthai Bonnma (73) finished equal fourth at 8 under, earning themselves a spot in this year's British Open, while American Sean Crocker, who was given an invitation to the event after turning pro late last year, also won a place at Carnoustie by finishing in a tie for sixth.

Garcia made just three bogeys in 72 holes and his victory provided the 38-year-old with the 33rd title of his professional career and his sixth on the Asian Tour.

He has also won three titles in the last 12 months, including the Masters, and his game looks to be in better shape now than it was a year ago.

He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for Augusta National because of the steamy conditions and the testing stop-start nature of the tournament, which is regularly stopped because of inclement weather.

Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore a year ago, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

"I'm extremely happy with how the week went. It was a tough day and a tough week, with the stopping and going. Fortunately, the weather held on. Still, it was hard to play 27 holes under this heat and I can't wait to get a cold shower,'' Garcia said. ''I came with some good confidence and wishing that I will play well. I hit the ball solid the whole week and didn't miss many shots.''

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Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.

Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

“I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

“The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.