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Harbour Town squeezing in 144 players for RBC Heritage

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HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – Compared to the sprawling grandeur of Augusta National, this week’s Tour stop at Harbour Town Golf Links is best described as cozy, which is exactly what most players are searching for following a high-pressure week at the Masters.

This year, however, that intimate feel is being pushed to extremes because of a temporary increase in field size. The RBC Heritage is one of eight PGA Tour events that have expanded its field size in an attempt to mitigate the circuit’s transition to a split-calendar schedule this fall.

This week’s field is 144 players, up from the traditional 132-player tee sheet, which has created some logistical hurdles for tournament organizers. Harbour Town’s locker room, for example, is a modest 1,000 square feet or so, and has just 146 lockers.

The resort’s practice tee will also be stretched to the limit this week with players on Tuesday inching further and further down the adjacent 10th fairway to find a spot.

Luckily for tournament officials, this year’s increased field size is a one-off occurrence and the Heritage will return to a 132-player field in 2014.