Recent Heritage champs grouped together


This week the PGA Tour heads to Hilton Head, where 144 players look to become the next to wear the tartan jacket on the 18th green Sunday evening. Here is a look at some of the featured groups set to tee off in Thursday's first round (all times EDT; click here for full-field tee times):

(7:50 a.m., No. 10 tee): Jim Furyk, Brandt Snedeker, Carl Pettersson

Each of the last three Heritage champions will play the first two rounds together, with Pettersson beginning his title defense alongside the 2011 champ (Snedeker) and Furyk, who won a playoff over Brian Davis in 2010. Pettersson will hope that friendly confines can help bring him out of a mini-slump, as the Swede has not logged a top-20 finish in a stroke-play event since his eighth-place finish at the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions.

(7:50 a.m., No. 1 tee): Zach Johnson, Bill Haas, K.J. Choi

A runner-up here last year, Johnson found success on a course where his relative lack of length off the tee was not a factor and will hope for more of the same this week. He'll play with Haas, whose five top-10s already in 2013 are tied for the most on Tour, and Choi, who was sixth in San Antonio two weeks ago and played well at the Masters before fading over the weekend.

(8 a.m., No. 10 tee): Webb Simpson, Marc Leishman, Jason Day

Both Leishman and Day came achingly close to a green jacket on Sunday, but took some solace in watching their countryman, Adam Scott, break Australia's drought at Augusta National. They find themselves drawn together for the first two rounds at Harbour Town, where they will be joined by Simpson, who will be the next major champion to defend his title when the U.S. Open heads to Merion later this summer.

(12:30 p.m., No. 1 tee): Matt Kuchar, Ernie Els, Jason Dufner

This group brings together a trio of players inside the top 25 of the world rankings, each of whom possesses a game that appears to suit the narrow fairways and small greens of Hilton Head. Kuchar enters off a T-8 result in Augusta, his third consecutive top-25 finish, while Dufner has three such finishes in his last four starts. The reigning British Open champion, Els has the best Hilton Head track record of the three, having notched six top-10 finishes here from 1998-2007.

(12:40 p.m., No. 1 tee): Graeme McDowell, Tim Clark, Luke Donald

Donald will hope to overcome last year's hiccup, a tie for 37th, and resume a streak of top-three finishes that he carried at Harbour Town from 2009-11. He'll be paired with McDowell, who will look to regain the form that netted top-10 finishes at both PGA National and Doral last month. Clark rounds out the threesome, coming off a successful week at Augusta National (T-11) and heading to a course where his 'target golf' approach should yield results.