What we learned: RBC Heritage


Each week, the GolfChannel.com team offers thoughts on 'what we learned' from the most recent events. This week, we learned that in the absence of truly grappling golf, other creatures take center stage.

I learned that no matter how great of a season we've had so far, we were overdue for a stinker. Congrats to Carl Pettersson on an impressive victory at Harbour Town, but the event – which has provided many great finishes over the years including last year's duel with Brandt Snedeker and Luke Donald – lacked emotion and interest. Everyone seems tired the week after a major championship – including players and fans alike – and the leaderboard this week didn't do much the help cure the Masters hangover. – Jay Coffin

That the most intriguing part of Bubba Watson's Masters win will be his dealings with the media. He acquitted himself well during his first few rounds, showcasing a solid sense of humor. But what happens when he has to go into the media center before every event? When he's asked questions after every round, including when he shoots 76? What happens when the British tabloids start asking about last year's trip to France? Bubba might eschew a swing coach but he might need a media consultant to successfully navigate this unfamiliar terrain. – Mercer Baggs

That without a dominant player the World Golf Ranking is as flawed at the top as it has appeared further down the order in recent years. Luke Donald’s tie for 37th at the Heritage guaranteed that Rory McIlroy would regain the top spot in the ranking. The mathematicians have explained the phenomenon, pointing out that the Ulsterman’s divisor is going from 50 to 49 this week, but that doesn’t make it right. McIlroy may be a deserving world No. 1, but he shouldn’t have gotten there from his couch. – Rex Hoggard

I learned that all of us non-flatbellies have to stop blaming our golf shortcomings on our physiques. Carl Pettersson, Colt Knost and Kevin Stadler all finished in the top 4 at Hilton Head, proving once again that you don’t have to be built like Dustin Johnson or Tiger Woods to play this game. I wish the PGA of America would take a hint from this and develop a high-profile instruction program geared to full-figured folks. – Al Tays

I learned that I'm not as tough as Kip Henley, at least when it comes to reptilian creatures. On Wednesday, while playing a quick emergency 36 at my local club, I got a little to close to either an alligator or crocodile – though admittedly not close enough to ponder the differences between the two. The truth is, the only thing I pondered was whether I'd less prefer to lose a hand or spend my remaining days being called Chubbs. One day later, Henley, who caddies for Brian Gay, actually confronted a gator at Harbour Town, putting a bunker rake to its face in order to clear the area for his man's chip shot. Consider it golf's version of a Secret Service employee taking a bullet for a world leader. Henley wasn't harmed, but here's hoping he received a little something for the effort. – Jason Sobel

I learned this week's 'Sesame Street' should be brought to us by Louis Oosthuizen and the numbers one, two and three.

In the last three weeks, the 2010 British Open winner has gone third, P-2 and won on Sunday at the Malaysian Open. The win is his first on Asian soil and second of the year. The sweetest swing in golf was not hampered by the rather sudden death he experienced at Augusta National a week ago. 

Following 2011 – a year which required an adjustment to the dual-tour lifestyle of a major champion – Oosthuizen seems to have found a rhythm which works for him. – Ryan Ballengee

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