Relaxing on Hilton Head Island

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HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. -- Its like the second coming of spring. Here at the MCI Heritage, the weather is perfect. The turtles and alligators are basking in the sun, and after a disappointing week at the Masters for seemingly all but one man, PGA Tour players are looking for a fresh start.

Ernie ElsErnie Els is a perfect example. After letting another Masters slip away, he says hes eager to play this week at Hilton Head, even though Im having trouble focusing thoughts from Augusta keep creeping into my mind.

Davis Love is a perfect example. He says hes disappointed with his tie for 15th at the Masters; but Love is filled with confidence as he returns to a place where he has won four times. Im playing well, hitting it good, Davis says. If not for a couple of bad drives and a few three-putts, I would have been right there at Augusta.
 
Following that assessment of his Masters, the No. 4 player in the world paused, smiled and added: Yeah, me and 73 other guys.

Davis Love IIIJonathan Byrd is a perfect example. The South Carolina native comes to play in his home state following a tie for eighth in the Masters. I had a real good week especially because it was my first major, the second-year touring pro says. Now Im playing at a place where I feel real comfortable. It feels like home.

Thirty-five players who competed at the Masters are in this weeks field; and every one of them is thrilled to be here, no matter what happened at Augusta National.

Defending Heritage champion Justin Leonard says: This is the perfect place to play the week after a major.

The mood here in this ocean-side town is a relaxed one that spreads across the golf course and throughout the players. Following the pressure-cooker of Augusta, the laid-back atmosphere of Hilton Head is a welcome change.

Now those who did not qualify to play in the years first mens major can work on their games. Now those who didnt win the Masters can fine-tune their skills. All with the purpose; all with the hopes that in about two months time they can dive back into the pressure-cooker that will be the U.S. Open.

Enjoy Hilton Head while you can.
 
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