RBC Heritage: Winners and Losers from PGA Tour Stop at Harbourtown
A pair of U.S. Open winners squared off in a playoff to decide the winner of the RBC Heritage.
Graeme McDowell, who grew up playing in howling winds in Northern Ireland, demonstrated his expertise at playing in tough conditions by beating Webb Simpson on the first hole of extra golf.
Both men finished the tournament at nine-under par. Simpson had a chance to win the tournament with a birdie putt on the 18th hole, but his 22-footer slid just wide of the hole.
McDowell and Simpson both came from off the pace to meet at the lead at the end of the final round.
Here's a look at the winners and losers from the RBC Heritage.
Winner: Graeme McDowell
The winds may have been howling at Harbour Town in Hilton Head, South Carolina, but Graeme McDowell did not appear to be bothered in the least.
He played as if he couldn't have been happier with the climate, and he shot a two-under par 69 to move to nine-under par.
McDowell had been striking the ball efficiently throughout the tournament, and he also made his share of putts. That allowed him to move to the head of the field with Webb Simpson.
His second shot on the playoff hole left him with a 12-foot uphill putt for a winning birdie. While he did not sink that putt, he won the tournament when Simpson's putt from off the green slid 10 feet past the hole and he could not make his saving par putt.
McDowell earned $1,044,000 with the victory.
Loser: Robert Garrigus
Robert Garrigus is one of the biggest hitters on the tour, and he did not disappoint his fans with his showing at the RBC Heritage in that department.
Garrigus averaged 291.8 yards per drive in severe wind and was the fifth-leading driver at the tournament.
However, Garrigus had an opportunity to assert himself, but he never got the engine turning at full speed. He did not break 70 in any round and his four-round total was a ho-hum 283, just one-under for the four rounds.
Garrigus is supposed to have outstanding talent, but he rarely puts it together. Garrigus hit 66.07 percent of his drives in the fairway and that left him tied for 33rd in that category.
That statistic probably explains why Garrigus was never a real factor and finished tied for 24th.
Winner: Webb Simpson
Webb Simpson did not win, but he still had a solid tournament and a very good last day.
Simpson reached the nine-under par mark when he birdied the par-four 12th hole, but he could not add any more birdies the rest of the way.
Simpson shot a 68 in the first round and a 65 on moving day. He shot a steady 71 in the final round, and that was good enough to get him in the playoff.
Simpson said he was not a confident golfer coming into the tournament (source: CBSSports.com), yet he hit 70.83 percent of his greens in regulation. That led all golfers and that's one of the key reasons he played so consistently during the four days at Hilton Head.
Loser: Jim Furyk
When it comes to clutch play and excellent ball striking, few golfers deserve to be considered at the same level as Jim Furyk.
So when Furyk is within hailing distance of the leaders at the start of the final round—he was six strokes behind leader Charley Hoffman—you expect him to continue to play well and make a move towards the top.
That was especially true in the RBC Heritage because he shot a 66 on moving day.
However, he never got things going in the final round. He shot a mistake-laden 78 in the tough conditions. Furyk bogeyed the sixth, seventh and eighth holes and shot a 40 on the front nine and didn't make a birdie until the 18th hole.
It was a disaster, and Furyk played himself out of contention in the final round.
Winner: Luke Donald
Luke Donald is starting to find his game again.
Donald played solid golf in the RBC Heritage, shooting a seven-under par 277 to finish two strokes in back of the co-leaders and tied for third place.
Donald broke 70 in three of his rounds and is looking more like the confident golfer who had risen to the No. 1 position in the world. He's not there yet, but he finished tied for fourth in the Tampa Bay Championship in March before finishing 25th at the Masters.
Bouncing back with a steady performance at Hilton Head in difficult conditions should improve Donald's confidence for the immediate future.
Loser: Marc Leishman
Marc Leishman had an excellent performance in the Masters, shooting a five-under par 283.
Leishman was in contention for the Masters championship until the back nine of the final round.
Leishman may have been close to the Masters, but he did not get close at the RBC Heritage. Leishman got off on the right foot, shooting a 67 in the opening round.
However, Leishman could not break 71 the rest of the way. He shot a one-over par 72 in the final round and finished the tournament with a three-under par total of 281.
That left him tied for ninth place.
After his prime-time performance in the Masters, this had to be a severe letdown for the Aussie ball striker.
Winner: Charley Hoffman
An argument can be made that Charley Hoffman lost the RBC Heritage even though he had the tournament within his grasp through the first three rounds.
Hoffman had a three-round total of 202, and he held a two-stroke lead in the tournament. However, he blew up in the final round and shot a 77.
His final score of 279 tied him for sixth in the tournament.
Hoffman has not won a tournament since taking the 2010 Deutsche Bank Championship. While he did not come through with a solid performance in the final round, he was dependable through the first three rounds, and that bodes well for the rest of the year.
Hoffman averaged 296.1 yards off the tee and that ranked third in the tournament. His long hitting should make him a consistent threat to break the top 10 in many of the tournaments he enters.
Loser: Brandt Snedeker
Brandt Snedeker is clearly one of the best golfers on the tour. He had a share of the lead after the first three rounds of the Masters.
He was unable to sustain his excellent play and fell by the wayside when he shot a 75. Snedeker was clearly disappointed with his finish and his play in the RBC Heritage never came together.
Snedeker, the second-leading golfer on the tour this year behind Tiger Woods, shot a five-over par 289. At his best, Snedeker would have been a possible winner and a strong contender at the least.
However, his concentration was not what it should have been and Snedeker would have best been served by taking a week or two off before playing in his next PGA Tour event.