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PGA Tour: Hilton Head, Harbour Town, and The Heritage

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PGA Tour: Hilton Head, Harbour Town, and The Heritage
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Featured Columnist Andy Reistetter is on site at the Verizon Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Please see the associated video on YouTube.com.

 

Well folks that was one heck of a Masters wasn't it!

 

Tiger Woods making his return to the game of golf.

 

Though his rustiness showed in his inconsistent play he managed to finish tied for fourth.

 

Then we had Jack Nicklaus join Arnold Palmer on the tee early Thursday morning to hit the ceremonial first tee shots.

 

Thursday was a birdie fest for the Champions Tour members with Fred Couples leading the pack, the whole pack of golfers that is- old and young with a stellar first round 6-under par 66.

 

Tom Watson at age 60 continued his magnificent play from the Open at Turnberry shooting a 67 of his own.

 

Friday marked the continued emergence of the English Invasion with Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter making a charge.

 

Saturday we saw once again the brilliance and shot-making extraordinaire by Phil Mickelson as he went eagle-eagle-almost eagle amid thunderous roars on the back nine of Augusta National.

 

On Sunday we saw Phil seal the deal with a spectacular back nine 32.

 

Then we saw him seal the deal in love and life kissing his wife Amy and embracing his family after winning his third green jacket.

 

How could have last week at Augusta been any better or any more exciting?

 

This week we come 150 miles to the southeast to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and find ourselves in one of the most lovely parts of the world—Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

 

If the annual Georgia-Florida college football game is the world's largest cocktail party then the Heritage at Harbour Towne is the world's classiest cocktail party.

 

A much more relaxed atmosphere than the Masters though no less important to the golfers playing here this week.

 

A win here earns a two-year plus exemption through the end of the 2012 season and of course a ticket to that green paradise we just came from.

 

Look at what this tournament did for Boo Weekley when he won here back-to-back in 2007 and 2008.

 

He went on to Ryder Cup fame riding his driver stick horse off the first tee at Valhalla as the American team regrouped under Captain Paul Azinger and won for the first time since Brookline in 1999.

 

Then last year Brian Gay took a three stroke lead into Sunday, shot 64 and made it a romp—winning by 10 strokes.

 

The Heritage may not have the strongest field of the year but it certainly has one of the best.

 

Davis Love III celebrated his 46th birthday yesterday and is playing in his 25th Heritage.

 

He is the most prolific winner at Harbor Towne.

 

Five of his 20 wins on tour have come right here with Calibogue Sound to his left and the iconic Harbour Towne Lighthouse looking down upon him on the 18th green.

 

Reigning British Open Champion at Turnberry and U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover who conquered Bethpage Black will also be teeing it up this week.

 

Stewart Cink is a two-time winner last donning the plaid tartan jacket in 2004.

 

No. 7 in the world Paul Casey is here to maybe prove something as he missed the cut at The Masters and watched his fellow countryman Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter compete strongly on the weekend.

 

Hot tournament winners this year on tour Camilo Villegas, Bill Haas and Jim Furyk are here.

 

Furyk like Casey missed the cut at The Masters shooting 80-76.

 

At world No. 6 he is the highest ranked player in the field.

 

The weather forecast is sunny and breezy with temperatures in the 70s.

 

This is the 42nd Verizon Heritage on the Pete Dye/Jack Nicklaus designed Harbour Towne Golf Links.

 

Grab a cocktail and enjoy tournament week.

 

This is Andy Reistetter. Good golfing and good living to you my friends!  

 

 

Andy Reistetter is a freelance golf writer. He follows the PGA TOUR volunteering and working part time for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, and The Golf Channel.

 

He resides in Jacksonville Beach, Florida near the PGA TOUR headquarters and home of The PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach.

 

He enjoys pursuing his passion for the game of golf and everything associated with it. He can be reached through his website www.MrHickoryGolf.net or by e-mailing him to AndyReistetter@gmail.com

 

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