PGA Tour

RBC Heritage Notebook, April 11: Olazabal in a big hurry to get to Hilton Head

info@islandpacket.comApril 11, 2012 

Former Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal paid a hefty fine for speeding on Georgia Hwy. 21 in Effingham County at about 2 p.m. Monday, on his way from Augusta, Ga., to the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing.

Olazabal was traveling at 97 mph in a 65 mph zone when a deputy pulled him over. The two-time Masters champ explained that he was on his way to Hilton Head Island for the Heritage; he was apologetic and "totally cool" with deputies, according to Effingham County Sheriff's Office spokesman David Ehsanipoor.

Because Olazabal had an address in Spain, deputies asked that he follow them to the Sheriff's Office to post a cash bond of $621, which is the fine for going that speed, Ehsanipoor said. The golfer cooperated and was at the Sheriff's Office for only a few minutes as deputies processed his paperwork and released him, Ehsanipoor said.

Olazabal declined to comment on the speeding fine following Tuesday's practice round at the Harbour Town Golf Links.

Olazabal has played in three previous Heritages. His best finish was a tie for sixth in 2009, the last time he played the tournament.

Players announced for Wednesday Pro-Am

South Carolina head football coach Steve Spurrier and a host of other amateurs will compete in the RBC Heritage Pro-Am today.

Joining Spurrier is Art Rooney II, co-owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, along with PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem and Harbour Town Golf Links architect Pete Dye.

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC), U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), and Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplane, also will play.

Rounding out the list of notable competitors is Bill Goodwin, whose family owns Sea Pines.

A $4,750 fee was required to participate in the Pro-Am.

Van Pelt talks Harbour Town

Bo Van Pelt -- like so many other PGA Tour members -- has become quite fond of Harbour Town over the last few years.

"I just think it's a unique place," he said. "We don't get to play on courses that look like Harbour Town very often. Most of our golf courses are more modern; they're bigger, (and) more spread out. I think all of us grew up playing golf courses that looked like Harbour Town and aren't, you know, a TPC-style golf course; something that's not as long and has the feel of this."

Van Pelt, who shot a tournament low 64 in the final round of the Masters on Sunday, said he's looking forward to the small greens and tree-lined fairways that highlight Harbour Town. The 36-year-old hopes to duplicate his success from a week ago, when he entered the final day at Augusta National 7 over but finished 1 under, good for a 17th-place finish alongside Ben Crane.

"I know most people's families enjoy coming here," he said. "It has a homey feel to it, so guys enjoy it. And it's a great golf course, so it has a lot of good things going for it."

Tee times announced

Tee times for the first and second rounds of the Heritage have been announced.

An interesting pair of groups have back-to-back tee times Thursday. At 8:20 a.m., Luke Donald -- the No. 1 ranked player in the world -- will tee off at No. 10 with 2011 Heritage champion Brandt Snedeker and former Clemson standout Kyle Stanley. Ten minutes later, South Carolina native Bill Haas, Ernie Els and Padraig Harrington tee off.

The same groups will start the second round on the first tee at 1 p.m. and 1:10 p.m., respectively.

At 9 a.m. Thursday, South Carolinians Will McGirt and Mark Anderson will get under way on No. 1 alongside Martin Flores. They will start off on No. 10 Friday at 1:40 p.m.

Highlighting the first round's afternoon field is the grouping of John Daly, Rickie Fowler and Ricky Barnes. The trio will tee off from No. 1 at 1:20 p.m. Their second round starts at 8:40 a.m. on No. 10.

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