PGA Tour

Harbour Town a tough test to pass, but all it takes is the right answers

mmccombs@islandpacket.comApril 15, 2012 

While the addition of two new sponsors to give Hilton Head Island's PGA Tour masterpiece a new lease on life may have been the biggest story leading up to the 44th RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing, it was soon supplanted.

By the course itself.

The changes to Harbour Town Golf Links became the new hot topic. Mostly, it was the condition of the greens that golfers couldn't talk about enough.

And some of them weren't saying good things.

Fast and dry, that was the consensus after Thursday's first round.

And the loudest critic was Jim Furyk, the champion of the 2010 Heritage and the 2003 U.S. Open.

Furyk claimed the green conditions during Wednesday's pro-am were like Sunday conditions at the U.S. Open.

"I was very surprised to to see the condition they were in on Wednesday, to be so firm, so fast and so overly stressed on a Wednesday, knowing we still had to play four tournament rounds on them," Furyk said.

This came after saying he was "taken aback," and calling the greens a "shock."

Harbour Town superintendent Jonathan Wright and his crew took steps to keep the greens from becoming any firmer than they were on Wednesday, and after Thursday's round, PGA Tour competitions agronomist Bland Cooper said the greens played fair and like he'd like to see them play for the rest of the tournament.

But even as the greens calmed down, not everybody was in agreement that the greens were as big an issue as some were making them out to be.

Jerry Kelly said golfers were becoming spoiled and this was the way Harbour Town was supposed to play.

And after his round Sunday, Zach Johnson concurred.

"(The course) is very difficult," Johnson said. "She's a great test. And I love coming back."

A test is an appropriate description. Harbour Town is a test, and a difficult one. And no matter how hard it is, all the golfers are taking the same test.

The RBC Heritage isn't really about the greens or how difficult the course is. It's instead about which golfer tests the best.

This year, Carl Pettersson aced it.

The Island Packet is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service