Golf

RBC Heritage Media Day: 60 Minutes Sports segment to feature Harbour Town, Pete and Alice Dye

Eight players added to RBC Heritage field; Tournament honors longtime media director Arnie Burdick

sfastenau@beaufortgazette.com; mmccombs@islandpacket.comFebruary 25, 2013 

  • THE FIELD

    The field, so far, for the 45th annual RBC Heritage, held April 15-21 at Hilton Head Island's Harbour Town Golf Links (*denotes former champion):

    Stephen Ames

    K.J Choi

    Jonathan Byrd

    Stewart Cink*

    Glen Day*

    Graham DeLaet

    Luke Donald

    Ernie Els

    Jim Furyk*

    Lucas Glover

    David Hearn

    Charles Howell III

    Martin Kaymer

    Matt Kuchar

    Justin Leonard*

    Graeme McDowell

    Daniel Nesbit

    Carl Pettersson*

    Rory Sabbatini

    Brandt Snedeker*

    Kyle Stanley

    Carmilo Villegas

    Boo Weekley*

    Mike Weir

The story goes that as spectators wandered up to No. 13 green at Harbour Town Golf Links in 1969, they noticed a man piddling around in the bunker surrounding the green.

"Who's that old drunk guy in the bunker?" someone asked. "He doesn't know what he's doing."

Pete Dye was putting the final touches on his project just as golfers were making their way to him in the inaugural Heritage Classic. Hole No. 13, the short par-4 with the memorable green complex, was the creation of Pete's wife, Alice, and its story is one of a few of the Dyes' that will be featured in a Showtime segment scheduled to air four times during April.

The show, "60 Minutes Sports," will air on regular network television in July, said Cary Corbitt, director of sports at operations at Sea Pines Resort.

"It's more about his design," Corbitt said. "Harbour Town is really what kickstarted Pete Dye, his career. He still comments that every time he says anything. It was great to have Alice here and get her perspective, because they're very much together on how they do things and what Pete does."

The film crew and 60 Minutes correspondent Steve Kroft started at Kiawah Island's Ocean Course before moving to Harbour Town, where the original focus, No. 13, expanded to include the pot bunker on the par-3 14th, the narrow par-5 15th and the iconic 18th fairway and lighthouse.

From Hilton Head Island, filming moved to TPC Sawgrass, a Pete Dye design and host of The Players Championship, and then to the Dyes' home in Deleray Beach, Fla.

The piece will include Alice's contributions to Pete's world-renowned projects. With no vision for the 13th at Harbour Town, he asked his wife for assistance. She devised the bunker surrounding the green and opted for cypress wood bulkheads over Pete's usual railroad ties.

Pete returns to Harbour Town a few times a year to address necessary changes. The 13th is one hole that has not been changed.

Alice's status as an accomplished player who had rubbed shoulders with both the world's best women and high-handicappers provided her husband valuable insight.

"She knows golf from all perspectives," Corbitt said.

REMEMBERING ARNIE

It was announced Monday that the media tent would be named for longtime tournament media director Arnie Burdick.

"It will be a tough year," said an obviously emotional tournament director Steve Wilmot, who claimed Burdick as a "friend and a father figure."

Burdick died in June 2012 at age 92. This season would have been the 28th Heritage for Burdick, who didn't become associated with the tournament until after he retired to Hilton Head Island in the mid-1980s.

The Arnie Burdick Media Award, usually given to a media member who has excelled in their coverage of the tournament over time, was instead awarded this year to Steve Sherry, Burdick's son, and his wife Joyce.

BUILDING THE FIELD

The RBC Heritage announced eight more commitments highlighted by last week's Match Play Championship winner Matt Kuchar, for the April 15-21 tournament.

Kuchar, Ernie Els, Luke Donald, as well as Canadians Graham DeLaet, Stephen Ames, Mike Weir and David Hearn have committed t play in the 2013 RBC Heritage.

Kuchar, second in the FedEx Cup standings, has five career wins and is playing in his 10th Heritage.

Els is a four-time major winner -- the 1994 and 97 U.S. Opens and the 2002 and 2012 British Opens -- and owns 19 career wins. His best finish at Harbour Town was second in 2007.

Five-time winner Luke Donald was the world's No. 1 player when he came to Hilton Head for his 6th Heritage last season. His best finish was second in 2009 and 2011.

Weir's eight wins include a 2003 Masters championship. It's his fourth Heritage, and his best finish was 10th in 1999.

It's the third Heritage for David Hearn, his best finish 46th in 2011. Stephen Ames has four wins, and the best finish of his 10 previous Heritage appearances was sixth in 2005. Graham DeLaet has played in two Heritages, finishing 44th in 2012.

Wilmot also announced that Camilo Villegas would receive one of the tournament's four exemptions. Villegas, a three-time winner, will be playing his eighth Heritage. He finished fifth in 2010.

Daniel Nisbet, the 2012 Players Amateur champion, has another exemption. The final two will likely be awarded after the Masters, according to Wilmot.

DEDICATION

Marian McDuffie, a volunteer at all 44 Heritage golf tournaments on Hilton Head Island, is one of five finalists for the PGA Tour Volunteer of the Year.

CREAM OF THE CROP

With the selection of Matt Kuchar, who moved to No. 7 in the World Golf Ranking after his Match Play Championship win, the RBC Heritage now has commitments from three of the top-10 players in golf.

TICKETS

Daily tickets and week-long badges for this year's tournament are now on sale online at www.rbcheritage.com or by calling the tournament office at 843-671-2448.

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