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Heritage tournament tickets now on sale

Organizers of Hilton Head Island's PGA Tour event have started selling tickets.

And after scrambling for months to secure a place on the tour's 2011 calendar for the Heritage golf tournament, organizers announced ticket options Monday that will include daily passes for the first time since 1993.

The 43rd annual tournament is scheduled for April 18-24.

Organizers decided earlier to offer daily passes in response to spectator demand and after years of consideration, tournament director Steve Wilmot said.

The decision was not related to the tournament's ongoing search for a title sponsor, he said.

"It's the right move at the right time," Wilmot said.

Organizers, who sold daily tickets annually before 1993, stopped in part because of concerns about the capacity of Sea Pines Resort's Harbour Town Golf Links and a desire to encourage spectators to make the tournament a weeklong destination, Wilmot said.

However, community members have told Heritage officials they would like to attend the tournament for a day but were too busy to buy a weeklong pass, he said.

Organizers plan to sell a limited number of daily tickets for each day. They don't know what that number is, but they will stop selling if they think they can't accommodate more people for a given day, Wilmot said.

Daily tickets cost $50 each for Thursday and Sunday and $60 for Friday and Saturday. Weeklong passes start at $150 each.

Discounts are available for purchases made before 2011. Also, early buyers will qualify to win an "inside-the-ropes" role as an honorary observer during a competition round. The winner and a companion will walk the course with the pros and receive prizes that include official clothing and a VIP parking pass.

Those parking spots are typically reserved for representatives of the tour, TV networks, the foundation that organizes the tournament and the event's title sponsor. Without a title sponsor, the Heritage Classic Foundation had some left over this year, Wilmot said.

Among weeklong offerings, clubhouse badges for the tournament are $190 and grounds badges are $150. The Arnold Palmer pass -- which includes exclusive access to two private entertainment venues with golf views -- are $375. Practice-round tickets are $35.

Details: 843-671-2448 or www.theheritagegolfsc.com

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