Beaufort News

Heritage Notebook: Davis relives his hazard moment

Brian Davis finished his pro-am round Wednesday, turned and caught a ball from his caddie and walked with a wedge in his hand toward Calibogue Sound.

A television network wanted Davis to revisit one of the PGA Tour's most memorable moments, when Davis called a penalty on himself in the hazard left of No. 18 green during a playoff with eventual champion Jim Furyk. Davis probably would have lost the tournament without the penalty stroke, but the act resounded throughout the golf world in the months after.

Davis, who moved a loose impediment to incur the penalty in 2010, hit roughly the same shot Wednesday with cameras rolling and left the ball short in the hazard.

The Englishman, who is still searching for his first PGA Tour victory, finished second three times in 2010. He said the response he received after his runner-up finish at Harbour Town was overwhelming -- from emails to supportive calls from fellow pros to messages left through his website.

"I didn't get my first win, I didn't get the trip to the Masters; that was the obvious downside," Davis said. "But what came out of it was positive in the end."

The event is something he can share with his children one day, Davis said, as an example of the right way to do things. Davis' caddie grabbed a loose reed from the hazard Wednesday and added it as an accessory on Davis' black Titleist golf bag.

"We'll wear it like a feather in our caps," he said.


One golfer commended experience. Another pointed to a strong field.

Whatever the reason, Harbour Town Golf Links is a course that has favored major championship winners over the past four-plus decades. In fact, in the 42-year history of the Heritage, 32 tournaments have been won by players who also have a major championship under their belt.

"You really want to manage your game around this golf course," said Justin Leonard, who won the Heritage in 2002 and the British Open in 1997. "It's a golf course you have to be patient on, and those are the same qualities of a major champion."

Last year's champion, Jim Furyk, is also a former major tournament winner -- he won the U.S. Open in 2003.

"It's a good strong field, so the numbers are better off when you've got more major championship players in the field than other events," Furyk said. "I think it's a good golf course. Good courses usually breed good champions."


Mark Wilson counts Harbour Town Golf Links among his favorite courses on the PGA Tour schedule, so it wasn't for just any reason that he missed the Heritage last year after playing the previous three.

Wilson withdrew just before last year's tournament because his son was born on the weekend before the event, but he's back with the full family in tow, including his son, Cole, who turned a year old last week.

In four starts here, Wilson hasn't finished better than a tie for 36th, but this seems to be his year -- he's the only player with more than one PGA Tour win this year, and he leads the money list ($2,430,825) and the FedExCup standings.