Hilton Head Island resident Chris Epperson is playing in his first Heritage and his first PGA Tour event. He shares his experience with a daily diary, as told to reporter Stephen Fastenau.
I was on No. 18, my ninth hole, and I was in the middle of the fairway. Right in the middle of my swing, something snaps down, like a firecracker. It made my eyes move a little bit. I hit it short in the hazard next to the rocks and had to go back. I doubled that. So that kind of set me back. I was kind of cruising a little bit.
I bogeyed 10, 12 and 13. Then I had some pars and was playing good. That pop in the top of my swing on 18 kind of distracted me just enough to get me to hit it a little bit heavy.
I'm not nervous or anything. It's just the course is playing different. Way different. And I knew it was going to be that way. I never really got to play it that much playing that fast. The greens are firmer and faster. The fairways are firmer and faster. Things are just rolling out. I've had to adjust a lot. I just need to get a few more putts to fall, hit a few more shots close.
I made a birdie on No. 2, and that was good. I ended up next to a tree, so I had to punch out. Then I hit it to the back part of the green, a few inches into the fringe. I hit a nice putt from the fringe from about 20 to 25 feet and made the putt. I was hoping that would get the momentum going and they blew the horn on us.
I got my up-and-down on No. 3 when I went back out, which I didn't think was possible. I parred No. 4. On No. 5, I birdied from the sand, another good up-and-down. And I made a decent par on No. 6.
I couldn't have asked for a better few holes to finish up. I got it back to 3-over for the day. I re-tee at 7:45 a.m. at No. 7.
It's good. The crowd, goodness gracious, so much friends and family here. My coach, Tim Moss, is here. The crowd's been great. They're really kind of supporting me and hooting and hollering.