Beaufort News

Heritage officially back home, next to Masters

The RBC Heritage doesn't have an official logo -- that's one of many details that haven't yet been worked since Royal Bank of Canada signed a five-year deal to become the event's new title sponsor in June.

But the tournament does have a familiar spot on the calendar.

The PGA Tour released its 2012 schedule Wednesday and, as expected, the Heritage is moving back to its traditional spot immediately after the Masters. The Heritage will be held from April 9-15.

"It works. There's no question over the years," tournament director Steve Wilmot said Wednesday. "Being after a major, we might lose a couple of players, but we also pick up a few. The best players in the world are up the street, and we want the best players in the world here."

Hilton Head Island's annual PGA Tour stop was played the week after the Masters every year from 1983 until last year, when a scheduling anomaly and the Heritage's lack of a title sponsor prompted a change. The Valero Texas Open moved into the slot after the Masters, and the Heritage was pushed back a week.

When RBC was announced as the new title sponsor, PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said tour officials planned to move the Heritage back to its traditional spot on the schedule. Now, it's official, and the return to normalcy is likely to be well-received by tour pros, who often rave about the opportunity to make the short drive down from Augusta, Ga., and unwind on Hilton Head Island after a pressure-packed week at the Masters.

"It felt 100 percent different," Heath Slocum said during this year's tournament. "It's (been) the week after Augusta for as long as I can remember. That's where it belongs."