RBC Heritage Notebook: Defending champion Carl Pettersson inside the cutline

The (Hilton Head) Island PacketApril 19, 2013 

— No matter what happens this morning, the streak is alive.

Defending champion Carl Pettersson is inside the cutline. The second round of the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing was suspended late Friday when storms moved over Harbour Town Golf Links, but the cut won’t move better than 1 over, meaning Pettersson is safe.

The defending champion has made the Heritage cut the past 20 years.

Pettersson, who won last year’s Heritage by five shots, struggled to a 75 on Friday and is 1 over after 36 holes. Past champion Glen Day, local favorite Tommy Gainey and Matt Kuchar are among the notable names also in at 1 over.

The cut could move to 2 over when 17 players complete their second round Saturday. If not, two-time champion Boo Weekley, 2011 champion Brandt Snedeker and 2012 runner-up Zach Johnson — each at 2 over — would pack their bags.

Gainey played his final five holes 3 over to make things interesting. Kuchar needed a par on his final hole after going out in 38 on Friday.

Past champions Jim Furyk, Brian Gay, Justin Leonard and Aaron Baddeley are among those safe at even par.

Notable names who will miss the cut are former Bluffton resident Kyle Stanley (4 over), Clemson product Lucas Glover (3 over), 2012 British Open champion Ernie Els (4 over) and crowd favorite John Daly (10 over). Daniel Nisbet, the 2012 Players Amateur champion, also will miss the cut when he completes his final hole Saturday morning. The Australian is 13 over.

Seventy players were 1 over or better when play was suspended Friday. The line could move to 2 over but not better than 1 over.

Regardless of whether the cut is 1 over or 2 over, it will be the slimmest margin between the leader and cutline this PGA Tour season. The previous mark was nine strokes.

No slow play here

Despite a field that expanded by 12 golfers, play wrapped up around 6:35 the first night of the tournament, which is pretty close to the norm, according to PGA Tour official John Bush.

Bush said the tournament accounted for the extra players by adding tee times to the front end of each session, two at 7:10 a.m. and two at 11:50 p.m., and the extra players caused no noticeable delays.

The RBC Heritage was the fifth of seven tournaments, including the Humana Challenge, the Tampa Bay Championship, the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the Shell Houston Open, the Crowne Plaza Invitational and the AT&T National, to have its field expanded from 132 to 144 for this season.

It’s on everybody’s minds

As he walked up the fairway with Bill Haas after his tee shot on No. 9, his final hole of the day, Zach Johnson turned to the gallery on his right and asked if anyone knew if authorities had caught the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing. When they replied no, Johnson, simply said, “Thanks.”

See ya

Two players withdrew before Friday’s second round. Peter Hanson, who shot 3-over 74 in the first round, didn’t give a reason, while Greg Chalmers, who shot a first-round 76, cited a left hand injury.

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