April 17, 2014

Heritage Notebook: Weather for 2nd round not looking good

After a cool but dry opening round of the RBC Heritage, rain is set to make an unwelcome return to the Harbour Town Golf Links for the start of the second round.

After a cool but dry opening round of the RBC Heritage, rain is set to make an unwelcome return to the Harbour Town Golf Links for the start of the second round.

The forecast calls for a 100 percent chance of rain, with showers earlier in the day and heavier rain beginning in the afternoon.

On-site PGA Tour meteorologist Stewart Williams said indications are that rain will develop by early afternoon with a steady downfall for the rest of the day and overnight. There is also a possibility of more rainfall Saturday.

"I think we can play through the rain tomorrow afternoon," Williams said in a text message. "But the course will dictate if we have to stop. Hopefully the heavier rain will hold off until after play."

Co-leader William McGirt said he wouldn't put much stock in a weather forecast on the coast and, based on previous instances, doesn't have much faith in weather reports anywhere.

He still expects the winning score to be around 10 to 12 under, but the weather would determine the final number.

"They could call for 25 (mph wind) and pouring down rain, and it could be 80 and sunny and not a breath of wind tomorrow," he said. "Who knows?"

Players weren't optimistic after enjoying pleasant conditions following a chilly morning. Groups dealt with breezy conditions but sunshine most of the day.

"I hope this isn't the best day," co-leader Matt Kuchar said. "It certainly looks like this is one of the better days the remainder of the week."


Twenty-year-old Jordan Spieth received a few more lessons for his budding career Thursday, playing with Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson and five-time Heritage champion Davis Love III.

"I'm humbled to play with those guys and the success that they've had and the way they've handled things on and off the course," Spieth said. "I only hope one day I can do half as good as they have."

Spieth shot 2-under-par 69 and is three shots off the lead. Love finished with a 1-under 70 and Watson shot 75.

Watson, who praised Spieth's game this week, remained impressed after playing with the Texan for the first time.

"Today wasn't his best day, but he got out of the round with a darn good score on a tough golf course with some wind," Watson said. "That's what it takes."


Beaufort's Mark Anderson opened with an even-par 71 Thursday and is five shots back.

Anderson is trying to make his first cut of the season, in his sixth tournament. He made birdie on No. 3 and dropped a shot at the par-4 12th.

Anderson finished tied for 13th here in 2012 and earned more than $100,000.

Bluffton's Kyle Stanley struggled to a 6-over 77 and is two shots out of last place. The Washington native and former Clemson golfer made double bogeys on No. 1 and No. 9.


Defending champion Graeme McDowell finds himself in a familiar position after one round of the RBC Heritage: even par. It took three birdies in the final six holes, but McDowell matched his first-round performance from last year, when he was six shots back of leader Brian Davis. This time around, he is five back of the lead.


Players noted how difficult the final stretch played Thursday.

Scotland's Russell Knox finished the day at a respectable 2 under, but only after a bogey on the iconic 18th hole. Knox, who teed off at 7:40 am., said the last five holes were made especially difficult by a harsh wind that knocked more than a few drives well short of their intended destinations. Said Knox of his strategy during the final holes: "You're just trying not to throw up on yourself."


Greg Chalmers withdrew with a back injury. John Mallinger and Hideki Matsuyama will play as a twosome on Friday.

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