One-of-a-kind Harbour Town takes centre stage
Morikawa can end 25-month wait for win on US soil
Fitzpatrick looking good for 'each-way' finish
The PGA Tour remains in America's south-east, for the 55th staging of the popular RBC Heritage Classic.
First held in 1969, the tournament has always been played at Harbour Town Golf Links which is a layout completely different from any other on the PGA Tour schedule.
And despite the tradition of being held the week following the season's first major at Augusta, the event has usually attracted a good field.
This will also be the case this time around as The Heritage has been afforded 'elite tournament status' on the PGA Tour.
Introduced by Tour officials in the wake of the recently-launched Saudi-backed series, prize money in 'elite events' is significantly higher than in other more 'run of the mill' tournaments.
This means the total prize pot for the 2023 RBC-sponsored event is $20m, which is more than double that of last year ($8m).
Harbour Town is situated at Sea Pines Resort, on the south-west edge of Hilton Head Island. It is one of the shortest layouts on the PGA Tour calendar.
However, thanks to its tight fairways and small greens, it is certainly no pushover - even for today's master blasters who regularly drive the ball in excess of 320 yards.
At Harbour Town there is little room for error. Putting surfaces are slick and much smaller than the Tour average. It's never a simple case of finding fairways and attacking pins.
If a golfer fails to find the correct section of fairway from the tee, there's every chance that their route to the flag will be blocked by overhanging trees.
This can happen on as many as 10 holes, where finding a straight line to the pin can never be guaranteed.
Locating these small greens in regulation can be tricky, so the ability to scramble successfully is also important.
Ahead of the tournament in 2020, 10 fairways were slightly widened, yet it remains a course where accurate iron play is absolutely vital.
Water comes into play on 10 holes for those hitting the ball wildly, but more realistically on seven.
This much-loved public course was designed by Pete Dye, in conjunction with Jack Nicklaus, and opened 56 years ago.
Over the years, the tournament has been won by a wide selection of different talents, with Harbour Town offering the shorter hitters a greater opportunity for success than at many venues.
A quick glance at the tournament's honours' board will confirm this.
Since 1983, it has been played the week after The Masters, with the exception of 2020 when the Covid pandemic resulted in the schedule being rearranged.
Latest betting for this week's RBC Heritage
Lowest 15 At Harbour Town (2017-22)
Average .... (Rounds)
68.29: JT Poston (14)
68.61: Patrick Cantlay (18)
68.63: Matt Kuchar (24)
68.63: Webb Simpson (24)
68.67: Maverick McNealy (12)
68.92: Joel Dahmen (12)
68.92: Matthew NeSmith (12)
69.00: Shane Lowry (18)
69.00: Collin Morikawa (12)
69.08: Sepp Straka (12)
69.11: Tyrrell Hatton (18)
69.18: Brian Harman (22)
69.19: Corey Conners (16)
69.30: Tommy Fleetwood (10)
69.35: Matt Fitzpatrick (20)
Min. No. of Rounds = 10
Only those entered this week are included in table
Latest betting for next month's PGA Championship
Six To Watch
Patrick Cantlay: Has played solidly for the past four months but is without a PGA Tour victory since August 2022. The current world No 4 has stood on the Harbour Town podium three times.
Matt Fitzpatrick: Posted his first top 10 for over three months at Augusta. The reigning US Open champ is making his ninth appearance at Harbour Town.
Matt Kuchar: The world No 51 has enjoyed an encouraging start to 2023, registering four top-10s from eight starts. A former winner at Harbour Town, the 44-year-old tied-third here 12 months ago.
Collin Morikawa: Has been going through the gears this year and looks ready to return to the winners' enclosure soon. Sneaked into the top-10 at last week's Masters.
Justin Rose: Making just a second Harbour Town appearance in 15 years. Winner at another coastal venue already in 2023 (Pebble Beach), the Englishman started well last week before finishing tied-16th.
Jordan Spieth: The defending champ who tied-fourth at Augusta.
Note: List Contains Leading Reserves