Bud Cauley lit up Harbour Town on Thursday, making eight birdies (including four of his last five holes) to shoot a bogey-free 63. The Jacksonville, Florida, native leads by two over Graham DeLaet and Luke Donald, who has four runner-up finishes at Harbour Town (as well as two third-place finishes). Donald has cashed over $3 million at this tournament alone throughout his career. Full Scores
The calm conditions were to thank for the low scores and are expected to continue throughout the weekend.
Different course, different leaderboard
A refreshing aspect of the Heritage is the diverse leaderboard, which includes bombers, short game magicians and all kinds of other players. The course is the anti-bomb-and-gouge track because of its tiny greens and the way it rewards proper placement. This style of golf brings forth a leaderboard of players who are hitting the ball great from tee-to-green or who are spectacular around the greens. It’s interesting to think of how the PGA Tour and the world rankings might look if the Tour spent more time at courses like Harbour Town.
More on the course
Zac Blair wrote a fantastic piece on Harbour Town’s divisive short par-4 ninth and how it places players in a conundrum. The ninth plays totally different each day based on the pin location.
Besides the different style of players that rise to the top, the Heritage’s leaderboard is typically very bunched with a great number of players in contention over the weekend. This leads to exciting finishes at one of the Tour’s most memorable finishing holes.
New year, same story
Luke Donald has five top threes in the past seven years at the Heritage and he looks to be headed for another one after his fine start. Donald plays this course so well because it places an emphasis on a player’s short game and precision rather than their ability to overpower the golf course. The past few years haven’t been Donald’s best, but Harbour Town serves as an annual reminder of how elite the former World No. 1’s game is inside of 100 yards.
You ever wonder who sits at home and calls in rules violations during golf events? Skratch caught up with one such person at his home. Meet Johnathan Rulawitz aka Johnny Rulebook.
Tiger’s big announcement
This week, Tiger tweeted that he would be making a big announcement next Tuesday regarding a new public golf course project he was embarking on. Our friends at No Laying Up were able to break the news on Thursday, learning that the course would be near Branson, Missouri, and part of billionaire Johnny Morris’ Big Cedar Lodge. I looked into the project further and here are the details on the course and the golf mecca that Morris is building.