Through one round, Rory Sabbatini leads the RBC Heritage after shooting a 7-under 64 on Thursday. Sabbatini's seven-birdie round puts him two in front of Matt Kuchar, Chesson Hadley, Billy Horschel and John Huh at 5-under. Full scores
Everyone's favorite Rory
42-year-old Sabbatini is amidst a resurgent season. He entered the 2018 calendar year ranked 377th in the world and has since made 9/9 cuts with a t5th at the Valspar and two other top 20's to move inside the top 200. Sabbatini has six career PGA Tour wins but is best known for rubbing his peers and fans the wrong way. From a quick Google search, I found a video of Sabbatini hitting a divot at Rickie Fowler on the range.
Some names to watch
Matt Kuchar is two shots off Sabbatini's pace and has finished in the top 11 in his last four showings at Harbour Town, including a win in 2014.
Patrick Cantlay is coming off a missed cut at the Masters, his first since 2014. Yesterday, he fired a 67 to sit in a tie for 6th. Last year, Cantlay finished t3rd at Harbour Town.
A talented trio of young players are at -3, 24-year-old Bryson DeChambeau, 2017 Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele and 24-year-old Australian Cam Smith.
World number one, Dustin Johnson, headlines a group at 2-under that includes defending champion Wes Bryan, 2015 Heritage runner-up Kevin Kisner, Matt Fitzpatrick, Ian Poulter and Martin Kaymer.
Standout amateurs Doc Redman and Philip Knowles each shot even-par 71s and currently reside inside the cut line.
A little more on the course
Harbour Town was one of the most important designs in modern golf course architecture. Here's an audio clip from Bill Coore talking about the impact that Pete Dye made with his Harbour Town and TPC Sawgrass designs. Listen to the full Bill Coore podcasts from this fall here: Part I - Part II
The PGA Tour unveiled a new marketing slogan "#LiveUnderPar". The campaign's focus is on attracting younger fans to the game and replaces the longstanding and timeless slogan "these guys are good". The PGA Tour's CMO Joe Arcuri described #LiveUnderPar by saying, “The new campaign captures not just a way to play, but a way to be.”
Unfortunately, under par in the UK (one of the Tour's biggest markets), translates to "feeling under the weather". Whoopsie.
Beyond the fallacies of the slogan, Geoff Shackelford summed up the message behind the marketing ploy best:
"Playing to the narcissism of today's fan needing to be part of the action because the sport isn't seen as strong enough to stand on its merits."
Through one round, Paul Dunne and Marc Warren lead the Open de España after firing 6-under 66's. The pair leads hometown hero, Jon Rahm and ten others by one shot. The story of the bunched leaderboard is Spanish amateur Victor Pastor, who is part of the big group at 5-under. Round two is underway in Spain, follow scores here.
On the skillet
A fresh On the Skillet will be up on the website this weekend. In the meantime, check out a few of our past editions of the weekly feature.
Deciphering the code of Sand Valley's 6th
The Bottom Groove put together a neat 3D image of Knollwood Club's 16th and 17th greens.
Akron's constellation: After losing the WGC, the Senior Players will be headed to Firestone starting in 2019.
Brooke Henderson leads Mo Martin at the LPGA's LOTTE Championship.