First Round Underway at Heritage - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

04/13/06

First Round Underway at Heritage

Davis Love III Davis Love III

The Verizon Heritage golf tournament makes for a very busy week on Hilton Head Island, and today the golfers officially teed off in the first round. The 38th annual Heritage got underway early this morning, with more than 130 golfers in the field.

Thousands of golf fans flock to Sea Pines every year for the tournament, where the players are vying for the coveted tartan jacket.

While the golfers started teeing off, thousands of fans filed through the front gates of Sea Pines. For the majority of them, George Evans is their first sign that the Heritage is here. He directs drivers to their parking spots: "Lot 3 on the right, and then when you're finished, jump back on the shuttle and they'll bring you right back to your car."

"[Traffic's] heavy right now, and it'll be heavy on through the rest of the tournament," he told us.

Once you've made it through the gate, it's time to scope out the fan favorites on tour. "The weather, the condition of the course, and the golfers," said fan Don Benjamin, from Charleston. "The beer's not bad, either."

"So far, I think it's great," said Jim Rich of Savannah. "It's nice to go out and see how real golfers play."

Real golfers like Sea Island's Davis Love III, looking to extend his record of five wins at Harbour Town. "It's a good, solid golf course, one of the best we play on tour," he said. "One where you have to have a lot of patience, have to hit a lot of shots."

Of course, most fans don't care about being patient. They're here to see what they know the Heritage has always been about: great golf, in a gorgeous setting.

"Unbelievable scenery, with the backdrop of the lighthouse and the boats," said Rick Hill, who came down from Charlotte for the tourney. "Great place to come out and enjoy some good times with friends."

The Verizon Heritage continues through Sunday.

Reported by: Chris Cowperthwaite, ccowperthwaite@wtoc.com

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