RBC Heritage back in full swing after two years with pandemic precautions
HILTON HEAD, S.C. (WTOC) - Golfers and fans will be back on the course at Harbour Town this morning as the RBC Heritage Pro-Am tees off.
Attendance restrictions of the past two years are gone and that really showed up on Tuesday.
Wednesday, the pro-am tournament will start at 7 a.m. but Tuesday was the official start of the tournament with the opening ceremony.
To kick of the 54th RBC Heritage, local leaders and members of the tournament committee took to the podium to speak about how special this tournament is to them and this community.
Then to start with a bang, from the 18th hole, defending champion Stewart Cink hit a ball into the water while the ceremonial cannon is fired.
For the Tuesday of the tournament, there was a big turnout of fans. Some who have been coming for decades, and others for their first time.
“For all those of us who have been cooped up for so long it is great to be back and seeing people smile, as opposed to just the smile in the eyes. This is fantastic and we just came over from the opening ceremony and what a great way to start something, we were right behind the cannon so it was spectacular,” said Aubrey Dirkes from Philadelphia.
Crowds were able to have much more access to walk around this year than they did last year due to COVID restrictions.
PGA golfers will hit the links with some amateur golfers from all around the world starting at 7 Wednesday morning.
This is the only PGA tour in South Carolina, so already it is an exciting week but in 2020, there were no spectators. Last year, there was a limited number. This year they are back in full force.
Even with a full amount of spectators allowed back this year – the RBC Heritage is completely sold out. This event brings in over $100 million a year to the Lowcountry economy.
Spectators, some local and others visiting from all around the world, were already out in big numbers Tuesday and they are just so excited to have the tournament back to normal this year.
“It was very exciting walking in, when I saw the crowd and actually when they told me they had sold out all the tickets that they had it was just incredible so it is fantastic,” said Tom Cox from Bluffton.
“It’s wonderful, life is kind of back to normal, we think, and we are taking advantage of it being so close so it’s a blast,” said Joanne Willis form Hilton Head.
“A lot of people watching, a lot of learning what a tournament is about so all of that is pretty exciting to me,” said John Friedrick from North Carolina.
Golfers from all around the world are here today for a chance to play with the pros.
“It’s pretty awesome and they are really nice to speak to and make you feel at home, just the walk, seeing the golf course and the comradery,” said David Tucker, amateur golfer.
There are a total of four amateurs that will be teamed up with one PGA player. They will play nine holes with them and after that – a different professional golfer will play the remaining nine holes.
“To go inside of the ropes and play with a PGA pro is an awesome experience, I’ve had the pleasure of doing it myself and there is nothing like it if you play golf so these guys are going to have a good time and ladies, it is amazing, the people just keep coming and coming and there is a lot of happy people, it is going to be fun,” said Tom Reilley, Pro-Am Chairman.
If you already have tickets just remember they are all mobile this year and organizers are encouraging you to save the tickets to your phone’s mobile wallet. Once it has been scanned, you will be given a paper ticket to wear for the day.
Even if you aren’t going to be coming out, just know that for the rest of this week and through the weekend the tournament will be happening and traffic will be busy over on Hilton Head by the Harbour Town Golf Links.
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