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Youngsters at work on the golf course

Published: Apr. 14, 2022 at 6:04 PM EDT
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HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WTOC) - The entire week is sold out at the RBC Heritage with this the first opportunity in three years for full attendance at Harbour Town.

On Day 1 of the Heritage, the crowd was not only larger - it was also younger.

There have been 10 PGA Tour winners under the age of 26 so far this season. But an even bigger youth movement was back on the course at Harbour Town in the RBC Heritage.

“We get to just hang out and walk around in this beautiful area and that’s really amazing,” Jeanne Marie Arnal said.

Local youngsters are getting the chance to get back inside the ropes at the Heritage with the return of scoring standard bearers to the event for the first time since 2019. And they are enjoying the elimination of the social distancing that kept them away.

“It’s amazing. It’s really amazing. It’s so fun being right next to the players and walking alongside of them,” Brennan Matthew said.

“It’s amazing, my first time being in the ropes, and I love doing this,” Jackson Sword said.

The purpose of kids carrying signs with players scores is to provide updated information to spectators. But the reason for doing it is for the experience.

“Oh my gosh, it’s so cool. I mean, even watching them will help you to improve your own game,” Paul Morrell said.

Morrell was collecting caddie bibs today. But he was the standard bearer for Jordan Spieth’s group yesterday.

“He’s my favorite golfer, so that was a blast being able to converse with him and have conversation,” Morrell said.

The highlight for Arnal came even earlier in the week.

“I’m hopefully going to be at The Citadel for college next year and I got to be the standard bearer for The Citadel when they walked into the opening ceremony on Tuesday, so it was incredible,” Arnal said.

And so are the memories a lot of kids will be making the next few days.

“I’m going to remember that I got to shake hands with a lot of pro golfers.”

Standard bearers are one of the features being reintroduced on the PGA Tour in 2022.

Fans at Harbour Town will also notice that a full complement of volunteers has been welcomed back this week.

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