The Tour comes off a historic weekend at Augusta National and now heads up the road a couple of hours to Harbour Town Golf LInks in Hilton Head, S.C. This is a shorter course by PGA standards at 7,099 yards, but the par 71 can be one of the most difficult tracks on tour with it's tight fairways, tree problems lurking everywhere, and water throughout the course including the finishing two holes.
The defending champion is Branden Grace of South Africa who shot -9 last year to win by 2 shots over Luke Donald and Russell Knox.
Golf Channel has coverage Thursday and Friday @2-5 PM CT/ 3-6 PM ET. On Saturday and Sunday, Golf Channel will televise from 12-1:30 PM CT/1-2:30 PM ET and CBS will take over from 2-5 PM CT/3-6 PM ET.
The weather looks terrific tomorrow through Sunday with high's in the high 70's and winds anywhere from 5-12 MPH each day.
The key holes on the course are No.'s 17 and 18. Number 17 is a 185 yard par 3 that plays into a prevailing wind off the Calibogue Sound, which factors majorly into club selection. There's water and a bunker fronting the green. Very challenging next to last hole.
The 18th is the signature hole on the course. The 472 yard par 4 played as the 3rd toughest finishing hole on the PGA Tour last year. The fairway is fairly large for a player's tee shot, but it's the second shot over water and marshland on the left, that presents challenges. Right is where to miss though there is a pretty tough bunker to get out of on the right side if the player misses the green. Players like to aim at the Lighthouse behind the green for their target. Should add to some compelling drama on Sunday. There have been dramatics through the years on the 18th at Harbour Town.
I like a really solid iron player and, of course, a good putter to win here, so I'm going with the 38 year old from Winter Park Florida, by way of Georgia Tech, who lives in Sea Island, Georgia and is used to playing these hazard filled, tight courses. This guy had a hole in one on number 16 last Sunday at Augusta National. His ball striking is very precise and he's an excellent putter. Going with the 2014 RBC Heritage champion to get it done once again this year.
Stanley Cup Predictions
Eastern Conference Finals
Pittsburgh Penguins over Ottawa Senators in 5
Western Conference Finals
Chicago Blackhawks over Anaheim Ducks in 6
Stanley Cup Finals
The Blackhawks' Patrick Kaine tied with the Penguins' Sydney Crosby for second most points in the league with 89. Superstar rookie Connor McDavid of Edmonton led the league with 101. Both Kaine are Crosby are as good as it gets offensively in the NHL. I see this as a really physical, hard fought, well played series with Crosby and Kaine and the other standouts for each side battling tooth and nail for the duration. The Penguins are trying to defend their 2016 Stanley Cup title, while the Hawks are trying to win their 4th title in 8 years. Pittsburgh will upset the Washington Capitals, the team with the best regular season record in the league but with a reputation for futility in the playoffs, in the second round and make it to the Finals, but the Blackhawks will prevail in an electric series.
Blackhawks over Penguins in 7
Conn Smythe Trophy, MVP of playoffs