The continued diminution of The Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links
What do these two groups of golfers have in common?
Group One: Palmer-Nicklaus—Irwin—Miller—Watson—Norman—Stewart-Faldo.
Group Two: Loren Roberts-Stewart Cink-Glen Day-Jose Coceres-Aaron Baddeley-Peter Lonard-Boo Weekley-Brian Gay
It might be more obvious as to what they don’t have in common. The former are all (or will be) Hall-of-Fame members, who are among the most accomplished players in history, and have combined for almost 50 Major championships.
The latter group is a bunch of journeymen pros, zero Majors between them. But they are all connected by victory at Hilton Head - each has been crowned champion of the Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links.
Up until 15-odd years ago, the roster of champions at this Invitational was like a “Who’s Who” of the game - almost everyone who won here was a “name” player. Yes, in addition to those listed above, Davis Love III has won here five times, as has two-time Masters champ Bernhard Langer, and three-time Major champ Nick Price, and former British Open champ Justin Leonard. But lately (the last decade anyway) Harbour Town’s formerly prestigious championship legacy has gone from the aforementioned “Who’s Who” to more of a “Who’s He?”
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Truth is, we saw some VERY GOOD golf, by very skilled players. Anyone can kill a ball and hit it long. It takes skill to play the short game.
I agree with David that it is not necessary to belittle a tournament because a few big names did not play.
That said, the roster of champions in recent years is barely a shadow of what it once was---an immutable fact.