RBC Heritage pga Tour 2020 Ian Poulter has been playing in tournaments at Harbour Town Golf Links since 2004, and he’s had some success there throughout his career, especially in recent years. He finished 11th or better at the RBC Heritage every year from 2017-19, and he entered this year’s tournament coming off back-to-back top-10 finishes at the event.
On Thursday, Poulter matched his best single-round score at the course, shooting a 64 in the opening round of the 2020 RBC Heritage. Poulter, who also shot a 64 in the second round in 2018, is tied atop the leaderboard with Mark Hubbard at seven-under par.
This year’s RBC Heritage is different than past years, as the tournament is typically held in April. It was postponed because of the PGA Tour’s three-month hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic. This is the second event since the golfers returned to action, following last weekend’s Charles Schwab Challenge.
With the first round complete, here’s everything you need to know heading into Friday’s second round and the weekend.
TV and live-stream schedule: Friday (Golf Channel and NBCSports.com, 3-6 p.m. ET); Saturday and Sunday (Golf Channel and NBCSports.com, 1-3 p.m. ET; CBS and CBS Sports app, 3 p.m. ET)
Tee times: A full list of tee times for Friday’s second round can be found at PGATour.com.
Although Jordan Spieth is tied for 10th at five-under par, the 26-year-old put together one of the most exciting parts of Thursday’s opening round.
Spieth got off to a slow start while beginning on the back nine holes, hitting a triple bogey on his third hole (No. 12) after starting with two consecutive pars. He only got one of those strokes back on the back nine, and he headed to the front nine at two-over par.
That’s when Spieth went on a roll. He notched six consecutive birdies beginning on the second hole and ended his round with seven birdies over his last eight holes. It marked the longest birdie streak of Spieth’s career, according to PGA Tour on Twitter.
At last weekend’s Charles Schwab Challenge, Spieth started strong by shooting a 65 in each of the first two rounds and a 68 in the third. However, he shot a 71 in the final round to end up tied for 10th. If he finishes stronger this weekend, he could end up with his first victory since July 2017, when he won The Open Championship.
“You start to feel more comfortable the more experiences you get. [Thursday] had nothing to do with last Sunday,” Spieth said of his opening round, according to ESPN’s Bob Harig. ” … I just tried to tell myself that I’ve been driving the ball really well and that if you’re putting it in play off the tee here, you’re going to get some wedge opportunities.”
Poulter and Hubbard lead the RBC Heritage field entering Friday after they each shot a 64 in the opening round. Poulter had seven birdies and nothing worse than par, while Hubbard had five birdies, an eagle and nothing worse than par.
Poulter hasn’t won a PGA Tour event since finishing first at the Houston Open in April 2018. Meanwhile, Hubbard has never notched a PGA Tour victory, but he tied for second at the Houston Open last October.
Like last weekend’s tournament, the RBC Heritage has the potential to be competitive throughout the weekend because of the deep field of golfers who are participating. Behind Poulter and Hubbard, there are seven golfers at six-under par and six at five-under, so there could be a lot of movement on the leaderboard on Friday.
While those golfers started strong, the top three golfers in the Official World Golf Rankings didn’t fare quite as well on Thursday. Rory McIlroy, the No. 1-ranked golfer, and Justin Thomas (No. 3) are both at one-over par, while Jon Rahm (No. 2) is at even. Friday will be a crucial round for the trio as they try to avoid missing the cut for the weekend.