RBC Heritage Cannon - Harbour Town Golf Links - Sea Pines

What to know about this year’s RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing

Hilton Head’s Signature Event

Story by Lisa Allen + Photos by Arno Dimmling

We’re not sure how they do it, but Hilton Head’s cozy little golf party of a hundred thousand people keeps getting more intimate. The number of players competing this year in the 56th RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing at Harbour Town Golf Links on April 15-21 will top out at about 75 players, compared to 132 in previous years.  

That’s because for the second year, the PGA Tour bestowed a special status, making the Heritage one of only eight Signature Events. Even among that rarified air, it stands out. It’s one of only five tournaments that won’t have a cut.

Matt Fitzpatrick - 2024 Defending Champion - RBC Heritage

Defending champion: Matt Fitzpatrick earned a $3.6 million paycheck and a plaid jacket for winning the 2023 RBC Heritage, his first PGA Tour win since the 2022 U.S. Open. “This one is the one that I’ve always wanted to win,” Fitzpatrick said. “Any golf tournament, you know, other than the majors, of course, there isn’t a higher one on my list than to win this one, and that’s the truth. This place is just a special place for me, and it means the world to have won it.” Watch Fitzpatrick hit the ceremonial cannon shot into Calibogue Sound during opening ceremonies for the 2024 RBC Heritage at noon, April 16, along the 18th hole.
Matt Fitzpatrick celebrated his 2023 win with his parents and girlfriend
Matt Fitzpatrick celebrated his 2023 win with his parents, Russell and Susan, and his girlfriend, Katherine Gaal. The Fitzpatricks are from Sheffield, England, and have been vacationing on Hilton Head since Matt was 6. “I came into the week feeling that my game was making positive strides, but my goal was to enjoy the week,” Fitzpatrick said. “My family was here, my girlfriend was here, and I really did want to make sure that that was the big thing.”

As the PGA Tour says, “Iconic venues, best players and substantial consequences define Signature Events.” And those consequences are whether a player wins a chunk of the $20 million purse. (It was only $8 million just two years ago. The PGA Tour made the RBC Heritage a designated, now called signature, event last year too.) The overall winner also collects 700 FedExCup points, compared to 500 at a traditional full-field event.

“It is an honor for the RBC Heritage to be a Signature Event, and the Hilton Head Island community should be proud,” said Steve Wilmot, RBC Heritage tournament director. “Our fans and sponsors have the opportunity to see the top players compete, and we couldn’t ask for much more than that. The support we receive from our sponsors, volunteers and fans continues to deliver a large economic and charitable impact across the State of South Carolina. I’m confident that without this support from our community, this opportunity would not have been possible.”

The field will mainly be made up of the top 50 professionals from the 2023 FedExCup standings through playoffs; top 10 from the 2023 FedExCup fall standings and 2024 tournament winners. There are also a couple of other smaller categories, including four sponsor exemptions.

And even if you aren’t a golf fan, here’s something you should know. The tournament is a charitable powerhouse, raising nearly $53 million since 1987 for education and other initiatives that lift lives in South Carolina, all through the Heritage Classic Foundation, the tournament’s host organization.

The 2023 event alone generated $2.9 million, which is distributed to programs that fall into the foundation’s six pillars: Arts and culture; children, education, environment, health and welfare and scholarships.

The annual Birdies for Charity program is already underway, allowing people to pick their favorite registered charity and pledge a specific amount for every birdie made at the 2024 RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing. The charity gets that donation plus an added 20 percent from the Heritage Classic Foundation. Last year the pros made 1,569 birdies, but with fewer players, there will be fewer birdies, so donors are encouraged to pledge a little more for each one. Find out more at heritageclassicfoundation.com.

2022 RBC Heritage champion Jordan Spieth fell just short of a repeat in 2023
Jordan Spieth giving Matt Fitzpatrick a congratulations handshake at the 2023 RBC Heritage

2022 RBC Heritage champion Jordan Spieth fell just short of a repeat in 2023, losing to Matt Fitzpatrick in a thrilling three-hole playoff. “It just wasn’t meant to be,” Spieth said. Still, Spieth earned $740,000 more with the loss ($2.18 million) than he did for his victory in 2022. The winner of the 2024 Heritage will pocket $3.6 million of the $20 million purse. 

Xander Schauffele - 2023 RBC Heritage - Taking a chip shot
Xander Schauffele finished fourth at 15 under, two strokes behind the leaders in 2023. “This was my fourth appearance, and I can’t think of a time I’ve finished inside the top 60,” Schauffele said. “It was nice to sort of get over that hump, play a little bit better. I do enjoy playing the golf course.” With his skillful swings and incredible talent, Schauffele is a favorite to win the 2024 RBC Heritage.
Sahith Theegala - 2023 RBC Heritage - Waving his arm in the air
Sahith Theegala finished T5 at 14 under in 2023. “I’m learning every tournament,” Theegala said. “I feel like there’s always something you can pick up on out here with all these world-class guys.” One of Theegala’s standout skills is his iron play. He has the ability to control his shots with precision, targeting pins and adjusting his shot shape as needed, both key to success on the narrow fairways of Harbour Town Golf Links.

What’s different this year

 The tournament is getting more air time. GolfChannel added an extra hour of golf to its Thursday and Friday broadcasts, and it’s producing On the Range, a program devoted to the RBC Heritage. At various times the RBC Heritage will be covered by CBS, GOLF, ESPN+ and SXM.

The pro-am is reconfigured because of fewer PGA Tour professionals.  The Monday event will be an all-amateur outing. Tuesday’s Youth Day is getting a makeover and will be centered on the Heritage Lawn after the opening ceremonies. Details are forthcoming. Wednesday’s Pro-Am will have fewer groups so spectators should come early to see their favorite pros.

There is no cut. Players will tee off from the first hole all four days of competition, compared to using the first and 10th tees to start on Thursday and Friday in years past.

There aren’t any clubhouse access tickets available this year. The PGA Tour asked that it be reserved only for players and their staff. Space also will be reserved for the tournament’s primary sponsors, RBC and Boeing.

So put the RBC Heritage on your calendar. If you’re fortunate enough to attend, you’ll see one of the reasons fans and players love this tournament. Ticket sales are capped so fans can get right up to the ropes to watch the action right in front of them. Players love it because of the venue and the Southern hospitality the event exudes. See you at the RBC Heritage! It’s going to be better than ever.

CBS Interview at the 2023 RBC Heritage
A week after CBS reported that the final round of the 2023 Masters was the most watched golf broadcast in the past five years, the network drew 4.152 million viewers the following Sunday for the 2023 RBC Heritage, up 13 percent from 2022. It was the most watched final round of the RBC Heritage since 2002, a playoff between Justin Leonard and Heath Slocum which drew 4.575 million viewers. The 2024 tournament will be broadcast on The Golf Channel and CBS. You can also stream the tournament at PGAtourlive.com and GolfChannel.com.

2024 Contenders

As the 2024 RBC Heritage approaches, anticipation builds around who will emerge victorious. This year’s field is expected to be stacked with talent, ranging from seasoned champions to rising stars, each bringing a unique set of skills to the picturesque course. Here’s a look at some of this year’s top contenders. 

Byeong Hun An - Headshot
Byeong Hun An | Since becoming the youngest-ever winner of the U.S. Amateur in 2009, An has shown he’s a force to be reckoned with. His T7 finish in 2018 at the RBC Heritage highlighted his strong ball-striking and tee-to-green game, making him a serious contender this year.
Chris Kirk Headshot
Chris Kirk | With a history of success on the PGA Tour and a T7 finish at the RBC Heritage in 2021, Kirk’s precise and strategic game positions him as a strong contender, especially following his win at The Sentry in 2024.
Patrick Cantlay Headshot
Patrick Cantlay | The 2021 FedEx Cup champion and PGA Tour Player of the Year has a remarkable record at the RBC Heritage, including a third-place finish last year. Known for his consistency and mental fortitude, Cantlay’s strategic play makes him a perennial threat.
Rory McIlroy Headshot
Rory McIlroy | Despite past performances at Harbour Town, McIlroy’s status as a four-time major champion and one of the PGA Tour’s best cannot be overlooked. His power, precision and finesse make him a favorite to win every tournament he enters.
Wyndham Clark Headshot
Wyndham Clark | Clark’s recent victories, including the 2023 U.S. Open and the 2024 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, showcase his exceptional driving and powerful game. His significant improvement and major win momentum bring him into the spotlight as a top contender.
Grayson Murray Headshot
Grayson Murray | Murray’s aggressive style and powerful driving, showcased by his Sony Open win this year, make him a standout. Although his previous finishes at the RBC Heritage have been modest, his game could align well with the course’s demands this year.
Nick Dunlap Headshot
Nick Dunlap | The young phenom made headlines by winning The American Express as an amateur, showcasing his well-rounded game and adaptability. Making his first appearance at the RBC Heritage, Dunlap’s debut is highly anticipated.
Scottie Scheffler Headshot
Scottie Scheffler | After finishing T11 in his Heritage debut last year, the 2022 Masters champion and back-to-back Players Championship winner returns with a game marked by consistency, power and an exceptional short game, making him one of the top players to watch.
Viktor Hovland Headshot
Viktor Hovland | The 2023 FedExCup winner and multiple PGA Tour victor, Hovland brings exceptional ball-striking and a positive demeanor to the course. His consistent performance and major tournament experience make him a formidable competitor.
Nick Taylor Headshot
Nick Taylor | Coming off a win at the 2024 WM Phoenix Open, Taylor has demonstrated his ability to navigate challenging courses with smart play and composure. His strategic approach could serve him well at Harbour Town.

RBC Heritage Camera and cameraman

The schedule

Monday, April 15: (closed to spectators) RBC Heritage Monday Golf Outing Presented by Boeing

Tuesday, April 16: Noon, opening ceremonies; youth day; pro practice rounds all day

Wednesday, April 17: 7 a.m., RBC Heritage Pro-Am; noon, golf outing

Thursday, April 18: RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing begins, first player tees off at 7:30 a.m.

Friday, April 19: Second round begins at 7:30 a.m.

Saturday, April 20: Third round begins at 7:30 a.m.; noon, Plaid Nation Games, Heritage Lawn

Sunday, April 21: Final round begins at 7:30 a.m.; 7:30 a.m., Sunrise Service, Liberty Oak

Full Swing written on a Golf Ball that is placed on a tee

Get to know the players 

Enhance your knowledge of the professional golfers participating in the 2024 RBC Heritage by immersing yourself in the Netflix sports documentary series, Full Swing. The binge-worthy series offers an in-depth look at the lives and careers of many players who will compete for the coveted tartan jacket April 18-21. 

EA Sports PGA Tour video game

Get in the game

Ever dream of competing in the RBC Heritage? Unless you are among the top 75 golfers on the PGA Tour, the closest you can get is by creating yourself in the EA Sports PGA Tour video game. Available for PlayStation5, Xbox and PC, the game features 28 of the world’s most prestigious golf courses, including Harbour Town Golf Links. It’s a fun way to familiarize yourself with the course before attending the tournament.

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