As many as seven South Africans, including a returning Louis Oosthuizen, will be in action when the PGA Tour heads to Hilton Head for the RBC Heritage, writes WADE PRETORIUS.
Oosthuizen enjoyed a quiet week at Colonial Country Club finishing in T55 where Branden Grace entered the final round one back before slipping down the field on Sunday. That left Daniel Berger to battle it out with young American Collin Morikawa.
Oosthuizen will once again start as SA’s top-ranked player but Grace will arguably be the one to watch. Unlike his countryman, he owns a regular PGA Tour title on US soil which came at this venue in South Carolina.
His 2016 triumph was, according to the Official World Golf Ranking, his most significant and came on the back of a top-10 finish on debut. He finished one place outside the top 10 when he returned to defend his title and averages 69.44 over 16 rounds.
Grace is out in the final group of the day with Victor Perez and Alex Noren for company.
Oosthuizen, who can enter the top 10 in the world with a win this week, was on top of the tour’s strokes-gained putting number but dropped to 20th after his week in Texas. He will, though, likely be more concerned with moving his FedExCup number inside the top 100 as he starts week two in 102nd place.
Veteran Ernie Els starts this week and plays in a legend’s threeball that includes Vijah Singh and Bernhard Langer.
Like Els, Erik van Rooyen is a morning starter with Americans Denny McCarthy, who leads the strokes-gained putting stat, and Talor Gooch for company.
Sepp Straka and Danny Lee will join Christiaan Bezuidenhout, who missed last week’s cut after rounds of 69 and 70, for the opening two rounds.
Former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel returns to tour life just after midday with Lucas Glover and Chris Stroud. Roughly an hour later, Max Homa and Adam Hadwin join Dylan Frittelli, who sits 54th in the current FedExCup ranking, on the tee.