A look at the field and Thursday's tee times for the first round of the 2022 RBC Heritage
'Twas the night before Heritage, and all through the Lowco ... naw, we're too excited for poetry tonight. The 2022 RBC Heritage presented by Boeing starts bright and early Thursday with what might be the best field ever to assemble at Sea Pines outside of the bizarro June 2020 event.
No, it's not quite a major, which attracts *all* the best players in the world, but we have half of them here this week. Seriously.
Five of the top 10 players in the Official World Golf Rankings will tee it up on Hilton Head Island on Thursday, as well as 10 of the top 20 and 25 of the top 50. See a pattern? That funky situation in 2020 has paid dividends, because the word is out that the RBC Heritage has a little special sauce that many tour stops are lacking. There's just a *vibe* at Harbour Town.
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GO EVEN DEEPER WITH OUR 2022 RBC HERITAGE PREVIEW SHOW!
Team Lowco gets you ready for the 2022 RBC Heritage presented by Boeing with an in-depth preview show featuring insight from LowcoGolf founders Justin Jarrett and Ian Guerin, senior contributors Wes Kerr and Brian Rietveld, and Bluffton High School golfer and Lowco intern Brady Sacha.
The full pairings are linked below, but here are a few of the more intriguing pairings you might want to keep an eye on if you're on site for Thursday's first round of the 2022 RBC Heritage, and they have made it easy on spectators (and TV folks) by bunching many of the biggest stars up into two waves.
No. 10, 8:16 a.m.: Daniel Berger, Corey Conners, Mackenzie Hughes
This is a sneaky-good grouping for the early risers, as Conners' game is custom-made for Harbour Town, Berger is one of the top players in the field, and Hughes is having a solid season.
No. 10, 8:27 a.m.: Patrick Cantlay, Kevin Kisner, Billy Horschel
If you took this trio against the field, you'd stand a solid chance of picking the winner, but that can be said for several Thursday/Friday pairings. Cantlay is among the top favorites, Horschel has a great track record here, and Kisner was nearly slipping into a tartan jacket before Jim Furyk spoiled his moment in 2015.
No. 10, 8:38 a.m.: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Shane Lowry
See above. Each of these three fits the profile for a Heritage champion, though they would require varying sizes of plaid coats. Harbour Town's tiny greens mitigate Spieth's off-and-on putting woes, Thomas is the odds-on favorite to win this week, and Lowry loves it around this place.
No. 1, 12:12 p.m.: Harold Varner III, Matt Fitzpatrick, Morgan Hoffmann
If nothing else, watching this group will be a crash course in the sociology of golf. HV3 is one of the more boisterous and entertaining players on the tour, Fitzpatrick is more business-like and a popular pick to win this week, and Hoffmann ... well ... the Heritage Academy and IJGA alum has a heck of a story. More on that later this week.
No. 1, 12:56 p.m.: Collin Morikawa, Stewart Cink, Webb Simpson
Four tartan jackets and counting in this crew. Cink has three of them and is a longshot to earn another — but we all saw what he did a year ago — while Simpson has one and the skills to win a backup. Meanwhile, Morikawa seems like a virtual lock to hang at least one plaid jacket in his closet before all is said and done.
No. 1, 1:07 p.m.: Cameron Smith, Joaquin Niemann, Sungjae Im
Some of the groups above have more name recognition and star appeal, but if you're looking for the best combination of players with a real chance to win this week, this is the one. Smith loves to cut it around the trees and play in the wind, Niemann fell in love with Harbour Town in June 2020 (but hasn't played it in April ... different beast), and Im is somehow lurking under the radar despite a terrific season and the profile to win here.
No. 1, 1:18 p.m.: Sepp Straka, Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar
This one is just fun, and with the late start, the crowd at the Bermuda Shorts Triangle should be in full throat by the time they reach 16 fairway. Straka isn't the kind of player who typically wins here, but he broke through at the Honda Classic in February, while Johnson will have the Palmetto State faithful behind him ... almost as much as KUUUUUCCCCHHHH, who has made 17 straight cuts at Harbour Town and has six top-10s and five more top-25s during that stretch, including a win in 2014.
No. 1, 1:40 p.m.: Michael Gligic, Bryson Nimmer, James Piot
OK, this one is just for the Lowco locals. The hometown boy got his shot at the Heritage last year, and the moment was a little too big in the first round. But Nimmer bounced back with a stellar second round and has the jitters out of his system going into his second crack at a lifelong dream. If he can get to the weekend, don't count him out for the Sunday leaderboard.
Hope you can be there, but if you can't, we'll do our best to take you there, and you can catch the action on Golf Channel from 1-2:30 p.m. or on PGA Tour Live throughout the day.
Follow the LowcoGolf team on Twitter — @LowcoGolf, @iguerin, @therietveld, @wkerr317, and @brady_sacha2 — to get the latest from Harbour Town and tune in to our nightly recap podcasts Thursday through Sunday!
Here are the full Round 1 pairings in PDF format from PGA Tour Media. Pairing sheets will also be available to spectators at the event.