Plaid remains an irresistible urge.
Consider that the bottom line to the feel-good news that a pair of iconic names – Tom Watson and Nick Faldo – have committed to play in the upcoming RBC Heritage Classic (April 17-20), the week after the Masters.
The news means the coziest and quaintest PGA Tour stop of the year will have an impressive Hall of Fame ensemble teeing it up at Harbour Town Golf Links. Ernie Els and Vijay Singh are also committed, as is Davis Love III, who someday will reside with the sport’s best.
Watson, 64, and Faldo, 56, have long and passionate love affairs with the Pete Dye and Jack Nicklaus design that has been hosting a PGA Tour stop since 1969. Watson, who last played the tournament in 2001, has played the tournament 23 times, with victories in 1979 and 1982. Faldo has played Harbour Town 17 times, his most notable appearance being 1984, when he held off Tom Kite to win for the first time on American soil.
Although Watson plays frequently on the Champions Tour and is an annual entrant into the Masters and Open Championship, Faldo competes sparingly. The six-time major winner did compete last week on the Champions Tour in Mississippi (he shot 74-72-73), and last summer he teed it up in the Open Championship at Muirfield, but Faldo hasn’t played a pure PGA Tour event since 2006. That year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-68 at Hilton Head.
Watson is making a concerted effort to be around the PGA Tour a little more this year, in advance of his captaincy for the Ryder Cup in Scotland. He’ll have some possible American team members to speak with at Hilton Head, as Jim Furyk, Matt Kuchar and Brandt Snedeker have also committed.
So has the defending champion, Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell, as well as Luke Donald, twice a runner-up at Harbour Town.
“I can’t wait to watch Watson and Faldo play in the 46th annual RBC Heritage,” tournament director Steve Wilmot said. “These past champions have been household names for 40 years. Their memorable moments at Harbour Town have enriched our tournament’s history.”
Inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1988, Watson counts two Masters, a U.S. Open and five Open Championships among his 39 PGA Tour wins.
Faldo went into the Hall of Fame in 1998 after a career in which he won three Masters, three Open Championships and totaled 30 European Tour wins, plus nine on the PGA Tour.