Written By;

Carl Sengstock

Mother Nature tried to not coöperate today but, our Tournament Director Steve Wilmot changed gears and had the RBC Heritage opening ceremony inside.

It was definitely smaller but just as wonderful as it always has been.

Returning champions of the RBC Heritage made this such a special event.

We had Carl Petterson, Wes Bryan, Glen Day, Brian Gay, Hale Irwin, Justin Leonard, Graham Marsh, and representing his grandpa……Sam Saunders.

Sam is Arnold Palmer’s grandson and he was nice enough to come and be there for his grandfather.

Arnold Palmer won the first tournament in 1969 when Hilton Head Island only had a population of 4,200 people.

Nobody thought this tournament would be a success but with a Palmer win we have now celebrated 50 years of a continuous tournament at the same course.

There are only 3 tournaments that are older than 50 years old and of course one is the Masters.

Talking to our past Champions was not a job it was an honor for me.

I try to think that I am somewhat of a golf historian and when I interviewed Hale Irwin I was almost at a loss for words.

Hale is a distinguished member of Golf’s Hall of Fame and has won the Heritage 3 times.

Asked why it was important for him to come back here this week he said simple, my first win on the PGA Tour was here, my 2nd win on the PGA Tour was here, and my last win on the PGA Tour was here.

Wow that gave me goosebumps.

We had the usual dignitaries present……Mayors, Senators, Representatives, & the sheriff!

The Boeing rep told us to be ready for a flyover on Saturday.

Weather permitting we will have a Singapore Air Boeing 787-10. Super quiet and a spectacular plane.

It’s going to be an amazing sight flying low right down the 18th fairway.

The State of South Carolina proclaimed March 13, 2018 Wesley Bryan day.

Wes was presented the flag that flew over the capital, his trophy for winning the tournament, & his Tartan plaid coat.

Steve Wilmot, the illustrious tournament director, was presented a beautiful presentation crystal bowl and a donation was made in his name to his favorite charity.

This was intimate and maybe my favorite opening ceremony yet!

This will be the greatest Heritage in the 50 years of playing the tournament!

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