The RBC Heritage, known for much of its history as the Heritage Classic or simply the Heritage, is the only PGA Tour event in South Carolina.
It was first played in 1969. It is currently played in mid-April, the week after The Masters in Augusta, Georgia.
The venue for its entire existence has been the Harbour Town Golf Links at the Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island. The Harbour Town course, which frequently appears on several “Best Courses” lists, was designed by famed golf course architect Pete Dye, with assistance from Jack Nicklaus. In 1972, the first two rounds were played on both the Harbour Town Golf Links and the Ocean course at Sea Pines, with the final two rounds at Harbour Town.
Originally played in late November, it moved to mid-September in 1973, March in 1974, and April in 1983.
The inaugural champion in 1969 was forty-year-old Arnold Palmer, his first win in over a year. Course co-designer Nicklaus won in 1975, two weeks before his fifth Masters win. Davis Love III leads with five victories in the event, Hale Irwin and Stewart Cink have three, while seven others have won twice.
From 1987 through 2010, it was sponsored either by MCI (under both the “MCI” and “WorldCom” names) or its eventual purchaser, Verizon. The tournament operated without a title sponsor in 2011, and the Royal Bank of Canada has been the title sponsor of The Heritage since 2012. It is currently organized by The Heritage Classic Foundation.
The Heritage is one of only five tournaments given “invitational” status by the PGA Tour.
Consequently, it has a reduced field of only 132 players (as opposed to most full-field open tournaments with a field of 156 players). The other four tournaments with invitational status are the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the Charles Schwab Challenge, the Memorial Tournament, and the Genesis Invitational. Invitational tournaments have smaller fields (between 120 and 132 players).
They off more freedom than full-field open tournaments in determining which players are eligible to participate in their event. Invitational tournaments are not required to fill their fields using the PGA Tour Priority Ranking System. Furthermore, unlike full-field open tournaments, invitational tournaments do not offer open qualifying (aka Monday qualifying).
RBC Classic Winners:
- 2021 United States Stewart Cink
- 2020 United States Webb Simpson
- 2019 Taiwan Pan Cheng-tsung
- 2018 Japan Satoshi Kodaira
- 2017 United States Wesley Bryan
- 2016 South Africa Branden Grace
- 2015 United States Jim Furyk
- 2014 United States Matt Kuchar
- 2013 Northern Ireland Graeme McDowell
- 2012 Sweden Carl Pettersson
The Heritage Winner:
- 2011 United States Brandt Snedeker
Verizon Heritage Winners:
- 2010 United States Jim Furyk
- 2009 United States Brian Gay
- 2008 United States Boo Weekley
- 2007 United States Boo Weekley
- 2006 Australia Aaron Baddeley
MCI Heritage Winners:
- 2005 Australia Peter Lonard
- 2004 United States Stewart Cink
- 2003 United States Davis Love III
WorldCom Classic – The Heritage of Golf Winners:
- 2002 United States Justin Leonard
- 2001 Argentina José Cóceres
- 2000 United States Stewart Cink
- 1999 United States Glen Day
- 1998 United States Davis Love III
- 1997 Zimbabwe Nick Price
- 1996 United States Loren Roberts
- 1995 United States Bob Tway
MCI Heritage Golf Classic Winners:
- 1994 United States Hale Irwin
- 1993 United States David Edwards
- 1992 United States Davis Love III
- 1991 United States Davis Love III
- 1990 United States Payne Stewart
- 1989 United States Payne Stewart
- 1988 Australia Greg Norman
- 1987 United States Davis Love III
Sea Pines Heritage Winners:
- 1986 United States Fuzzy Zoeller
- 1985 West Germany Bernhard Langer
- 1984 England Nick Faldo
- 1983 United States Fuzzy Zoeller
- 1982 United States Tom Watson
- 1981 United States Bill Rogers
- 1980 United States Doug Tewell
Sea Pines Heritage Classic Winners:
- 1979 United States Tom Watson
- 1978 United States Hubert Green
- 1977 Australia Graham Marsh
Sea Pines Heritage Classic Winners:
- 1976 United States Hubert Green
- 1975 United States Jack Nicklaus
- 1974 United States Johnny Miller
- 1973 United States Hale Irwin
- 1972 United States Johnny Miller
- 1971 United States Hale Irwin
Heritage Golf Classic Winners:
- 1970 United States Bob Goalby
- 1969 United States Arnold Palmer