Wesley Bryan Clinches First Career Victory at RBC Heritage

He’s not solely known for his YouTube trick shots any more.

PGA Tour rookie Wesley Bryan earned his first career victory Sunday at the RBC Heritage. The Palmetto State-native fired a final round 67 to edge Luke Donald by one shot.

Bryan dominated the Web.com tour a season ago and adjusted to tour life well as he had some strong performances on the west coast. The win allows Bryan to join the litany of promising young players on tour.

During the middle part of the round, it seemed than no one wanted to win the tournament. Bogeys littered the leaderboard and most in contention faltered except for Bryan, who birdied 13 and 15 to grab control of the event.

The rookie managed to par the final three holes in a relatively stress-free fashion to take the title.

Thoughts:

– Bryan became the first native-South Carolinian to win the RBC Heritage, the only PGA Tour event played in the state.

– I said Bryan’s final holes were relatively stress-free, but that doesn’t mean his stomach wasn’t churning on the inside as he admitted to Jim Nantz and Nick Faldo in the post-round interview.

– Seriously, if you haven’t seen the Bryan brothers trick shots on YouTube, check them out. Here are a few examples:

– At one point during the final round, there were as many as nine players within two strokes of the lead, but the pressure got to many of the contenders.

– Jason Dufner came into Sunday with the lead, but his putting failed him throughout the day. His penchant for missing short putts reared its ugly head as he missed two putts from under three feet and put a poor stroke on numerous makable putts down the stretch.

– Dufner won the 2013 PGA Championship seemingly without making a putt outside of five feet. The viewer can sense his indecisiveness over short putts as he takes an inordinate amount of time over what seems like gimmies.

– The biggest problem of Dufner’s putting stroke on short putts his is short back stroke. He barely brings the putter back and this leads to inconsistent contact and often a miss to the right.

– Despite his struggles on the green, Dufner managed to stay in contention until he his tee shot on the par-3 14th found the water to the right of the green.

– The 14th at Harbor Town is one of the most under-appreciated holes on the PGA Tour. The water hazard short and right garners most of the attention, but if a player bails out left they either have a difficult two-putt or, if they miss the green, a near impossible up-and-down with the green running away..

– The 14th extinguished the chances of Dufner, Webb Simpson, and Graham DeLaet on Sunday.

– The RBC Heritage for Luke Donald is becoming like Phil with the U.S. Open (let see that analogy on a future SAT question). Sunday marked Donald’s fifth runner-up finish at Harbor Town.

– Midway through the back nine, the tournament looked like Olie Schniederjans’ to lose. The rookie shot a 31 on the front to vault himself into contention and as the rest of the leaderboard was crumbling, he rode a steady ship.

– Schniederjans was ultimately undone by bogey on the 17th where he hit a pitching wedge off the tee to the 180-yard hole (do you event lift, bro?). His tee shot found the bunker short and left of the green and was unable to get up-and-down.

– Because it is the week after The Masters, the Heritage does not have the strongest field, but it is as enjoyable of a viewing experience as any on the PGA Tour. The vistas of Calibogue Sound are tremendous and the course is a true throwback.

– Harbor Town proves that courses don’t have to be 7800 yard to be challenging. Precision and position can be more valuable than a bomb and gouge strategy.

Alligator(s) of the Week:

Gators are no strangers to the low country of South Carolina, but this monster is a dinosaur.

This gator eyeing Ian Poulter, like every golf fan, just wanted to end Poulter’s non-stop bitching on the course.

McCoy of the Week:

No description needed…


Shot of the Week:

Peter Malnati drains the ace on 17 during the final round.

Otter Room Picks:

Aaron Baddeley missed the cut as my dark horse, but my pick of Luke Donald looked good for most of the week. The Englishman was tied for the 36-hole lead before falling back in the pack on Saturday. Donald then made a surge on the back nine on Sunday, but fell just one shot short of the elusive title.

Stay tuned to The Otter Room this week for a complete preview of the Valero Texas Open.

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