Bryan beats Donald to RBC Heritage title

The rookie finished one ahead of the Englishman at Harbour Town Golf Links

Wesley Bryan wins RBC Heritage
Wesley Bryan wins RBC Heritage
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Wesley Bryan fired a final round 67 at Harbour Town to win the RBC Heritage and consign Luke Donald to a fifth second place finish in the event.

Wesley Bryan began the final round of the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links four shots back of the lead but birdies on the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th holes put him right in the mix. He moved in front with a birdie on the 15th and he held on to take the title by one shot from Luke Donald. It was Bryan’s first PGA Tour victory and it earns him an exemption on the PGA Tour to the end of 2019 and a start in the 2018 Masters. Although excited to get the job done, Bryan wasn’t getting ahead of himself:

"At the end of the day, it doesn't really change anything other than I now have one PGA Tour victory," he said. "There are a lot of guys that have just one PGA Tour victory. My one goal is to get number two at this point."

Luke Donald had hoped to finally get over the winning line at Harbour Town but, once again, he came up just short. He looked to have scuppered his chances when he drove out-of-bounds at the 2nd but he rallied with five birdies in the space of 10 holes. Despite his efforts though, the Englishman couldn’t quite catch Bryan.

Jason Dufner had taken the lead through 54 holes and he moved to 14-under with a birdie at the 2nd. But he struggled from then on and limped in with a 76.

Three men shared second place – William McGirt, a week on from his strong showing at Augusta, Patrick Cantlay, who closed with a fine 67 and Ollie Schniederjans, who also climbed the board with a final round 68.

3 Talking points from the RBC Heritage

1 – This was a big week for Wes Bryan. A former trick shot artist, he is now 14th on the FedEx Cup standings. The 27-year-old is the first native South Carolinian to win the event. Just a few years ago, Bryan was trying to scrape a living on the mini tours and through trick shot exhibitions he put on together with his brother George. Now he has as shot to make it to the Tour Championship. “This is as good as it gets,” he said afterwards. “It’s one I used to dream of on the putting green, to have a putt to win the Heritage. It’s pretty cool.”

2 – Luke Donald continues to play the bridesmaid at Harbour Town. This was his 5th second place finish in the event and seventh top-three in the last seven years. “I’ll just keep trying. Obviously it's a place I feel comfortable and I like and I've had a lot of success. I've got to just keep pounding away. And hopefully I'll get there,” Donald said. “I’m proud of a lot of grit and determination. And never giving up. And I always pride myself on that, even when I'm not feeling that comfortable off the tee. To get it through 72 holes and have a chance to win just shows that I'm close.”

Luke Donald short game secrets:

3 – It was a tough final day for Ian Poulter. He began the fourth round in fifth place, needing $144,669 to ensure his playing rights on the PGA Tour for the remainder of the year – he was playing on a medical exemption – but he couldn’t get the putts to drop on Sunday. He fired a closing 73 and finished tied 11th, picking up just over $110,000. He now needs to pick up $30,624 in the Valero Texas Open to gain full playing privileges for the rest of the year. “I'm a little hot under the collar right now. That today could have been a victory and I let it slip,” Poulter said. “I could have got it done today.”

RBC Heritage Harbour Town Golf Links, Hilton Head, South Carolina April 13-16 Purse: $6,500,000 Par: 71

1    Wesley Bryan (USA)    69    67    68    67    271    $1,170,000 2    Luke Donald (Eng)    65    67    72    68    272    $702,000 T3    Patrick Cantlay (USA)    70    66    70    67    273    $338,000 T3    William McGirt (USA)    68    68    68    69    273    $338,000 T3    Ollie Schniederjans (USA) 68    68    69    68    273    $338,000 T6    Graham DeLaet (Can)    65    67    69    73    274    $217,750 T6    Brian Gay (USA)        68    70    69    67    274    $217,750 T6    J.J. Spaun (USA)        67    72    66    69    274    $217,750 T9    Bud Cauley (USA)    63    72    71    69    275    $182,000 T9    Brian Harman (USA)    71    70    66    68    275    $182,000

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?