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Organizers and supporters of the Heritage golf tournament are confident this won't be the last year a ground-shaking blast from a cannon begins Hilton Head Island's PGA Tour event.
On Monday, as organizers once again completed their annual custom of opening the Heritage by firing a shot into the water from near the 18th green of Harbour Town Golf Links, speakers at the tournament's opening ceremony said they intend to stage the ritual for years to come.
The tournament's future is in jeopardy because it lacks a title sponsor, but finding one is the top priority of state officials including Duane Parrish, recently installed director of the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism.
"We will find a sponsor," Parrish told a crowd watching from the stands.
Earlier in the ceremony, Simon Fraser, chairman of the foundation that has run the tournament for 25 years, spoke with similar optimism.
"We plan to be here for another 25 or more years -- how ever and whatever it takes," Fraser said.
Champion Jim Furyk