Usually, the afternoon tee times at Harbour Town for the RBC Heritage find tougher conditions and higher scores. But it was an unusual weather day Thursday at Hilton Head.
The morning wave was met with cold temperatures and an unpredictable wind. Add to that harder and faster than normal greens for a Thursday, and no one was able to break away from the pack with an eye catching number. Last year’s first round lead was a 64.
The morning average score was more than a stroke higher than the afternoon, 73.80 to 72.11. And Thursday’s scoring average of 72.955 was the second toughest of the year trailing only the 73.347 average at the Northern Trust Open.
Only 42 golfers recorded rounds of par or better, 90 golfers were over par, and three shot 80 or better.
Chad Campbell, Vaughn Taylor and Colt Knost all played in the afternoon and they hold the lead after day one at four under 67. Taylor had the most spectacular finish of the three holing out a wedge from 103 yards on number nine, his 18th hole, for an eagle. That eagle helped to offset a double bogey for Taylor at 16.
AUDIO: Chad Campbell [8:30]
AUDIO: Vaughn Taylor [1:29]
It’s a tightly bunched pack behind the leading trio. 62 golfers are within five shots of the lead. 2010 RBC Heritage winner Jim Furyk is at three under along wth Charlie Wi, Harris English and Matt Every.
The threesome of Blake Adams, John Mullinger and Chez Reavie are at two under.
Two players from the state are in a large group at minus one…Bishopville’s Tommy Gainey and Tom Gillis of Coastal Carolina. Also in that group are two time champion Boo Weekly and former British Open champion John Daly.
Defending champin Brandt Snedeker is at even par 71, and five time champion Davis Love III withdrew Thursday morning due to an on going rib injury.
The world’s #1 ranked golfer, Luke Donald, the runnerup last year got off to a rocky start wiht a four over 75. Donlad needs a top-8 finish to retain his #1 ranking.
And Billy Mayfair aced the 7th with a 5-iron from 202 yards. That’s the sixth hole-in-0ne for Mayfair on the PGA Tour, and the 21st of this season.