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Davis Starts Out Hot at Harbour Town


Brian Davis carded a 6-under 65 to take the first-round lead in the RBC Heritage. The $5.8 million event started Thursday at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head, S.C.

The Englishman posted four birdies and a bogey on the front nine and the same configuration of scores on the back for a one-stroke lead over Americans Kevin Streelman and Charley Hoffman.

The 38-year-old Davis, who's won twice on the European Tour, is in search of his first PGA Tour win. The closest he's come to the winner's circle in the States came three years ago when he lost to Jim Furyk in a playoff at Harbour Town. He received wide praise by calling a two-stroke penalty on himself on the first playoff hole to hand the title to Furyk. Davis also later finished second in 2010 at the Crowne Plaza Invitational.

"It's good in this game to have a short memory, good or bad," Davis told PGATour.com of that earlier experience at the Heritage. "I still have people stop me in the street or at the golf club or at airports. People do remember (the penalty), but for me I'm just trying to move on from that, and trying to win a golf tournament."

Two strokes back are a pair of Aussies who contended for a green jacket in last week's Masters. Both Marc Leishman and Jason Day - along with American Johnson Wagner - posted 67s for a share of fourth in the early going. Day and Leishman were paired together on Thursday.

Day finished third in the Masters, while Leishman ended up in a tie for fourth with Tiger Woods. Their fellow countryman Adam Scott became the first Australian in 77 Masters to finally win a green jacket.

"Playing last week it felt like there was pressure the whole week," Day told PGATour.com. "Coming into this week it's pretty laidback, but it is a Tour event and I want to do well."

"I'm working hard to not have that letdown," added Leishman. "I've got two weeks off after this week. I'm planning on being in contention all week, and then really enjoying my two weeks off . . . The energy was really low and legs felt heavy. But I actually went in the ocean yesterday and did a bit of stretching. The legs feel a little bit better, feel refreshed."

Leishman said Scott's win last Sunday gave a bolt of excitement in their home country. "There was a lot of interest back home with the Masters," he said. "With Scotty winning . . . (but) with a few of us having a chance to win. It's exciting for the future of Australian golf."

Sixteen players shot 68s - including defending champion Carl Pettersson - making it crowded at the top of the leaderboard. The big group also included Bo Van Pelt, Pat Perez, Bill Haas, Webb Simpson, Ted Potter, Jr., Glen Day, Camilo Villegas, Will Claxton, Gary Woodland, Tim Clark, Hunter Mahan, Richard H. Lee, Ryo Ishikawa, Justin Bolli and Steve LeBrun.

Other scores included a 70 by Jim Furyk and a 2-over 73 by Brandt Snedeker. Boo Weekley, whose only two Tour victories came at Harbour Town, opened with a 71.

For complete scoring, visit http://www.pgatour.com/tournaments/rbc-heritage/leaderboard.html.