A bogey-free 65 has put Shane Lowry in the pound seats on the opening day of the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head, South Carolina.
The Irishman, whose only previous victory in America came at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in 2015, has given himself a great chance of adding to that tally after firing six birdies at Harbour Town course on Thursday.
The Takeaway. 👇 pic.twitter.com/zpiNr7d2mc
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) April 19, 2019
Lowry will be eager not to make the same mistake as he did in 2016 when he also opened with a 65 at this event only to follow it up with a 75 in round two.
“A couple of years ago I got off to a good start and I maybe tried to force it a little bit,” he said. “So just try to stay patient the next few days.
“I enjoyed today. It’s nice to shoot a good score. And it’s my first good score in a few weeks. So just enjoy that and just get out there tomorrow and get after it.”
Lowry lies one shot clear of a group of five American – Ryan Moore, Ryan Palmer, Luke List, Daniel Berger and Trey Mullinax.
Kevin Na, Rory Sabbatini and Patrick Cantlay are part of a group of eight players tied for seventh after shooting 67s.
R1 scores from @RBC_Heritage:
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) April 18, 2019
In all, there are 24 players within three shots of the lead.
“I’m happy with my golf,” Lowry said. “My scores haven’t been great as of late. But I felt like I’ve been playing okay. So maybe this is a reward for the perseverance.”
Lowry was particularly happy to take advantage of the par-5s, making comfortable short-range birdies on each of them.
“It was something I’ve been struggling with — my par-five scoring hasn’t been very good,” he added.
“I just played them nicely today. I struggled off the tee quite a bit this year, and I managed to find a new driver that I like. I hit that pretty good. And when you do that on par-fives it always gives yourself a chance.”
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