HILTON HEAD, S.c. (WSAV) – As the first round at the RBC Heritage got underway Thursday, a pair of golfers stood out from the rest with impressive low scores.
Cameron Smith posted a scorching 9-under round of 62 and finishes day one with the clubhouse lead. Stewart Cink isn’t far behind, though, as the two-time champion bounced back from a bogey on his first hole to finish 8-under before the afternoon golfers even teed off.
“I’ve learned my lessons around this course, I’ve played here a lot and this course doesn’t let you just ‘free wheel’ it all around the place,” Cink explained post-round. “You have to pick your spots. That’s what I did today and I was able to take advantage of it.”
Thursday’s round marks a career-low for Smith, who is coming off a tie for 10th at the Masters Tournament.
“Everything just came together,” he said. “It was a great day on the greens. I was hitting my irons really good. I had lots of good looks, and I just took advantage of them.”
Former Savannah Christian star Brian Harman shot a 4-under first round and leads the pack of golfers with local ties. Harman looks to carry momentum over from his performance at the Masters, in which he finished in a tie for 12th place.
“It’s not nearly as pressure-packed, but I feel like this is a course that suits me and I need to contend on,” Harman explained. “It’s hard to come back from [the Masters], you put so much work into that tournament, but this is a great tournament and a good chance for me. I’m glad I could get out and hit some good shots.”
Former Hilton Head Christian golfer Bryson Nimmer made his RBC Heritage debut Thursday afternoon. The Bluffton native finished 9-over and will have some work to do Friday if he hopes to make it past the cut line and to the weekend. Despite how Thursday turned out, Nimmer was in good spirits after his round.
“Obviously I didn’t play well at all and it was a tough day, Nimmer explained. “It was so cool, I had so many people following me. Just to have the backing of everyone was awesome. I remember telling my caddy ‘If I make this putt, I’m pretty sure there’s going to be a roar as big as Tiger gets.'”
The following are notable tee times for the leaders and golfers with ties to the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry area:
- Cameron Smith: 7:55 a.m. on Tee #10
- Stewart Cink: 12:23 p.m. on Tee #1
- Brian Harman (Savannah Christian graduate): 8:39 a.m. on Tee #10
- Bryson Nimmer (Hilton Head Christian and Clemson graduate): 9:01 a.m. on Tee #1
- Lucas Glover (Clemson graduate): 12:01 p.m. on Tee #1
- Kevin Kisner (Georgia graduate): 7:44 a.m. on Tee #10
- Webb Simpson (defending RBC Heritage champion): 8:06 a.m. on Tee #10
- Dustin Johnson (World’s #1-ranked golfer): 1:07 p.m. on Tee #1
In the video at the top of this article, sports director Andrew Goldstein is joined by golf insider Krista Dunton to discuss the first round storylines.