Compton among quartet of early McGladrey leaders


Scores remain bunched early at the McGladrey Classic, but Erik Compton is one of two Georgia Bulldogs who have snagged a share of the lead. Here's how things stand after one round at Sea Island, where four players are tied at the top:

Leaderboard: Erik Compton (-5), Brian Harman (-5), Michael Thompson (-5), Will MacKenzie (-5), Chesson Hadley (-4), Jason Kokrak (-4), Shawn Stefani (-4), Andrew Svoboda (-4), Sung Joon Park (-4)

What it means: No one was able to separate from the pack in the first round on the Seaside Course, as 28 players sit within two shots of the lead. The group of co-leaders include Compton and Harman, two Georgia alums who have played more than their fair share of golf in the Peach State, while the large chase pack at 4 under features Hadley, the reigning Rookie of the Year, and Park, who is making his first PGA Tour start.

Round of the day: Compton started quickly with birdies on his first two holes, adding another circle at No. 11 before his lone dropped shot at the par-4 14th. He bounced back with birdies on each of the next two holes, and after a 5-under 65 is in prime position as he looks to win on Tour for the first time.

Best of the rest: Harman won last season at the John Deere Classic, and he's again in the mix after matching Compton's 65 following six birdies against just one bogey. Harman, who tied for 10th at Sea Island last year, notched four birdies in a six-hole stretch from Nos. 3-8 in his first round of the new season.

Biggest disappointment: Charles Howell III has played well at Sea Island in the past, with a pair of top-10 finishes and no result worse than T-32 in four starts, but he stumbled out of the gates Thursday with a 2-over 72. After a round that included five bogeys and only 12/18 greens in regulation, Howell now has to work simply to make the cut.

Main storyline heading into Friday: While Thompson and Harman have both won on Tour before, Compton is likely the biggest name among the co-leaders after his runner-up finish at this year's U.S. Open. It remains to be seen whether the two-time heart transplant recipient can build on the momentum from his first round in front of crowds that would love to see another Bulldog land in the winner's circle come Sunday.

Shot of the day: Mark Anderson not only recorded the first hole-in-one of the week, but his ace was the first in the five-year history of this event. Anderson used a 4-iron from 212 yards on the third hole, though the ace was his lone par-breaker of the opening nine.

Quote of the day: "I expect I should win, I always do. Every time I tee it up that's my goal, but I keep my expectations simple, hit it straight and see where it goes from there." - Compton