Donald's name has been written in permanent marker in the standings at Harbour Town Golf Links for nearly a decade, and that trend continued Thursday when the Englishman opened with a 6-under 65. He is tied for second with Graham DeLaet, two strokes behind leader Bud Cauley.
The former world No. 1 has thrived amid the cozy confines of Harbour Town, with six finishes of T-3 or better over the last eight years - an impressive run of form that somehow has never seen him don the plaid jacket offered to the champion.
"Obviously I've had a lot of success here the last eight years. I've done everything but win," said Donald, who finished T-2 last year behind Branden Grace. "It would be nice to give myself another chance to finally get over that hurdle."
Donald's early success is a bit of a surprise given his recent struggles. He entered the week ranked No. 96 in the world, missed the cut last month at one of his favorite courses, Innisbrook, and finished T-69 in Houston in his most recent start.
But a return to Hilton Head Island allowed him to rekindle his form of old in the opening round, which included five birdies and an eagle on the par-5 second hole.
"This place has been kind to me. Nice to get off to a great start," he said. "It's always nice to come back to places you feel comfortable and you've had success."