Kisner (65) takes early lead at RSM Classic


He may not have won (yet), but Kevin Kisner sure does spend plenty of time near the top of PGA Tour leaderboards. Here's how things stand after the first round of the RSM Classic, where Kisner holds a slim lead over a host of players (PL-Plantation Course; SS-Seaside Course):

Leaderboard: Kevin Kisner (-7, PL), David Hearn (-6, SS), Jeff Overton (-6, SS), Kyle Stanley (-6, PL), Kevin Chappell (-6, PL), Scott Stallings (-6, PL), Jim Herman (-6, PL), Tom Hoge (-6, SS)

What it means: Kisner is teeing it up for the first time since his runner-up at the WGC-HSBC Champions, and his game clearly gathered no rust in the interim fortnight. Arguably the top player still without a Tour victory, Kisner lost in three different playoffs this summer and now has another chance to break through and claim his maiden win. 

Round of the day: Playing the easier of the two layouts in this week's rotation, Kisner carded five birdies and an eagle without dropping a shot. Kisner began on the back nine and made the turn with birdies on Nos. 17 and 18, following that with a five-hole stretch from Nos. 4-8 in which the South Carolina resident was 4 under including an eagle on No. 8.

Best of the rest: Kisner and Hearn both lost in a playoff at The Greenbrier Classic this year, and Hearn also remains in search of his first win. He opened with a 6-under 64 on the Seaside Course, a round that the Canadian began with four birdies on his first six holes. Hearn tallied seven birdies in total and is one of seven players currently one shot off the pace.

Biggest disappointment: Matt Every withdrew during his opening round, citing an injury. This is Every's third mid-round withdrawal in his last six starts and fifth such early exit since June. After successfully defending his title at Bay Hill in March, Every has recorded only one top-25 finish and hasn't finished better than 72nd since the Players Championship.

Main storyline heading into Friday: The scores should balance out as the field swaps courses, but the player to watch remains Kisner as he looks to finally break into the winner's circle. Notable names amid the chase pack include Stallings, who missed part of last season because of a PED suspension, and Brendon de Jonge (-5), who lost in a playoff here last year.

Shot of the day: Herman ended his day in style, chipping in from behind the green for eagle on the par-5 18th on the Plantation Course to close his round of 66. The shot moved Herman within a shot of the lead and came just one week after he won a car with a hole-in-one in Mexico. 

Quote of the day: "If I better him today and I better him the rest of my career, it should be pretty fun." - Dru Love, whose opening-round 70 tied Davis Love III and was four shots better than his father's first round in a PGA Tour event at the 1985 Georgia Pacific.