McDowell, Every share RBC Heritage lead

RSS

Breezy conditions kept players from going low early at the RBC Heritage, but a former champ still moved to the top of the standings. Here's how things look after the first round at Harbour Town, where Graeme McDowell and Matt Every share the lead:

Leaderboard: Graeme McDowell (-5), Matt Every (-5), Sangmoon Bae (-4), Morgan Hoffmann (-3), Kevin Kisner (-3), Matt Kuchar (-3), Scott Langley (-3)

What it means: Birdies were hard to come by early in the day, but McDowell and Every carded matching 66s as part of the afternoon wave. That left them one shot clear of Bae, a winner at the season-opening Frys.com Open, and two ahead of a group that includes Kuchar, the defending champion.

Round of the day: McDowell defeated Webb Simpson in a playoff to win here in 2013, and he again is in the mix after a round that included six birdies against just one bogey. The Ulsterman carded three birdies on each side, including three across a four-hole stretch that he capped with an 18-foot putt at No. 13.

Best of the rest: Every won last month at Bay Hill, and his name is again on a leaderboard thanks to a hot putter. Like McDowell, Every had six birdies and four of his circles came on the front nine, his second half. Five of those birdies came from more than 7 feet, including a 51-foot chip-in on No. 6.

Biggest disappointment: Brandt Snedeker donned the tartan jacket in 2011, but the veteran appears headed for an early exit after a 6-over 77. Snedeker made only one birdie, played Nos. 4-7 in 4 over, and sits in a tie for last place after the opening round.

Main storyline heading into Friday: McDowell appears to have found his form after a disappointing weekend at Augusta National, but the chase pack is headlined by Kuchar, who is in search of back-to-back titles. The group at 2 under also includes Ian Poulter, fresh off a top-10 finish at the Masters, and Johnson Wagner, who lost a playoff two weeks ago in Houston.

Shot of the day: Wagner had an early highlight at No. 11, when his approach from 164 yards bounced onto the green before rolling in. The eagle-2 helped Wagner to a 2-under 69.

Quote of the day: "It's a weird game, this is probably the worst I've hit it in a while. Weird game. I'll take it." - Every