Birdie barrage nets Davis early Heritage lead


After losing in a playoff here three years ago, Englishman Brian Davis got off to a hot start Thursday at Harbour Town and never let up. Here's how things shape up heading into the second round of the RBC Heritage, where Davis leads by one shot over a pair of players, in search of his first career victory:

The leaderboard: Brian Davis (-6), Charley Hoffman (-5), Kevin Streelman (-5), Marc Leishman (-4), Jason Day (-4), Johnson Wagner (-4)

What it means: Though weather conditions are expected to be difficult this weekend, Harbour Town Golf Links was primed for low scores Thursday with clear skies and light winds. More than 50 players were able to break par in the opening round, though no one made more birdies Thursday than Davis.

Round of the day: Davis began slowly, and was actually 1 over after just four holes. He birdied six of his next seven holes, though, quickly racing to the top of the leaderboard early in the day during a window when many players were struggling to find red numbers. In total, Davis carded eight birdies against just two bogeys, with his 6-under 65 serving as his lowest round thus far during the 2013 season.

Best of the rest: A winner earlier this year in Tampa, Streelman began his day 5 under after just 12 holes, making only one score above a 4 on a hole all day. In total, Streelman made six birdies against a lone bogey at the par-3 fourth, and sits just one shot off the lead after an opening 66.

Biggest disappointment: While the Australian duo of Day and Leishman showed no signs of a Masters hangover, the same can't be said for 2011 Heritage champion Brandt Snedeker. Snedeker, who tied for sixth at Augusta National, made four bogeys during a five-hole stretch from Nos. 14-18, and after opening with a 2-over 73 will need a strong round Friday to make the 36-hole cut.

Main storyline heading into Friday: After he lost a playoff to Jim Furyk in 2010 after calling a penalty on himself, does Harbour Town owe something to Davis? Though he has been a runner-up five different times on the PGA Tour, the Englishman has yet to notch his first career win. Should it come this week along the Calibogue Sound, it would have to be described as poetic justice.

Shot of the day: South Carolina native Tommy Gainey has struggled since claiming The McGladrey Classic last fall, but the former 'Big Break' star appears to have found his footing back in the Palmetto State. Gainey had 175 yards left for his approach to the scenic par-4 18th Thursday, and when his approach ended up in the hole, Gainey left with an improbable eagle 2. He made two more birdies en route to a 1-under 71, just the second time he has broken par in his last 16 competitive rounds.

Quote of the day: “For the bad thing that happened, it was a very good thing as well. A lot of good came out of the experience, and one day, this place will pay me back.' – Davis