If scores seemed high at Harbour Town for the first round of the RBC Heritage, they were. With a scoring average of 72.96 on Thursday, the field on Hilton Head collectively scored the worst since the final round of the 2007 tournament (73.871).
The explanation for the bump in scoring – over a shot higher than the toughest first round in the last five years – varies.
'The conditions were tough this morning. The weatherman was spot on. It was chilly, quite breezy and gusty this morning,' said Jim Furyk, who carded 3-under 68 to trail by a shot.
Furyk was among just 23 players to break par on the day – remarkable coming out of the morning wave which averaged 1.69 shots higher than the afternoon draw.
Co-leader Vaughn Taylor did his damage in the afternoon wave. He would trail by two were it not for holing out for eagle from 100 yards to close the round.
'It's obviously a tough driving course. And then if you're not on the right side of the fairway, your back is behind the wall. And the greens are firm and fast,' he said. 'I remember them firm occasionally, but this is the firmest I've seen them.'
Chad Campbell shot 67 in the afternoon, as well. His assessment corroborated what Taylor saw.
'When you're hitting chips or anything around the green it's not checking at all, and they really can get away from you,' he said. 'So it's pretty tough.'
An already tight golf course, the addition of 128 yards and seven new tees to the Pete Dye gem did not seem to bother Campbell.
'I think (the changes are) good,' he said. 'Didn't go too extreme on anything, so I think it was good.'