Three share lead at Heritage

2012-04-13 07:35
Chad Campbell (Gallo)

South Carolina - Chad Campbell got off to a hot start en route to a four-under 67 at the RBC Heritage on Thursday, good enough for a share of the first-round lead alongside Vaughn Taylor and Colt Knost.

Campbell birdied four of his first seven holes on the par-71 Harbour Town Golf Links layout, finishing with six birdies and two bogeys.

Taylor and Knost joined him atop the leaderboard with solid finishes -- Knost nabbing birdies at three of his last five holes and Taylor holing out from the fairway for an eagle at his final hole, the par-four ninth.

US veteran Jim Furyk, the 2010 champion, was a stroke back on 68 along with Harris English, South Korean Charlie Wi and Matt Every.

Three more players -- Blake Adams, John Mallinger and Chez Reavie -- were tied on 69.

England's Luke Donald, who must finish eighth or better to hold on to his world number one ranking, opened with a four-over 75.

Donald teed off on 10 and bogeyed 12 and the par-five 15th.

Another bogey at the first was followed by his only birdie of the day at the par-five second, but he gave back two strokes with a double-bogey six at the sixth.

Campbell's share of the first-round lead was his first since he led the first round of the Masters in 2009. His only top 10 finish last year was at the British Open.

"I haven't felt like I've been that far off," Campbell said. "But the results haven't been good at all. I feel like I've been working on the right things and heading in the right direction."

Campbell drained an eight-foot birdie putt at the second hole, and built more momentum with birdies at the fourth and fifth. At the par-three seventh he sank a 20-footer for birdie.

"It's nice to get off to a good start here," he said. "It was a little tricky with the winds, and it's always a tough golf course."

Taylor grabbed his share of the lead at his final hole, where his shot with a sand wedge from 103 yards out found the hole.

"I hit a smooth one," Taylor said. "Came off right, right at it, and fortunate enough to go in."

Knost -- who birdied 14, 16 and 18 -- is hoping a strong showing here this week can jumpstart a season that has so far included just one top 20 finish.

"It's just my kind of course," Knost said. "You have to hit it fairly straight. Distance isn't that big a deal. The greens are real small, just give yourself a lot of chances."

Leading first-round scores here on Thursday from the $5.7 million US PGA TOUR RBC Heritage (USA unless noted, par-71):

67 - Chad Campbell, Colt Knost, Vaughn Taylor

68 - Harris English, Matt Every, Jim Furyk, Charlie Wi (KOR)

69 - Blake Adams, John Mallinger, Chez Reavie

70 - Jason Bohn, Kevin Chappell, Will Claxton, John Daly, Glen Day, Joe Durant, Tommy Gainey, Tom Gillis, Kevin Na, Carl Pettersson (SWE), John Rollins, Rory Sabbatini (RSA), Boo Weekley

71 - Stephen Ames (CAN), Bud Cauley, Greg Chalmers (AUS), Gary Christian (ENG), Chris Couch, Bob Estes, Robert Garrigus, Hunter Haas, Brian Harman, Trevor Immelman (RSA), Fredrik Jacobson (SWE), Lee Janzen, Zach Johnson, Marc Leishman (AUS), Webb Simpson, Heath Slocum, Brandt Snedeker, Kyle Stanley, Michael Thompson


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