Chris Kirk finishes with eagle for early lead at The RSM Classic

Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Chris Kirk finishes with eagle for early lead at The RSM Classic

PGA Tour

Chris Kirk finishes with eagle for early lead at The RSM Classic

Here is a recap of the first round of the RSM Classic at the Seaside and Plantation courses at Sea Island Golf Club in St Simons Island, Ga.:

LEADING: Chris Kirk needed a fantastic finish to be alone at the top, but he got the job done.

Kirk eagled No. 18 at the Plantation course to close out a 9-under 63 and a one-shot lead. It was a bogey-free day for Kirk, who was 5 under through eight but cooled off until birdies at Nos. 14 and 16 and the closing eagle from 18 feet. The 32-year-old has not won on the PGA Tour since the 2015 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial and has started off his season with a missed cut and three other finishes of T-30 or worse.

Kirk has four PGA Tour wins overall, one of which came at this event in 2013 (he followed that up with a T-4 in 2014). He’s now in early position to add another and break a win drought.

CHASING: Joel Dahmen fires an 8-under 64 at Plantation to sit solo second. Hudson Swafford, Jason Kokrak and Brian Gay are tied for third at 7 under after 65s at Plantation. All of the top seven players on the leaderboard played the Plantation on Thursday.

SHOT OF THE DAY: Kirk’s putt to take the lead (even if he thought it might come up short) was too good a closer to pass up.

QUOTABLE: “I kind of hit my putter on the fringe a little bit and I wasn’t sure it was going to get there, but that was just kind of the day that it was. Even when I thought it wasn’t quite going to work out, it still went in the middle of the hole.” – Kirk on his eagle putt at 18

SHORT SHOTS: Nick Watney and Brice Garnett (65) tied for the best round on the Seaside course and are T-8 at 5 under. … Patton Kizzire, coming off his first PGA Tour win last week, fires a 4-under 66 at Seaside to put himself in early contention. … Kevin Kisner, returning from a long break, fires 67 at Seaside to sit T-28 at 3 under. … Brandt Snedeker, coming back from a lengthy break due to injury, is also T-28 after a 67 at Seaside. … Bill Haas, with dad on the bag, is tied for 95th at even par after a 70 at Seaside. … Defending champion Mac Hughes also had a 70 at Seaside. … Tournament host Davis Love III is even par and T-95 after a 72 at Plantation. … Luke Donald withdraws due to a health scare that he has recovered well from.

UP NEXT: Golf Channel will air second-round coverage Friday from 1:30-4:30 p.m. Eastern. Follow all the action on Golfweek.com and our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Latest

More Golfweek
Home