Charles Howell III goes bogey-free for early lead at RSM Classic

AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton

Charles Howell III goes bogey-free for early lead at RSM Classic

PGA Tour

Charles Howell III goes bogey-free for early lead at RSM Classic

Here’s a recap of the opening round of the RSM Classic at Sea Island Golf Club in St. Simons Island, Ga.

LEADING: Charles Howell III was flawless Thursday and could not by matched.

Eight birdies, including one at the last, and no bogeys at Sea Island’s Plantation Course gave Howell an 8-under 64 and an early two-shot lead.

Howell went out in 3-under 33 and added three birdies early in his back nine to sit 6 under through 13. A pair of birdies at the closing par 5s (16 and 18) earned him that 64.

The 39-year-old is a two-time PGA Tour winner, but his last title came all the way back in 2007. He’s posted six runner-up showings since that last triumph.

Howell finished T-5 at the CIMB Classic last month, but he followed that up with a T-61 at the CJ Cup and a missed cut at the Mayakoba Golf Classic.

So this showing was a little out of nowhere based on recent form. Whatever the case, Howell is in early position to break an 11-year win drought.

CHASING: Defending champion Austin Cook has no intention of going away quietly. He began his title defense by firing a 6-under 66. That puts him in a tie for second with J.J. Spaun. Davis Love III, 54 years young and this week’s tournament host, opens in 67 and is T-4 with Aaron Baddeley and Chase Wright. The top six players on the leaderboard all competed on the Plantation Course on Thursday.

SHOT OF THE DAY: Cameron Champ began his day with a double bogey but finished his opening nine birdie-birdie-birdie-eagle for a 3-under 33. It was punctuated by this amazing hole-out…

SHORT SHOTS: Champ ended up firing a 4-under 67 at Plantation and is T-7. … Peter Uihlein and Brian Harman went for 4-under 66 on the Seaside Course. Those 66s were tied for the lowest round Thursday on the tougher of the two layouts and has both T-7 and right in position as they prepare to take on the easier Plantation on Friday. … Ernie Els is T-30 after a 2-under 70 at Plantation. The same for past champion Kevin Kisner. Dru Love, Davis’ son, is also in this 70 at Plantation group. … Current LSU player Garrett Barber, playing as an amateur, is T-45 at 1 under after an opening 71 at Plantation.

UP NEXT: The second round will be aired by Golf Channel from 1:30-4:30 p.m. Follow all the action live on Golfweek.com and our Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Latest

More Golfweek
Home