Rookie Eric Cole of Palm Springs, Cameron Young and Davis Thompson were tied atop the leaderboard after a long day.
Cole, Young and Thompson shot six-under-par 66s to share the top spot after a few stops and starts in the first round of the 14th RSM Classic on the Seaside and Plantation Courses at Sea Island Golf Club in St. Simons Island, Ga.
All three of the leaders played on the Plantation Course.
Play was suspended for the day by darkness with more than half of the 155 players in the field still on the course, and they will return Friday morning to complete the opening round before round two begins.
After a one-hour rain delay in the morning, play was suspended for two-and-a-half hours by torrential rain in the afternoon, and the course had to be cleared of water before the players could go back out.
Fortunately, good weather is expected for the last three days of the tournament.
“We got the worst of it on No. 4, the par-five,” said Young, who has won four times as a professional but not yet on the PGA Tour. “It’s already like 6:25 p.m. or something and I hit about as good a drive as I can and about the best 3-iron I could have to still have like 125 yards left, which doesn’t happen all that often.
“That hole was playing about 750 yards, probably.”
Young (pictured) started on the back nine and birdied four of five holes through No. 18, and then made birdies on the last two holes on the front nine including an eight-foot putt to finish in semi-darkness, while Cole had four birdies on each nine, and Thompson birdied the last three holes to cap another bogey-free round.
Even though Young pulled his tee shot into the water on the par-4 13th hole, he hit a brilliant shot onto the green and saved par.
“That was like 12 hours ago, so I kind of forgot about that,” Young said. “The old chunk hook into the water off the tee with the driver happens here and there. Obviously making that and making some birdies right after, I was proud of that, for sure.
“The one on No. 9 to finish the day was nice because it was getting pretty dark.”
Said Cole: “I scored well, especially considering the difficult conditions, and I kind of stayed somewhat patient, stayed relatively relaxed with a lot going on, so it was a good day and result after all that happened.”
Rookie Ludvig Aberg of Sweden holed out for an eagle on the fifth hole and added three birdies in a bogey-free 67 on the Plantation Course that was matched by Ricky Barnes of Stockton, who birdied four of the first seven holes in his bogey-free round, while Matt Kuchar shot five-under-par 65 on the Seaside Course to join the tie for fourth.
Ben Carr and Peter Kuest, who was bogey-free, were five-under through 17 holes on the Plantation Course, and Nicholas Lindheim was five-under through 13 holes, all on the Plantation Course, to be part of the tie for fourth.
Brendon Todd shot a bogey-free, four-under-par 68 on the Seaside Course and was tied for 10th with Russell Knox of Scotland, Tommy Gainey, Robert Streb and Greyson Sigg, who all totaled four-under-par 66 on the Seaside Course.
Mackensie Hughes of Canada was four-under-par through 14 holes on the Plantation Course and also in the huge tie for 10th with Austin Eckroat and Harry Higgs, who both were four under through 15 on the Plantation Course, while Scott Harrington and Ben Kohles were four-under through 15 holes on the Seaside Course.
Chris Kirk, who won the 2013 RSM Classic, shot three-under 69 on the Plantation Course and was tied for 20th, defending champion Adam Svensson of Canada was one-under-par through 14 holes on the Seaside Course and tied for 63rd, while Kevin Kisner, who won this event in 2015, was even-par through 13 holes on the Plantation Course and tied for 98th.
This is the seventh and final tournament of the inaugural PGA Tour Fall Series.
There are two unofficial PGA Tour events left on the schedule this year, the Hero World Challenge that is hosted by Tiger Woods on the Albany Golf Course in New Providence, The Bahamas, starting on Nov. 30, and the Grant Thornton Invitational at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Fla., which begins on Dec. 8.
The 2024 PGA Tour season will start, as usual, with the Sentry Tournament of Champions on the Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort on the Big Island of Hawaii, which will begin on Jan. 4, followed by the Sony Open in Hawaii at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, which will kick off on Jan. 11.
For complete results and second-round tee times, visit: https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard