Lowry Leads RBC Heritage by 1 at 65

Shane Lowry said he played his best golf on the last eight holes in round two of the Masters en route to missing the cut, and it carried over to the first round of the 51st RBC Heritage.

The 32-year-old Irishman recorded a bogey-free, 6-under-par 65 to take a one-stroke lead over Ryan Moore, Luke List, Trey Mullinax, Ryan Palmer and Daniel Berger at Harbour Town Golf Links www.seapines.com/golf/harbour-town-golf-links.aspx at Sea Pines Resort in Hilton Head Island, S.C.

“Pretty much my whole game felt good,” said Lowry, whose four pro victories include the 2015 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship last January. “I’ve been struggling with driver off the tee. So everything felt good. I haven’t had that feeling in a while. So it’s kind of nice to have that.

“I hit my irons decently, and when I missed a green it was in the right spots and I managed to get them up and down. I’m happy with my golf. My scores haven’t been great as of late, but I felt like I’ve been playing OK. So maybe this is a reward for the perseverance.”

Lowry, with a new driver and putter he put in his golf bag last week, collected three birdies on each nine and capped his round with an eight-foot birdie putt as he finished on the ninth hole. He hit 13-of-14 fairways and birdied all three par-5 holes.

Palmer drove the 321-yard ninth green and had a tap-in birdie to shoot 66, while Moore played bogey-free while matching that score, List and Berger each had one bogey and Mullinax made only two bogeys on the narrow Harbour Town course.

Patrick Cantlay of Los Alamitos and UCLA, who tied for ninth in the Masters, opened with a 67 and is tied for sixth with Kevin Na of Diamond Bar, Alex Noren of Sweden, Sam Burns, Rory Sabbatini of Slovakia, Billy Horschel, Scott Piercy and Peter Malnati.

Top-ranked Dustin Johnson opened with a 68 and is in a tie for 15th that includes 2013 Heritage champion Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland, while 2014 winner Matt Kuchar shot 69 and is in a tie for 27th that includes two-time champion Boo Weekley.

Eighth-ranked Bryson DeChambeau of Clovis is tied for 39th at 70 along with two-time Heritage champ Jim Furyk, while ninth-ranked Xander Schauffele of La Jolla and San Diego State shot 71 and is tied for 53rd, defending champion Satoshi Kodaira of Japan is tied for 93rd at 73 and seventh-ranked Francesco Molinari of Italy struggled to a 74 and is tied for 111th.

For complete results, visit https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html

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