HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — Jason Day and Marc Leishman kept the Australian flag flying high at the RBC Heritage.
Four days after countryman Adam Scott became the first Australian to win the Masters, Day and Leishman shot 4-under 67 and trailed leader Brian Davis by two shots Thursday after the first round at Harbour Town Golf Links.
Davis lost a playoff to Jim Furyk in 2010 at Harbour Town after calling a penalty on himself. This time, the Englishman birdied eight of his final 14 holes for a 65 to pull past Day and Leishman, who were back in contention after falling short Sunday at Augusta National.
Kevin Streelman and Charley Hoffman were a stroke behind Davis at 66, while Johnson Wagner also shot 67. U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson, a Charlotte resident, led a large group at 68.
Day and Leishman can’t make history for their country at the RBC Heritage – only enhance it. Several Aussies have won at Harbour Town, including Graham Marsh in 1977 and Greg Norman 11 years later. Aaron Baddeley was the last Australian to take the champion’s tartan jacket in 2006.
LPGA Tour: Reigning champion Ai Miyazato had five birdies in a late six-hole stretch at breezy Ko Olina to open a two-stroke lead midway through the second round of the Lotte Championship in Kapolei, Hawaii.
The Japanese star shot a 4-under 68 to reach 9-under 135.
Hyo Joo Kim, a 17-year-old South Korean player, was second along with Hee Kyung Seo and late starter Suzann Pettersen. Kim shot a 71, and Seo had a 72
Second-ranked Stacy Lewis was 6 under after a 71. Ariya Jutanugarn, the first-round leader after a 64, had a 75 to fall to 5 under. Top-ranked Inbee Park, coming off a victory two weeks in the Kraft Nabisco Championship, was 3 under after a 71. Ko had her second straight 71.
Local favorite Michelle Wie followed her opening 70 with a 76 to put her in position to miss the cut.
European Tour: Chile’s Felipe Aguilar, Denmark’s Morten Madsen and France’s Gary Stal shot 4-under 68s to share the first-round lead at the Spanish Open in Valencia, Spain.
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano was in a group of eight one stroke behind. Sergio Garcia had a 72 that included a double bogey on the par-3 fourth hole. Defending champion Francesco Molinari was two shots off the lead. Miguel Angel Jimenez shot a 76 in his return to golf after breaking his leg last December while skiing.