Davis leads in South Carolina

4/19/2013 12:31:00 AM
Brian Davis  (Getty Images)
Brian Davis (Getty Images)
England's Brian Davis tops the standings after the first round of the RBC Heritage - the same event where he penalised himself in a sudden death play-off in 2010.

Three years ago, Davis' 72nd hole birdie ensured he pulled level with American Jim Furyk, but he was given a two shot penalty in the play-off by US PGA Tour officials after informing them he had touched a loose impediment with his club during his swing.

The 38 year old is still looking for his first US PGA Tour title, but he started magnificently with an opening six under par 65 for a one shot lead in South Carolina today.

"It's good in this game to have a short memory, good or bad," Davis said.

"I still have people stop me in the street or at the golf club or at airports. People do remember (the penalty), but for me I'm just trying to move on from that and trying to win a golf tournament."

Davis - who has two European Tour titles, the last of which came in 2004 - came to life after bogeying the par three fourth.

He bounced back at the next hole and chipped in at the sixth for another birdie before picking up further shots in four of his next five holes.

While he then bogeyed the 12th, another two birdies put him out in front.

"It's one of those things, next hole I left myself an easy, easy chip and I played great golf after that," he added.

"I was just playing golf. I wasn't worried about my score or about my misses, I was just playing.

"Whenever you get that feeling, it's always a great feeling to have because it's enjoyable. When you're worrying about where you don't want to hit it, which around this course you have to, it can weigh you down."

American pair Kevin Streelman and Charley Hoffman are one shot further back after carding opening five under par rounds, while Jason Day and Marc Leishman continued their good form from last week's Masters.

Australia's Day finished third at Augusta last week and could perhaps have counted himself unlucky to miss out on a play-off with eventual champion Adam Scott and runner-up Angel Cabrera.

But he showed no signs of fatigue with an unblemished four under par 67 at the Harbour Town Golf Links course.

The 25 year old started on the back nine and picked up birdies on the 12th and par five 15th before boosting his standing at the fifth and sixth holes.

"Playing last week it felt like there was pressure the whole week," said Day. "Coming into this week it's pretty laid back, but it is a Tour event and I want to do well."

Day's 67 left him alongside Johnson Wagner of America and compatriot Leishman, who was in a tie for fourth at the first Major of the year and also started on the back nine today.

His was also a bogey-free round with birdies at the first, fifth, eighth and 13th holes.

"I'm working hard to not have that letdown," said Leishman. "I've got two weeks off after this week. I'm planning on being in contention all week, and then really enjoying my two weeks off."

Last year's US Open Champion Webb Simpson is one of 15 players in a tie for seventh on three under par.

World Number Six Luke Donald and 2010 US PGA Champion Martin Kaymer - both of whom represented Europe in the Ryder Cup last year - carded 69s, while Furyk was among those on one under.