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Davis leads RBC Heritage at Hilton Head

Brian Davis enjoys his birdie on the 17th hole that helps give him a one-shot lead after the first round at the RBC Heritage.

Associated Press

Brian Davis enjoys his birdie on the 17th hole that helps give him a one-shot lead after the first round at the RBC Heritage.

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 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 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 Aussie to take the champion's tartan jacket in 2006.

"For a population that I think is around 23 million people in Australia, and the last time I checked the land size is a little bit bigger than North America," Day said, "we do pretty well in sports."

Davis was toe-to-toe with Furyk three years ago until he brushed a loose reed with his club in the marsh area left of the 18th green. Davis immediately called the infraction, which essentially gave Furyk the crown.

Davis, never better than second on the PGA Tour, still gets stopped at country clubs and airports by admirers of his honest act on the course in a situation where victory would've made Davis' career much smoother. "I'd like to do something else in this tournament so I don't get remembered just for that," he said, chuckling.

Tampa man wins: Tampa's Doug LaCrosse birdied the first playoff hole to beat Fort Lauderdale's Rick Woulfe and win the 52nd Florida Senior Amateur Championship in Boynton Beach. "I've won the State Mid-Amateur, the State Amateur, but I never had the Senior Amateur, until now," LaCrosse, 60, said. "This ranks up there because it's been a long time." LaCrosse trailed Woulfe by one entering the final hole of regulation but forced a playoff with a difficult up-and-down for par. LaCrosse shot 74 to finish at 2-under 214.

Davis leads RBC Heritage at Hilton Head 04/18/13 [Last modified: Friday, April 19, 2013 12:22am]
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