HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — Rory Sabbatini shot a 7-under 64 for his lowest round ever at Harbour Town Golf Links and a two-stroke lead Thursday in the RBC Heritage, with top-ranked Dustin Johnson five shots behind.

The talk leading up to the tournament was of the return of Johnson, the South Carolina native who grew up about three hours northwest of the tourney yet hadn’t played in South Carolina’s lone PGA Tour stop since 2009. But it was Sabbatini who quickly moved to the top in perfect, windless conditions on what’s typically one of the most wind-swept layouts of the year.

Matt Kuchar, Billy Horschel, Chesson Hadley and John Huh all shot 66. Johnson had a run of four straight birdies in the middle of his round but ended up with a 69. He was tied for 20th.

Sabbatini, starting on No. 10, birdied four holes on his front nine. He made a 52-foot putt on the par-3 14th and put his approach on No. 18 – the Pete Dye course’s signature hole with the lighthouse in the backdrop – to about 7 feet to set up another birdie.

LPGA: Top-ranked Shanshan Feng of China birdied three of her last five holes Wednesday to take a one-shot lead after a windy first round of the Lotte Championship at Kapolei, Hawaii.

Feng, who finished at 5-under 67, is the first golfer from China – female or male – to reach No. 1 in the world rankings. She insists she “gets more excited” in the wind, which should make the tourney ideal for her.

EUROPEAN: Home favorite Jon Rahm shot a 5-under 67 to finish one off the lead after the first round of the Spanish Open at Madrid.

Marc Warren of Scotland and Paul Dunne of Ireland set the pace with 66s.


TIGER WOODS filed his entry to play in the U.S. Open for the first time since 2015.

The USGA said Woods entered four days after tying for 32nd in the Masters. Even exempt players have to formally enter the U.S. Open.

BRIDGESTONE WILL switch its title sponsorship at Firestone in Ohio next year from a World Golf Championship to the Senior Players Championship, which the tour regards as one of the five majors on the Tour.

Firestone has hosted tournaments since the 1950s.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.