‘Bit tired’ Scottie Scheffler 6 back of early RBC Heritage lead

J.T. Poston shot an 8-under-par round of 63 to build a three-shot lead after Thursday’s morning wave of the first round of the RBC Heritage on Hilton Head Island, S.C.

World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler carded a 2-under 69 at Harbour Town Golf Links four days after claiming his second Masters title. Scheffler, who is seeking his fourth win in his past five starts, rebounded from a double bogey on the third hole to sink four birdies on the day and record his 37th consecutive round of par or better.

“I felt like I played a lot better than my score,” he said. “I tried to give myself a little bit of grace today, just because I was a bit tired. I shanked that bunker shot today on 3 and I was kind of like, ‘OK, that’s a bit unusual. I think maybe mentally I might not quite be there.’

“But I didn’t show up to the tournament to hear any sort of ceremonial, to hear a bunch of congratulations and whatnot. I came to play and to compete, and so I was fairly frustrated by the time we got to about 13 or 14 and I look up and J.T. is already 8 under or whatever it is and I’m sitting there almost over par.

“But I put up a good fight, had a good finish. It was nice to put something up in red numbers today.”

Poston was three shots clear of fellow Americans Austin Eckroat and Sahith Theegala along with Canada’s Mackenzie Hughes, who each carded opening-round 66s. Another shot back after the morning wave were Russell Henley and Cameron Young.

Poston was on 59 watch after making the turn in 6-under 30 and adding a birdie on No. 10. He suffered his lone bogey of the day on No. 12 and then added a pair of birdies over his final six holes to build the three-shot cushion.

“I felt like it was one of those days where if I could give myself a look, and I felt pretty confident in being able to make those putts, whether it was a close one or a 20-, 25-footer,” Poston said. “It sort of freed up the tee to green a little bit, I guess you could say.”

The RBC Heritage is the fifth signature event of the 2024 season, and features a $20 million purse along with 700 FedEx Cup points to the winner.

“When I saw that it was elevated, it’s definitely one of the ones that I had circled on my schedule for the year,” Poston said. “It’s one of my favorite events. I’ve played well. I’m just excited to be here.”

Jordan Spieth, the 2022 champion who lost in a playoff to Matt Fitzpatrick last year, went out in 3 under on Thursday before suffering a pair of bogeys on the back nine and settling for a 1-under round of 70. He’s tied with a group that includes Sam Burns, Tony Finau and reigning rookie of the year Eric Cole.

NOTES: Fifty-four players in the field competed in the Masters last week, including all five players who finished tied for third or better. Five players are competing in their first signature event of the year: Erik Barnes, Brice Garnett, Chandler Phillips and Alejandro Tosti via the Aon Swing 5 standings along with sponsor exemption Kevin Kisner. Victor Perez was bumped from the Aon Swing 5 when Erik van Rooyen finished T55 at the Masters. That pushed Thomas Detry from the Aon Next 10 to the Aon Swing 5 and Perez out of this week’s field. … Five-time champion Davis Love III holds the tournament record with 33 career starts. … World No. 6 Viktor Hovland withdrew after missing the cut at the Masters.