England’s Matt Wallace and Columbia’s Camilo Villegas each shot a 6-under-par 64 to share the opening-round lead at the RSM Classic at Sea Island, Ga.
The duo sits atop a crowded leaderboard at the $6.6 million event, with eight players tied for third place, one shot off the pace. South Africa’s Rory Sabbatini is among the group that shot 5 under, and is joined by Peter Malnati, Cameron Tringale, Adam Long, Patton Kizzire, Robert Streb, Keegan Bradley and Doug Ghim.
The tournament is being contested over two courses at the Sea Island Resort. Wallace and Villegas each posted their low rounds of the day on the Seaside course. Sabbatini, Malnati, Kizzire and Streb also played Seaside. Tringale, Long, Bradley and Ghim all played Plantation.
Wallace had five birdies and a bogey on his opening nine holes, then had three more birdies and a bogey on the back nine, including a pair of birdies on his final three holes. Villegas did not have a bogey and closed with three birdies on his final four holes.
Defending champion Tyler Duncan struggled in his opening round on Plantation, shooting a 4-over-par 76 that had him tied for 132nd place. It was just three shots better than the worst round of the day.
Webb Simpson, the top ranked player in the field at No. 6, shot a 2-under-par 68 on Seaside to leave him in a tie for 31st place.
A pair of former Masters champions also are in the field. Zach Johnson shot a 4 under 66 on Seaside that left him in a tie for 11th place, while England’s Danny Willett shot a 1 under 69 on Seaside that had him in a tie for 49th.
The tournament is the second to last in 2020 on the PGA Tour’s 2020-21 schedule, with the Mayakoba Golf Classic scheduled for Playa del Carmen, Mexico, from Dec. 3-6. The QBE Shootout, a two-man team event, is scheduled for Dec. 11-13 at Naples, Fla.