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-par 67s and trailed leader Brian Davis by two shots Thursday after the first round at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head Island, S.C.
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 a 65 to pull past Day and Leishman, who were back in contention after falling short at Augusta National.
Kevin Streelman and Charley Hoffman were a stroke behind Davis at 66, while Johnson Wagner also shot 67. US Open champ Webb Simpson led a group at 68.
Day and Leishman excelled despite the fatigue that builds up playing a major — ‘‘I felt like I was there for a month,’’ Day said of Augusta — and both found their stride in a group of three that included Simpson.
None of the three made bogey on the round. Simpson headed up a group three shots behind that included defending RBC Heritage champ Carl Pettersson and Bill Haas. Luke Donald, sixth in the world, was a stroke back at 69.
Not all the Masters contenders who chose to play — there were 14 of the world’s top 29 golfers in the field — came back with a strong round. Brandt Snedeker, at No. 5 the highest-ranked player in the field, bogeyed four of his first nine holes and was eight shots back after a 73. Snedeker came into last Sunday with a share of the Masters lead, but fell off with a final-round 75.
Masters champion Scott is taking the week off, as are the world’s top two players, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.
LPGA — Suzann Pettersen rebounded from her lone bogey with three back-nine birdies at wind-swept Ko Olina to take the second-round lead in the Lotte Championship at Kapolei, Hawaii.
The 32-year-old Norwegian, a 10-time LPGA Tour winner ranked sixth in the world, shot a 3-under 69 in the challenging conditions in her afternoon round to reach 10-under 134.
Defending champ Ai Miyazato was a stroke back after a 68. Second-ranked Stacy Lewis was alone at 6 under after a 71. Local favorite Michelle Wie followed her opening 70 with a 76 to make the cut by a stroke.
European — Felipe Aguilar, Morten Madsen, and Gary Stal shot 4-under 68s to share the first-round lead at the Spanish Open in Valencia, Spain.