Bud Cauley, who once seemed destined for stardom before shoulder surgery sidetracked him, opened the RBC Heritage on Thursday with an eight-under par 63 that showcased the talent for which he was known coming out of college.
Cauley, 27, who spent 15 months away from tour golf following the surgery, had eight birdies and no bogeys at Harbour Town Golf Links to open a two-stroke lead. He birdied his final three holes and four of his last five.
“I drove the ball really well,” Cauley, a former three-time All-American at Alabama, said. “I think that’s kind of first and foremost out here. It’s not that long, but you have to kind of position your ball and I was able to do that and give myself some short clubs in and make some birdies.”
Luke Donald, meanwhile, found himself in a familiar position, in second place. Donald, who tied for second last year at the RBC Heritage and has finished second four times in the last eight years, shot a six-under 65.
Canadian Graham DeLaet, who is seeking his first PGA Tour victory, also posted a 65.
Ian Poulter, Webb Simpson, Ben Crane, Shane Lowry , Russell Henley and Danny Lee are three strokse back with five-under 66s.