J.T. Poston grabs RBC Heritage lead; 'tired' Scottie Scheffler 6 back

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[April 19, 2024]  J.T. Poston shot an 8-under-par 63 Thursday and held a two-shot lead after one round of the RBC Heritage on Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Poston had a three-shot edge after the morning wave, before Collin Morikawa and Ireland's Seamus Power shot 6-under 65s in the afternoon. Ludvig Aberg of Sweden is part of a tie for fourth at 5-under 66.

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," Scheffler 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 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."

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Power birdied his first three holes to launch his round, while Morikawa had four birdies through 10 holes, suffered his only bogey at No. 11 and added three more birdies down the stretch. The two-time major winner, who tied for third at the Masters, stuck his tee shot at the par-3 17th to 6 feet to set up a birdie.

"When you find this little rhythm and you find this kind of -- just pathway, just to play golf, it's very simple," Morikawa said. "Sometimes when you're playing bad, you look back and you wonder why it can't be that simple. But it's a nice little groove to be in, and hopefully we can keep this going throughout the rest of this week."

Aberg finished in second at Augusta last week in his first major start. The 24-year-old made his RBC Heritage debut with four birdies, a bogey and an eagle Thursday. He put his second shot at the par-5 fifth inside 9 feet for an easy eagle putt.

"My focus shifted right when I got here," Aberg said. "We were trying to make sure that last week was last week and this week was this week."

The group tied at 4-under 67 contains a host of notable names, including Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, Patrick Cantlay, Cameron Young and Russell Henley.

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.

--Field Level Media

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