Last week it was a guy named Cameron contending at The Masters — Thursday it was another Cameron — Cameron Young, setting the day one pace at the RBC Heritage.
Young went around the Harbour Town Golf Links in just 63 shots and it was an exceptional round considering the morning winds were blowing 15-18 miles per hour and they dropped down for the afternoon wave.
Harbour Town is a special stop on the PGA Tour. The course was one that started Jack Nicklaus in the design business.
Back in 1968, Sea Pines Resort founder Charles Fraser, the man behind much of the growth at Hilton Head Island, wanted a championship course with an old-fashion look and feel to it. He also wanted a big name attached to it. He called Jack Nicklaus, who was only 28 at the time.
Nicklaus was a newbie in the world of course design and asked Fraser if he could work with a guy named Pete Dye. Nicklaus and Dye played against each other as amateurs and did the Golf Club outside Columbus.
“Never heard of him,” was Fraser’s answer when Nicklaus threw out Dye’s name.
But Fraser finally said yes and the project began in July 1968.
Despite it’s slot the week after a major championship, the Heritage has been a popular stop on the PGA Tour. Hilton Head is a special place, the largest barrier island on the east coast of the United States.
The course is a position layout, trees actually make the fairways smaller with the overhanging branches. It’s not typically a bomber’s paradise but Young is a bomber and basically had a perfect round. He was two shots better than Joaquin Niemann, who opened with 65. Niemann had the best round of the afternoon wave.
Graham McDowell, Mito Pereira, Corey Conners, Patrick Cantlay and Shane Lowry were three shots back of Young with 66s on the par 71 layout.
Cantlay and four other players from the world’s top 10 are in the field. Collin Morikawa struggled a bit and shot 70 as did Justin Thomas. Cam Smith and Dustin Johnson struggled even more — both were over par. Johnson shot 72, Smith 73.