RBC Heritage

Aussies Day, Leishman continue solid play in first round at Harbour Town

Pair from Down Under 2 shots behind leader at RBC Heritage

ccox@islandpacket.comApril 18, 2013 

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PGA Tour golfer Jason Day maps out his putt at No. 9 Thursday afternoon during the first round of the 45th RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island, S.C.

SARAH WELLIVER — Sarah Welliver

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As he sank a birdie putt on the 18th green last Sunday at Augusta National, Adam Scott turned to the crowd behind him and belted out a thunderous roar.

"Come on, Aussie!" he yelled to the onlookers.

The 32-year-old would emerge victorious two holes later by staving off Angel Cabrera in a playoff, breaking what had been a dubious honor for Australian golfers in the process. After legends like Greg Norman failed to pull it off, Scott had become the first Australian in the Masters' 77-year history to don the coveted green jacket.

Scott's Aussie scream remains a battle cry less than one week later.

Fellow countrymen Jason Day and Marc Leishman -- who finished third and tied for fourth, respectively, at last week's Masters -- kept their recent hot streaks alive Thursday in the first round of the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing, as both golfers fired 4-under 67s to finish the day in a tie for fourth with Johnson Wagner.

"For a population that I think it's around 23 million people in Australia, and the last time I checked the land size is a little bit bigger than North America, we do pretty well in sports," Day said. "The one thing that we didn't have in sports was the Masters, and Scotty picked that up last week, which was a tremendous achievement.

" ... It would be great to win this week."

The two Australians played their opening round at Harbour Town Golf Links together alongside Webb Simpson. The trio combined for a bogey-free round, thanks in large part to the unique relationship Day and Leishman have formed with one another. Their friendship helps form a certain comfort level for the two out on the course, Leishman noted.

"It's just, I guess, some personality things that we can talk about some stuff from home or just don't have to think about what we say," he said. "A lot of the words we use in Australia are different to what you use over here. I can say some stuff that I said to Jason today, I could say to you guys and you wouldn't know what I said."

The pairing was a familiar one for Leishman, who played alongside Scott in Sunday's final round in Augusta. He finished the Masters at 5 under after finding himself tied atop the leaderboard following his opening round. Day, meanwhile, stood alone in the lead on the final day with three holes to play before coming up two strokes short of the playoff.

"It's awesome. There was a lot of interest back home with the Masters," Leishman said. "Obviously with Scotty winning, but with a few of us having a chance to win. It's exciting for the future of Australian golf.

"Hopefully we can all keep playing well and keep the excitement levels up."

Day and Leishman carded four birdies apiece Thursday. They are just two shots back of leader Brian Davis.

"We just want to come out here and play well," Day said. "We're coming off a couple of the best finishes that we've had this year, myself and Marc. We're just running off confidence right now."

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