Seamus Power the best of the Irish after first round of RSM Classic

Pádraig Harrington was left to rue a double bogey finish as Chris Kirk leads in Georgia

Seamus Power is the best of the irish trio after the first round of the RSM Classic in Sea Island, Georgia. Photo: Robert Laberge/Getty Images

Seamus Power is the best of the irish trio after the first round of the RSM Classic in Sea Island, Georgia. Photo: Robert Laberge/Getty Images

 

Chris Kirk carded an eagle on the final hole to secure his spot at the top of the leaderboard after the first day of play at the RSM Classic in Sea Island.

The event, which is played on two courses, saw players take on either the Plantation Course or the Seaside Course, with the seven lowest scores of the first day coming from the former.

All three of the Irish contingent were out on the Plantation Course with Seamus Power coming off best. The Waterford man carded four birdies and just a single bogey to sign for a three under par round of 69 to join a tie for 28th.

Pádraig Harrington is a further two shots back but will rue a double bogey seven at the 18th hole after consecutive birdies on the previous two holes.

For Graeme McDowell it was a day where he struggled to get going with just a single birdie coming at the fourth before consecutive bogeys to finish left him at one over par.

Leader Kirk walked in his eagle putt from 17 feet on the par-5 18th hole, finishing the round with a nine-under 63 and putting him one shot ahead of his closest rival Joel Dahmen.

There was a three-way tie for third place, with Jason Kokrak, Hudson Swafford and Brian Gay all scoring seven-under 65.

University of Georgia alumnus Swafford, one of 12 local residents playing in the tournament, sank a 27-foot putt for birdie on the par-5 8th hole.

Scotsman Russell Knox carded an opening-round five-under 67, putting him in eighth place alongside nine others, with six birdies and a bogey on the par-3 15th hole.

Meanwhile, former FedEx Cup champion Brandt Snedeker made his first appearance since June, despite still suffering from a chest injury which has marred his season.

Playing on the the Seaside Course, he finished at three-under 67 and later told the PGA Tour website he was hoping to “get back in the mix” with a low round on day two.

Kirk is aiming to clinch his fifth PGA Tour victory, having won at Sea Island four years ago.

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