April 18 2013
Day and Leishman each shot 67 and are near the lead at Harbour Town. (Lecka/Getty Images)
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. -- Four days ago, an Australian won the Green Jacket for the first time. Could a plaid one be next?
Marc Leishman and Jason Day each shot 67 Thursday at Harbour Town, where they are two shots off the lead of Brian Davis after the opening round of the RBC Heritage.
"Playing last week it felt like there was pressure the whole week," said Day, who finished third at the Masters. "Coming into this week it's pretty laid back, but it is a TOUR event and I want to do well."
A bogey-free round was a good way to start.
"It was pretty boring, actually," Day said. "I like boring rounds, though, right? Boring rounds are pretty nice to have."
The same could be said for Leishman's. He also had four birdies and no bogeys.
"I'm working hard to not have that letdown," said Leishman, who finished fourth last week. "I've got two weeks off after this week. I'm planning on being in contention all week, and then really enjoying my two weeks off."
Neither would be the first Aussie to win here. Four have done it before -- most recently Aaron Baddeley in 2006.
Still, bouncing back from a disappointing finish at the Masters -- both made critical bogeys late to fall short of reaching a playoff -- wasn't easy.
"I just had to come into this week, make sure that I got enough rest and just try to keep that momentum rolling," Day said. "Normally when you see guys playing well, normally it goes in bunches."
Similarly, Leishman said when he arrived at Harbour Town he felt exhausted.
"The energy was really low and legs felt heavy," Leishman continued. "But I actually went in the ocean yesterday and did a bit of stretching. The legs feel a little bit better, feel refreshed."
So is Australia's place in golf it seems.
Earlier in the week, Stuart Appleby said he hoped Scott's Masters win would be a boost to the nation of just 23 million.
The last time Australians won in back-to-back weeks on TOUR? In 2010, when Day and Scott won the HP Byron Nelson Championship and Valero Texas Open, respectively.
"There was a lot of interest back home with the Masters," Leishman said. "With Scotty winning, but with a few of us having a chance to win. It's exciting for the future of Australian golf."