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Hammer leads the RSM Classic as competitors split across two courses
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Liam Phillips
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Beau Hossler lines up a putt on his way to an opening 64 at the RSM Classic
Beau Hossler lines up a putt on his way to an opening 64 at the RSM Classic

Cole Hammer is the leader after the first round of the RSM Classic, enjoying his only round for the week at Sea Island Resort's Plantation course on Thursday to post an eight-under 64.

The RSM Classic utilizes two courses at Sea Island Resort – the par-72 Plantation course, and the par-70 Seaside course. Each competitor will get one round on each course before the cut heading into the weekend, with the final two rounds to be played on the Seaside course.

Starting on the back-nine, 23-year-old Hammer posted nine birdies and seven pars from his first 16 holes, before his first blemish came with a bogey on the 17th to finish alone atop the leaderboard at eight under.

In second place is Ben Griffin, who also played the Plantation course, going bogey-free for his seven-under 65.

Beau Hossler and Callum Taren are tied for third after shooting six-under 64s on the Seaside course, with that appearing as the harder of the two tracks. 

There is a logjam tied for sixth at five under, and of the 16 payers to shoot five under or better, only four – Hossler, Taren, Chris Gotterup and Andrew Putnam – did it on the Seaside course.

Rising talent Sahith Theegala and recent winner of the Bermuda Championship Seamus Power are one further back at four under, with Italy's Francesco Molinari and Canada's Taylor Pendrith at three under.

It was a tough day out for some of the field's biggest names, with former Masters champion Danny Willett struggling to three over on the Seaside course, while former world number one Jason Day had similar issues on his way to four over.

The shot of the day went to Webb Simpson, who took advantage of his only round this week at the Plantation course with an ace on the par-three third hole. 

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