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Rory Sabbatini leads after first round of RBC Heritage with bogey-free 64

Sabbatini overcame concerns about his back by making seven birdies.

South African Rory Sabbatini shot 64 to hold a two-shot lead after the first round of the RBC Heritage in South Carolina.

Sabbatini’s bogey-free round featured seven birdies, including one at the last, as he overcame doubts over whether he would even play after tweaking his back earlier in the week.

A host of Americans were behind Sabbatini, with John Huh, Billy Horschel, Matt Kuchar and Chesson Hadley all at five-under par.

Scot Martin Laird and Swede Jonas Blixt were the highest Europeans on the leaderboard as they both card four-under par 67s.

English pair Ian Poulter and Matthew Fitzpatrick are in tied-20th place, five shots adrift of Sabbatini, while Graeme McDowell is in a fight to make the cut having dropped shots at three par fours in his round of 73.

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