Home comfort helps Harman fly high at Sea Island

Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:27pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Brian Harman took advantage of home comforts, ideal weather and a red-hot putter as he charged into a share of the lead in Thursday's opening round of the $5.6 million McGladrey Classic at Sea Island in Georgia.

The diminutive American left-hander, who won his first PGA Tour title at the John Deere Classic in July, mixed six birdies with a lone bogey on the way to a sparkling five-under-par 65 in the third event of the 2014-15 season.

Harman birdied four of his last seven holes on the Seaside Course to end the day level with compatriots Michael Thompson, Will MacKenzie and double heart-transplant recipient Erik Compton.

Pencil-slim American Chesson Hadley, the PGA Tour's Rookie of the Year for the 2013-14 season, was among a group of eight players who opened with 66s.

Harman, born in nearby Savannah and a resident at Sea Island, rebounded strongly from a bogey on his fifth hole of the day, the par-four 14th, to surge into a four-way tie at the top of the leaderboard.

"I got off to a little bit of a shaky start but finally figured it out and made some good swings, made some putts and felt really good," the 27-year-old told Golf Channel.

The short five-minute commute from his home to the golf course was another huge bonus for Harman.

"It's great," he smiled. "It's the only tournament of the year I get to sleep in my own bed. I'm fortunate to be lucky enough to live down here and even more fortunate to have a tournament in my back yard."

Thompson, like Harman, flourished on the ultra-smooth greens at Sea Island.   Continued...

May 2, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; Brian Harman tees off on the sixteenth hole during the second round of the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports