Sebastian Munoz fired an eagle and eight birdies in a 10-under-par 60 on the Sea Island Seaside course on Thursday to take a one-shot lead in the RSM Classic.
As low scores abounded on the two courses in use – par-70 Seaside and the par-72 Plantation course – Munoz managed to get his nose in front thanks in part to a nine-foot eagle putt at the par-five 15th.
Munoz made another nine-footer at the 18th to finish one shot in front of a group of four players, with another four two shots back on eight-under and 11 players just three adrift on seven-under.
Munoz admitted that even after feeling good in Wednesday’s pro-am, he didn’t see a 10-under round coming.
“I knew I was hitting it well … I just let it happen,” he said.
Munoz almost felt like he was playing catch-up after failing to birdie either the first or second holes.
“I hit a great shot on three, made that one and then kind of got it going on five, six, seven.
“That eagle on 15 made me think I can do this. Unfortunately, I didn’t birdie 16 or 17, but I’m really happy. Really, really happy.”
Making it look easy.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) November 18, 2021
American Zach Johnson carded a 61 at Seaside while Mackenzie Hughes, Scott Stallings and Chez Reavie posted 10-under 63s on the Plantation course.
Canadian Corey Conners, playing his first tournament since becoming a father, fired a 62 at Seaside and was joined on eight-under by Venezuelan Jhonattan Vegas, Russell Henley and Talor Gooch who posted 64s at Plantation.
“I’ve never seen it this calm,” Henley said of the benign conditions that led to the explosion of low scores.
“It seems like today there wasn’t a breath of wind, just barely anything, and it’s rare here, so I knew there were going to be low scores. I feel like the pins were in somewhat gettable spots if you’re in the fairway.”
Johnson, who was nine-under through 15 holes, admitted the thought of a 59 crossed his mind – but what he really remembered was reaching eight-under with a 16-foot birdie at the 13th and realising he was only tied for fourth.
“I was like, I’m eight-under at T-4?” he said. “I gave myself pretty good looks and that’s all you can hope for.”
© Agence France-Presse