Stewart Cink made history after moving five shots clear in his pursuit of a third RBC Heritage title.

Two-time champion Cink carded a second successive 63 to set the 36-hole record at Harbour Town on Friday.

Cink sits at 16-under 126, five strokes ahead of Corey Conners – eclipsing the previous best midway score of 129 set by Phil Mickelson (2002) and Jack Nicklaus (1975).

The 47-year-old Cink also became the oldest player to hole the 36-hole lead at the RBC Heritage – his last 36-hole lead on the PGA Tour was at the 2008 Travelers Championship.

Cink has catapulted himself to the top of the leaderboard alongside his son and caddie, Reagan.

"He's not just my son caddying, he's a professional caddie doing an excellent job," he said. "He could caddie for any player in the world right now."

Canadian Conners posted a seven-under-par 64 to be outright second, a stroke ahead of Emiliano Grillo (64) heading into the weekend, while overnight leader Cameron Smith (71) fell seven shots behind.

"I think the golfing gods got a few back on me today," Australian Smith said.

Masters runner-up Will Zalatoris shot a four-under-par 67 to be tied for 11th position, nine strokes adrift of Cink.

World number one Dustin Johnson climbed 27th spots following a second-round 67 as he sits 11 shots back.

Defending champion Webb Simpson, meanwhile, is three under at the half-way stage after his 68.

Cameron Smith carded a nine-under-par 62 to set the early pace by one stroke after the first round of the RBC Heritage.

Australian golfer Smith turned in a bogey-free round at Harbour Town on Thursday for the lowest score of his PGA Tour career.

The 2020 Masters runner-up birdied three of the last four holes, just missing an eagle at the last when his approach shot missed the hole by inches. 

Smith finished with nine birdies in the opening round, tying his career record for most birdies in a single round on Tour.

"Everything just came together," Smith told reporters. "It was a great day on the green. I was hitting my irons really good. I had lots of good looks, and I just took advantage of them."

Smith's score matched the lowest opening round in tournament history, joining Davis Love III in 2002 and Peter Lonard three years later. 

The 27-year-old has two career PGA Tour titles, the most recent in January 2020 at the Sony Open in Hawaii. 

"I just feel really comfortable," Smith said. "Mentally I feel very free out there. I feel like I can hit the shot that I need to hit and going ahead and trying to execute it. I just feel like every shot I'm hitting, I'm putting 100 per cent into it, and on a day like today, it's really rewarding."

Two-time champion Stewart Cink started early and was the clubhouse leader with a 63 before Smith's torrid closing stretch left him second on the leaderboard. 

Cink's score on Thursday was the American veteran's best in 75 career rounds at Harbour Town. 

"A round like this doesn't show you there is more out there," Cink said. "A round like this shows you what you're doing is already dead on, and why change anything?"

Matt Wallace and Collin Morikawa are three shots back at six under, followed by Charles Howell III, Billy Horschel and Harold Varner III – who are a stroke further adrift.

Masters runner-up Will Zalatoris shot a three-under-par 68, while world number one Dustin Johnson ended the day eight shots off the pace.

Defending champion Webb Simpson opened his bid for back-to-back titles with a first-round 71, leaving him tied for 67th. 

England's Matt Fitzpatrick and American Webb Simpson took a share of the lead in a star-studded field at the WGC-Workday Championship.

World number 16 Fitzpatrick carded a six-under 66 without dropping a shot on day one at the Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Florida.

Ninth-ranked Simpson closed a clean back nine with three straight birdies and a par to climb up the leaderboard and match the 26-year-old Englishman's score.

Four-time major winner Brooks Koepka dropped his only shot at the par-four 16th, but is alongside three others at five under.

Americans Kevin Kisner and Billy Horschel also carded 67s and were joined in third place by 2017 Masters winner Sergio Garcia, who drained a round-high eight birdies.

World number two Jon Rahm and Patrick Reed were among six players tied in seventh at four under, along with Tony Finau.

Adam Scott saw a potential hole-in-one come back off the flag at the sixth and shot an up-and-down even-par 72, while Justin Thomas recovered from dropping four shots in three holes to close with three birdies in the last four to sign for a one-over 73.

World number one Dustin Johnson posted a pair of double bogeys on his way to a five-over 77. That score was matched by US Open champion Bryson DeChambeau, who dropped shots on seven holes.

Rory McIlroy made a decent start, shooting a three-under 69 to sit in a tie for 13th.

The first World Golf Championships event of the season kicks off the Florida swing of the tour, heading towards The Players Championship starting on March 11.

Matthew NeSmith and Mark Hubbard earned a share of the lead following the opening round of the Phoenix Open.

American pair NeSmith and Hubbard both posted 63s to end Thursday a shot clear of countrymen Nate Lashley and Sam Burns at TPC Scottsdale.

Making his first start at the Phoenix Open, NeSmith holed four birdies and an eagle from his opening nine holes to earn an early lead at six under.

NeSmith closed out the round atop the leaderboard with Hubbard, who was flawless after tallying eight birdies, including his final four holes.

Steve Stricker is outright fifth following his six-under-par 65 in Scottsdale, Arizona, where Xander Schauffele is among six players five under through 18 holes.

Stricker joined Tom Lehman (2011, round one, aged 51) as the only players over the age of 50 to shoot 65 in the PGA Tour event.

Former world number one Jordan Spieth is four strokes off the pace following his first-round 67.

Struggling American star Spieth, who has not won since 2017, missed the cut at last week's Farmers Insurance Open.

Four-time major champion Brooks Koepka is a shot further back after mixing seven birdies with a double-bogey and two bogeys.

Koepka won the tournament in 2015 – his first PGA Tour triumph.

As for Rory McIlroy, he is seven shots behind NeSmith and Hubbard heading into Friday's second round.

Without a victory since the 2019 WGC-HSBC Champions, four-time major winner McIlroy recovered from a double-bogey, bogey start to open with a one-under-par 70 in his tournament bow.

Meanwhile, Webb Simpson started his title defence with a two-over-par 73 – a shot better off than 219 winner Rickie Fowler.

Nick Taylor climbed into a two-stroke lead at the halfway mark of the Sony Open in Hawaii after carding an eight-under 62 on Friday.

The Canadian kick-started his second round with an eagle at the 18th hole – his ninth – before getting to 12 under at Waialae Country Club.

Taylor was one under through eight holes in his round before chipping in for the eagle, and he picked up another five shots on the back nine.

A two-time winner on the PGA Tour, Taylor is two shots clear of Stewart Cink (63), Webb Simpson (65), Russell Henley (64), Vaughn Taylor (66) and Chris Kirk (65).

Henley is a former champion of the event, lifting the trophy in 2013, while Kirk was runner-up a year later.

On what is a congested leaderboard, another eight players are just a shot further back.

Joaquin Niemann (69) and Peter Malnati (69), who shared the overnight lead with Jason Kokrak (71), are among them, alongside Charley Hoffman (65), Collin Morikawa (65), Marc Leishman (65), Hideki Matsuyama (65), Billy Horschel (66) and Brendan Steele (66).

Steele was runner-up last year and is again well-placed to contend after posting rounds of 65 and 66.

Horschel, meanwhile, is the only player in the field bogey-free through 36 holes. It is the third time in his PGA Tour career he has been bogey-free through two rounds.

Defending champion Cameron Smith carded a four-under 66 to sit at seven under – in a tie for 19th in a group that includes Kokrak.

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