Day one of the Rapiscan Systems Classic at Grand Bear Golf Course

What makes high-profile sporting events like the World Cup and the Olympics even more special is the fact that they only happen once every four years.

On a lesser stage, the Rapiscan Systems Classic can now relate to that sentiment, having waited three years to finally get back on the links in South Mississippi.

Today, 78 golfers teed off at Grand Bear in Saucier for the three-day PGA Tour Champions event, first time being played away from Fallen Oak in the 11-year history of the tournament.

Tim Herron and Padraig Harrington are the two leaders after 18 holes with 36 still left to play over the weekend. Herron said, “Definitely. Especially out here, you’ve got to put yourself in position. Any time, any place, these guys are really good. They can shoot 62, no problem. You’ve got to just keep playing. So, I think the golf course looked pretty difficult for some of the guys, and just happy to be in the position that I’m in.”

Harrington said, “I could be maybe in Valero and playing hard, grinding away and be 30th in the field. I could be playing better than winning here, but winning, you’re under a certain amount of pressure. You don’t want to mess up. Every shot you take on, there’s a certain element of you want to make a birdie, but I don’t want to mess up when you’re leading. So, this is better preparation, better practice to be in contention, no doubt.”

Harrington, a three-time major winner, referring to next week’s Masters.

Round two of the Rapiscan is set for tomorrow and round three on Sunday.

Day one leaderboard, Herron and Harrington at the top, but Stephen Ames and David McKenzie right on their tails at 4- under.

Another half dozen shooting 3-under, World Golf Hall of Famer Retief Goosen still right in the mix.

And seven more at 2-under, defending 2019 champion Kevin Sutherland having a good day as well as other big names Rocco Mediate and Scott Parel.

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