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Golf - Lowry leads at Hilton Head, Molinari struggles

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By Reuters

(Reuters) – Ireland’s Shane Lowry rediscovered his touch to grab the first-round lead at the RBC Heritage in South Carolina on Thursday while Italian Francesco Molinari struggled in his first start since his Masters letdown.

Lowry, who won the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in January but missed the cut at last week’s the Masters, carded a bogey-free six-under-par 65 at the Harbour Town course on Hilton Head Island for a one-shot lead.

Americans Trey Mullinax, Daniel Berger, Luke List, Ryan Moore and Ryan Palmer were all one shot back.

World number one Dustin Johnson mixed four birdies with a lone bogey for a three-under 68 that left him in a share of 15th.

Molinari, who took a two-shot lead into the final round at Augusta National before a pair of double-bogeys on the back nine opened the door for eventual winner Tiger Woods, was nine shots back of leader Lowry.

The British Open champion began his day at the par-four 10th and mixed a double-bogey with four bogeys and three birdies en route to a three-over-par 74.

Other notables in the field include three-times major champion Jordan Spieth and Englishman Tommy Fleetwood, who each carded even-par 71s.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Peter Rutherford)