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Kuchar bounces back after Masters near-miss

updated 6:40 PM EDT, Thu April 17, 2014
Things are looking up for Matt Kuchar after a disappointing end to his Masters challenge last Sunday.
Things are looking up for Matt Kuchar after a disappointing end to his Masters challenge last Sunday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Matt Kuchar joint leader after opening round of RBC Heritage
  • Masters runner-up Jordan Spieth three shots off lead on two-under par
  • Lee Westwood leads Malaysian Open by one stroke after day one in Kuala Lumpur

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(CNN) -- If Matt Kuchar is feeling any ill effects of his Masters mishap it didn't show in the opening round of the RBC Heritage in South Carolina on Thursday.

The world No. 6, who tied for fifth following a disappointing two-over par final round of 74 at Augusta National last Sunday, bounced back at the Harbour Town Golf Links firing a flawless five-under par round of 66.

Starting at the 10th, Kuchar fired two birdies on his opening nine before claiming three more coming home to leave the 35-year-old tied for the lead with Scott Langley and William McGirt. Harris English is fourth on three under after opening with a round of 68.

Newly-crowned Masters champion Bubba Watson is sitting out this tournament but his closest rival for the Green Jacket and final round playing partner, Jordan Spieth was back out on course Thursday.

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The 20-year-old started in assured fashion posting a 69 after being paired with another Watson -- U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom.

The veteran shot a four-over 75 while casting an eye prospective team members for this September's match at Gleneagles, Scotland.

Spieth's two-under par total leaves him in a 15-way tie for fifth which includes compatriot Bo Van Pelt and Australia's Robert Allenby.

Luke Donald is one of 16 players tied at one-under par with defending champion Graeme McDowell a shot further back after an even-par round of 71.

Westwood heads multi-cultural Malaysia leaderboard

Lee Westwood put another major disappointment behind him posting an opening round 65 at the Malaysian Open on Thursday.

The Englishman, who finished seventh at Augusta last weekend, fired a seven-under par round to finish top after day one at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club.

Westwood heads a truly international leaderboard with Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts his closest chaser currently on six under.

Immediately below him are Northern Ireland's Michael Hoey and Ricardo Santos from Portugal who both shot five-under rounds of 67 on Thursday.

Four players -- Jbe Kruger from South Africa, France's Julien Quesne, Masahiro Kawamura from Japan and Scot Scott Jamieson -- are tied for fifth on four under with a further nine players sitting at three-under par.

Read more: How many more majors can Bubba win?

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