Garrett Willis tees off on the first tee during the first round of The Heritage golf tournament in Hilton Head Island, S.C., Thursday, April 21, 2011. Willis finished at 7-under-par for the day. (AP Photo/Stephen Morton)
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) -- Garrett Willis had a run of six straight birdies for a 7-under 64 and a one-stroke lead Thursday at The Heritage.
Willis was a shot in front of Arjun Atwal, Matt Bettencourt, Chad Campbell and Tim Herron at Harbour Town Golf Links. Mark Wilson, Camilo Villegas and 2009 Heritage champion Brian Gay were two strokes back.
Luke Donald, the world's No. 3 player, topped a group at 67.
Willis, the 2001 winner in Tucson in his first event as a PGA Tour member, planned to switch to a belly putter this week, but stuck with his longtime Scotty Cameron model putter he called "Old Faithful."
The decision was a good one as Willis moved in front with his birdie run. He broke free from the pack at 6 under with a 15-footer for birdie on No. 16.
The round was slowed by a rain delay of more than 2 hours, leaving 18 players who must finish Friday before starting the second round.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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