The Scottish duo of Russell Knox and Martin Laird were heading for cold showers after recording similar four-under par 66s in sweltering conditions on the opening day in North Carolina, writes Bernie McGuire.

They each recorded six birdies and two bogeys in temperatures in the low 90s and near 70% humidity on the Sedgefield Country Club course in Greensboro.

Daytona-based Matt Every raced to the clubhouse lead holing his second shot for an eagle 2 at the first en route to a nine-under par 61 on the par 70 lay-out and two clear of three players including former US Open winner Webb Simpson at seven-under.

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A week after the disappointment of missing the US PGA Championship cut less than two hours away in Charlotte, a delighted Knox said: “I would have to place this

morning in the top-three hottest conditions I’ve ever experienced playing golf.”

Laird, playing in what is virtually a “home” event, said: “I always feel very comfortable and play decent on this golf course but the course was there for the taking in these still conditions this morning.”