Jan 8th, 2021
Thomas shares lead at Tournament of Champions
Low scoring opening day in benign conditions in Hawaii
Words: GolfPunk Photography: Getty Images
Racing to the turn in five-under Thomas's round looked to be coming undone at the par-four 13th hole. Finding the long grass off the tee, the American struggled to find his ball but after locating it and chopping out he completed an unlikely par by holing from some forty feet.
Having weathered the storm, Thomas then finished strongly with three birdies in the last five holes to share the lead. The leaders are two ahead of six players on six under that includes major winners Patrick Reed and Sergio Garcia.
"It was a good day. It was a good opening round. It was solid," said Thomas.
"I didn't do anything great, didn't do anything bad, just kind of made my way around the course."
"I mean, the conditions were about as good as you could get them. I mean, not much wind and soft greens, so I was glad to take advantage."
English matched Thomas with his round which included just a single dropped shot and an eagle at the long 9th hole where he pitched in from just short of the green.
"I got off to a really good start, making probably a twenty-footer on No. 2, and that's what you got to do out here. I love these Bermuda greens."
"I feel like my iron game is probably one of my strengths. And I think I only missed two or three greens out there today." said English." So just overall a really good ball-striking round and good putting round."
Patrick Reed moved into a share of third place finishing in style with an eagle at the 18th where he hit his second at the 675-yard hole to a few feet. Reed and Garcia were joined on 67 by Canada's Nick Taylor, South Korean Im Sung-jae, and Americans Ryan Palmer and Robert Streb.
"The wind was down compared to how it normally is over here and you had to go out and shoot a low one," said Reed after his round.
One stroke back in a share of ninth place on five-under is Americans Patrick Cantlay and Brendon Todd and Adam Scott of Australia.
World number one and Masters Champion Dustin Johnson had a quiet day by his high standards. Teeing up for the first time his victory at Augusta in November Johnson had three birdies and a lone birdie in his two-under-par round of 71.