Kevin Tway opened with a bogey-free 66 and will take a one-shot lead into the second round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
The 30-year old Oklahoma native, who was battling an illness earlier in the week, finished his first day at Kapalua’s Plantation Course with 11 pars and seven birdies, highlighted by five gains during an eight-hole stretch on Nos. 2-9.
“I played a few holes in the pro-am yesterday and then hole 5 it kind of felt like I was walking on a water bed the whole hole and so I withdrew from the pro-am, went to the doctor, had like an ear infection and sinus infection,” explained Tway, who won his maiden PGA Tour title at the Safeway Open – one of the eight fall series events.
“So got some pills and feel a little bit better today but still a little dizzy.”
A group of three players were one off the pace at 6-under par, including Gary Woodland, along with the 2018 and 2017 tournament winners, Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas, respectively.
Woodland was first in the clubhouse with a 67, after posting a round which included two bogeys against eight birdies, highlighted by a three-birdie stretch on Nos. 9, 10, and 12.
Thomas, who was paired with Billy Horschel in the penultimate group, signed off on a card comprised of a single bogey offset by seven birdies, highlighted by four circles on the five closing holes (Nos. 12, 14, 15, 17, and 18) to match Woodland.
“I was fortunate enough where all my birdie putts were short on the back nine,” said Thomas. “I think the longest one I made was 18 and I was 12, 13 feet, something like that.
“But no, I had a lot of other opportunities, a lot of other putts that I could have made. But I just was staying patient because I know how easily and how you can get hot out here on this course, especially with the finish.”
Playing in the final pairing, alongside Bryson DeChambeau, Johnson also finished with a lone bogey offset by seven birdies, including a final gain on No. 18 to make it a threesome at T2.
Alone in fifth was Marc Leishman at 5-under par 68. The 34-year old Aussie offset a double bogey on No. 17 with an earlier eagle (No. 5) while adding five birdies – all on the back-nine stretch.
A group of six players were one further back at 4-under par 69, headlined by Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, and DeChambeau.
World No. 1 Brooks Koepka struggled to a 3-over par 76 with four birdies against five bogeys and a double. Koepka was just one shot better than his playing partner, Keegan Bradley, who shot a 4-over 77.
Kevin Na withdrew from the tournament.
SENTRY TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS
TOP 5 LEADERS: ROUND ONE
1. Kevin Tway -7
2. Justin Thomas -6
2. Dustin Johnson -6
2. Gary Woodland -6
5. Marc Leishman -5
STAT LEADERS: ROUND ONE
Driving: Cameron Champ – 311.2 yards
Fairways: Ted Potter Jr. – 15/15, 100%
Greens: Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson – 17/18, 94.4%
Putting: Dustin Johnson – 1.500
Scoring: Gary Woodland – 8 birdies
VIDEO: ROUND-ONE HIGHLIGHTS
“I had been here once before with dad, but I was like 16, so I remember the holes a little bit. But, yeah, dad kind of told me little wide fairway so it should suit my game and the winds, I also like that. So, yeah, it played about like how I saw on TV.”
– Kevin Tway