Hoge leads at Sanderson Farms championship

WASHINGTON (AFP) – American Tom Hoge rolled in a 46-foot birdie putt at the 18th hole to cap an eight-under par 64 and take a one-shot clubhouse yesterday in the weather-delayed first round of the US PGA Tour Sanderson Farms Championship.

Hoge – coming off a final-round 65 at The Greenbrier last week – was one stroke in front of Australian Cameron Percy, Ireland’s Seamus Power and American Robert Streb, who all made it into the clubhouse at the Country Club of Jackson in Mississippi on 65.

The round was suspended at 2.46pm as storms rolled through. Just over three hours later officials called things off for the day with dozens of players yet to complete the round.

Power teed off on 10 and played his first six holes in six-under par with three straight birdies to open, an eagle at the par-five 14th and a birdie at 15.

He bounced back from bogeys at 16 and 18 with three more birdies coming in, including a 12-footer at his final hole, the ninth.

Percy bookended his round with three straight birdies to open and two to finish.

Tom Hoge watches his approach shot on the 18th fairway during the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship golf tournament. PHOTO: AP

Hoge, Percy and Power are all seeking a first US PGA Tour title.

“Just a great opportunity for a guy like me to go out and have a great week and change my life,” said Hoge, who had to return to the Korn Ferry Tour Finals to regain his card.

Two-time major winner Zach Johnson, meanwhile, is hoping to use the second event of the 2019-2020 season to get his game back on track after a “frustrating” 2018-19 campaign.

He headed a group on five-under 67 that also included Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo and Americans Zac Blair and Mark Anderson.

South Korea’s An Byeong-hun was five-under through 11 holes when play was halted and J T Poston was five-under through eight.

“I’m trying to treat each week as a phenomenal opportunity to get better,” said Johnson.