KAPALUA, United States (AFP) – Kevin Tway got off to a roaring start in his Tournament of Champions debut, firing a bogey-free seven under 66 for one-shot lead in the PGA Tour’s first round of 2019.
Tway had seven birdies and no bogeys as the Tour winners from 2018 kicked off the new year on Thursday at the Plantation Course in Kapalua, Hawaii.
“When you’re making a lot of birdies it makes everything better,” Tway said.
Tway led by one shot over Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas and Gary Woodland, who sit at six under. Johnson and Thomas are the past two winners at Kapalua.
World number eight Rory McIlroy and number 14 Jason Day are tied for sixth at four under. World number six Jon Rahm is tied for 11th at three under.
Tway qualified for this winners-only field by capturing the Safeway Open for his first PGA Tour victory.
“I was just trying to drink a lot of water. But I didn’t think I was going to play that good, to be honest,” he said.
“I hit the ball well, kept the ball in play, made a few putts, controlled my ball in the wind.”