Spieth surges as Leishman, Harman lead

12 January, 2018, 18:13 | Author: Cecil Buchanan
  • Spieth surges as Leishman, Harman lead

Marc Leishman has rolled on from his groundbreaking 2017 season by seizing the lead in the new year's first United States PGA Tour tournament in Hawaii.

Lurking just one shot behind the joint leaders is 2013 Tournament of Champions victor Dustin Johnson, the world No.1 responding from two early bogeys as he carded a five-under 68. Americans Pat Perez and Chris Stroud share fourth alongside Jhonattan Vegas of Venezuela.

World number two Spieth recorded his first ever over-par score at Kapalua, a 75 that left him ahead of only three players in the small but elite 34-man field.

As Maui's infamous trade winds whipped up, Leishman missed five birdie putts inside 15 feet on Kapalua's unpredictable, bermuda grass greens.

Spieth said he had made some "significant changes" in his putting set-up over the past month that he expects will take several rounds to feel comfortable. So its unfortunate that they had a little disease issue, but I think the Tours done a really good job of managing them and I think theyve got a great game plan for the next couple years of redoing some of the problem greens that they have had.

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Fowler joined in the frat house-style revelry that followed Spieth's wins in the Masters, US Open and Open, plus that of Thomas in the US PGA. "Happy with eight birdies, good start to a nice tournament".

"Really high", he said of his confidence level.

Global challengers include Japan's Hideki Matsuyama, Spain's Jon Rahm, Australians Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith, Sweden's Jonas Blixt and South Korean Kim Si Woo. "I've got to keep working, but confidence certainly makes it easier to play well".

In this young PGA Tour season, the Idyllwild native goes into this week's tournament in 4th place on the FedExCup points list and in 45th place on the Official World Golf Ranking, both of which are important to determining eligibility to play in the majors and in other prestigious PGA Tour tournaments during the year.

"Last year was pretty good year for me, moved into top 50 in the world".

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