Los Angeles - Australia's Marc Leishman fired eight birdies
in a six-under par 67 on Thursday to seize a one-stroke lead in the US PGA
Tour's Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.
Leishman strung together four birdies in a row from the
seventh through the 10th holes on the par-73 Plantation Course at Kapalua on
He rolled in a 19-foot birdie putt at the 17th to take sole
possession of the lead, with American Brian Harman and Venezuela's Jhonattan
Vegas sharing second on 68.
It was a further stroke back to world number one Dustin
Johnson, Rickie Fowler and South Korean Kim Si-Woo on 69.
"Pretty solid," Leishman said of his round in the
first USPGA Tour event of the calendar year, which features a 34-player field
made up of last season's tournament winners.
"I played well, drove the ball pretty well - with the
exception of a couple of drives - and the putter was really, really solid.
"So, happy with eight birdies," added Leishman
after a day that saw strong winds buffet some of the bigger names in the field.
Defending champion Justin Thomas, whose victory here last
year marked the start of a five-win season that included his first major title
and the FedEx Cup playoff crown, carded a one-under par 71.
British Open champion Jordan Spieth struggled to a two-over
Fowler eagled the final hole as he bounced back from a
double-bogey at the 13th, and Johnson eagled the par-five 18th to seize his
share of fourth place.
Leading first-round scores on Thursday in the US PGA Tour Tournament of Champions at Kapalua, Hawaii (USA unless noted, par-73):
67 - Marc Leishman (AUS)
68 - Brian Harman, Jhonattan Vegas (VEN)
69 - Kim Si-Woo (KOR), Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson
70 - Billy Horschel, Patrick Cantlay, Kyle Stanley, Kevin Kisner, Hideki Matsuyama (JPN)
71 - Ryan Armour, Brendan Steele, Jason Dufner, Jon Rahm (ESP), Justin Thomas
72 - Patton Kizzire, Chris Stroud, Hudson Swafford, Pat Perez, Xander Schauffele
73 - Bryson DeChambeau, Adam Hadwin (CAN), Daniel Berger
74 - Austin Cook, Grayson Murray, Wesley Bryan, Kevin Chappell, Russell Henley
75 - Cameron Smith (AUS), Jordan Spieth
76 - D.A. Points
77 Jonas Blixt (SWE)
78 - Brooks Koepka