Early congestion at Kapalua
BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2014 Hyundai Tournament of Champions | Round One | 04 Jan 2014
There is a four way tie for the lead after the opening round of the Hyundau Tournament of Champions at the Plantation Course at Kapaula on Maui, the players involved recording a first round of seven under par 66 to lead by one.
Michael Thomson, Chris Kirk, Jordan Spieth and Webb Simpson lead over Kevin Streelman, Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson with another shot back to one of the pre tournament favourites, Matt Kuchar.
Nine players are within two shots of the lead as the event heads into round two tomorrow.
Pre tournament favourite and world number two, Adam Scott, struggled to build forward momentum until late in his round when two birdies in his last four holes saw him finish with a round of three under 70 and he finds himself in a share of 11th position in the 30 player field restricted to 2013 PGA tournament winners.
Thompson, who won the 2013 Honda Classic to earn his way into this event for the first occasion birdied four of his last five holes to be first in the clubhouse and led on his own until joined first by Kirk, then Spieth, and finally Simpson.
Spieth, the rookie of the year in 2013, is another to be here for the first time and is enjoying himself on and off the golf course. “I’ve been done in the afternoons and out in the water, and kind of enjoying myself,” said the 20 year old who stormed home over the closing stages of his round. "It’s almost like a vacation tournament in a sense. It’s been an awesome week so far. I mean, obviously I’m here for this reason, and I don’t have my family here with me.
“So there’s definitely more of an emphasis on golf than maybe some other guys are putting into it here and maybe that’s an advantage but all in all, still having a great time, enjoying the views and the scenery down in the coast, and yeah, I mean, I’ve been to Hawai’i once before with my college team over on the big island and really love that experience, so it’s nice to be in Maui, too.”
Only three players in the 30 man field were unable to break par on the par 73 layout.