Wednesday 19 June 2019

Rory McIlroy makes solid star in Hawaii as he gets PGA Tour season under way

LAHAINA, HI - JANUARY 03: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his shot from the second tee during the first round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions at the Plantation Course at Kapalua Golf Club on January 3, 2019 in Lahaina, Hawaii. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
LAHAINA, HI - JANUARY 03: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his shot from the second tee during the first round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions at the Plantation Course at Kapalua Golf Club on January 3, 2019 in Lahaina, Hawaii. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Kevin Tway built a one-shot lead as he made his debut at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

The American fired a round of seven-under 66 on the opening day in Hawaii to move to the top of the leaderboard with compatriots Gary Woodland, Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson his closest challengers.

Tway's blemish-free round included seven birdies in what is his first appearance in the winners-only event after earning his first PGA Tour title at the Safeway Open in October last year.

The 30-year-old, son of eight-time PGA Tour winner Bob Tway, picked up shots early on the second, third and fifth holes before holing back-to-back birdies just before the turn and closed with further gains on the 15th and 16th.

Woodland had eight birdies and two bogeys to leave him on six under alongside Thomas and Johnson, who both bogeyed the sixth.

After an eagle on the par-five 5th, Australian Marc Leishman hit a double-bogey on the 17th to card a five-under 68, while Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy, another debutant, sits among a six-strong chasing pack on four under.

McIlroy started well with a birdie at the second, and made the turn at -1 after following a bogey on eight with a birdie at the par 5 ninth. The four-time Major champion started the back nine with four straight pars before finishing out his round with birdies at 15, 16 and 18 to leave himself on -4 after round one.

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