Byrd takes early lead at Tournament of Champions

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KAPALUA, Hawaii — A new PGA Tour season began with a familiar name atop the leaderboard at Kapalua.

Jonathan Byrd blasts out of a bunker during the first round of the Tournament of Champions. The defending champion shot 67 to lead the PGA Tour's first event.  ERIC RISBERG/ASSOCIATED PRESS
ERIC RISBERG/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Jonathan Byrd blasts out of a bunker during the first round of the Tournament of Champions. The defending champion shot 67 to lead the PGA Tour's first event.

Defending champion Jonathan Byrd ran off six consecutive birdies early in his round Friday and opened with 6-under-par 67. That gave him a one-shot lead in the Tournament of Champions.

Byrd, a former Clemson star, hasn’t won since his playoff victory a year ago in the season opener. He’s trying to become the third player in the past eight years to win in consecutive years at Kapalua.

Steve Stricker, Webb Simpson, Martin Laird and Michael Bradley shot 68.

The winners-only field has only 27 players, the fewest since it moved to Kapalua in 1999. Lucas Glover had to withdraw because of a sprained knee from a paddle board accident.

EUROPEAN TOUR: In East London, South Africa, defending champion Louis Oosthuizen shot 11-under-par 62 to take a two-stroke lead after the second round of the Africa Open.

He had nine birdies and an eagle on the East London Golf Club course to lead Retief Goosen (68) and three others.

Oosthuizen is at 131 overall at the Tour’s season-
opening event. The former British Open champion capped his round when he drove the green and sank a 50-foot putt for eagle on the par-4 sixth.

Goosen shares second with Thomas Aiken, Jaco Ahlers and Tjaart van der Walt.

A pair of former Augusta State Jaguars had solid days to reach weekend play.

Oliver Wilson shot 4-under-par 69 and trails by eight, while Jamie Elson, shot 71 and trails by 10.

GLOVER OUT

Former U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover withdrew from the season-opening Tournament of Champions after spraining his right knee while paddleboarding.

It’s the second year in a row a player has had to withdraw after getting injured in the ocean. Geoff Ogilvy cut open a finger on a piece of coral last year.

– Associated Press


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