Kevin Tway got off to a roaring start in his Tournament of Champions debut, firing a bogey-free seven under 66 for one-shot lead in the PGA Tour’s first round of 2019.
Tway had seven birdies and no bogeys as the Tour winners from 2018 kicked off the new year on Thursday at the Plantation Course in Kapalua, Hawaii.
“When you’re making a lot of birdies it makes everything better,” Tway said.
Tway led by one shot over Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas and Gary Woodland, who sit at six under. Johnson and Thomas are the past two winners at Kapalua.
World number eight Rory McIlroy and No 14 Jason Day are tied for sixth at four under. World number six Jon Rahm is tied for 11th at three under.
Tway qualified for this winners-only field by capturing the Safeway Open for his first PGA Tour victory.
“I was just trying to drink a lot of water. But I didn’t think I was going to play that good, to be honest,” he said.
“I hit the ball well, kept the ball in play, made a few putts, controlled my ball in the wind.
“It’s windy where I’m from in Oklahoma so it’s kind of like I was at home. Each shot’s difficult so you’re just focused on the trajectory and where I need to land it and where I need to miss it.”
The first round of the new year featured a hole-in-one by Patton Kizzire who is at four under. Kizzire aced the par-three eighth hole for his first hole-in-one on the tour.
“I was just trying to hit the green,” he said.
Bryson DeChambeau gave the spectators the first example of the new rules when he made a par putt with the pin still in the cup.
Kevin Na withdrew from the event before his scheduled tee time on Thursday because of a fractured bone in his right pinkie finger.
Na said he injured the finger last week and estimated he would miss about a month.
He qualified by winning the Greenbrier tournament in July.