Justin Thomas opens 2021 account with a 65 in Hawaii
Sergio Garcia two shots off the first round lead in Sentry Tournament of Champions
Justin Thomas opened with a 65 in Hawaii. Photograph: Cliff Hawkins/Getty
The American pair of Justin Thomas and Harris English roared to a two-shot lead on the opening day of the Sentry Tournament of Champions as the first PGA Tour event of the new year teed off in Maui.
Thomas was faultless on Thursday, following up five front nine birdies with three on the back nine to shoot to the top with an eight-under 65.
His compatriot English refused to be derailed by a seventh hole bogey, regaining his footing with an eagle on the ninth before picking up four late birdies to join Thomas at the top of the leaderboard.
They are hotly pursued by a six-strong chasing pack, which includes American Robert Streb and Spain’s Sergio Garcia, who closed out the opening round on six under.
Scotland’s Martin Laird, the sole Briton in the 42-person field, heads into Friday’s second session tied for 12th after claiming four birdies on the way to a four-under 69.
Collated first round scores in the USPGA Tour Sentry Tournament of Champions(USA unless stated, par 73):
65 Harris English, Justin Thomas
67 Sergio Garcia (Spa), Sung-Jae Imn (Kor), Ryan Palmer, Patrick Reed, Robert Streb, Nick Taylor (Can)
68 Patrick Cantlay, Adam Scott (Aus), Brendon Todd
69 Daniel Berger, Bryson DeChambeau, Viktor Hovland (Nor), Martin Laird (Sco), Marc Leishman (Aus), Collin Morikawa, Joaquin Niemann (Chi), Carlos Ortiz (Mex), Xander Schauffele, Richy Werenski
70 Abraham Ancer (Mex), Brian Gay, Kevin Kisner, Andrew Landry, Jon Rahm (Spa), Scottie Scheffler, Webb Simpson, Cameron Smith (Aus)
71 Cameron Champ, Stewart Cink, Lanto Griffin, Billy Horschel, Dustin Johnson, Jason Kokrak, Kevin Na
73 Mackenzie Hughes (Can), Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn), Hudson Swafford, Michael Thompson
74 Tony Finau
75 Sebastian Munoz (Col)