Tyrrell Hatton picks up where he left off in Las Vegas
Wentworth winner takes first round lead as Rory McIlroy struggles at Shadow Creek
Tyrrell Hatton has the first round lead in Las Vegas. Photograph: Christian Petersen/Getty
England’s Tyrrell Hatton fired four birdies and an eagle in his first nine holes and finished with a seven-under-par 65 to take a one-stroke lead after the first round of the PGA Tour’s CJ Cup in Las Vegas on Thursday.
Starting on the back nine, Hatton seized the momentum early in his round at the Shadow Creek course when he holed out from the fairway for an eagle on the par-four 12th.
Hatton, who won the European Tour’s BMW PGA Championship in Surrey on Sunday and turned 29 on Wednesday, is a shot clear of Americans Russell Henley and Xander Schauffele as he guns for his second PGA Tour victory.
And he is already eight shots clear of Rory McIlroy, who struggled to an opening round of 73 which included a run of four-consecutive bogeys from the seventh to the 10th.
Shane Lowry is a shot better off, with birdies on 16 and 18 seeing him sign for a level par round of 72.
Meanwhile, leader Hatton said: “It’s fair to say I’m pretty tired at the moment.
“Still struggling a little bit with jetlag. And you can tell by my voice, picked up a little bit of a sore throat if you like on the way over.
“Today was a long day. Very happy with my score and I just need to try and get back to the hotel this evening, have a good rest and hopefully sleep better than I did last night. Fingers crossed for another good day tomorrow.”
Dustin Johnson withdrew from the no-cut, 78-player event after a positive Covid-19 test but even without the world number one the tournament has a very strong field.
World number two Jon Rahm is tied for fourth after carding a five-under par 67, while defending champion and world number three Justin Thomas had an even par 72.
The CJ Cup was switched to Las Vegas from South Korea this year because of travel restrictions imposed due to the pandemic.
Collated first round scores in the USPGA Tour: The CJ Cup Shadow Creek (USA unless stated, par 72):
65 Tyrrell Hatton (Eng)
66 Xander Schauffele, Russell Henley
67 Jon Rahm (Spa), Tyler Duncan
68 Joel Dahmen, Ryan Palmer, Kevin Streelman
69 Abraham Ancer (Mex), Cameron Smith (Aus), Ian Poulter (Eng), Si Woo Kim (Kor), Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng)
70 Jason Day (Aus), Jason Kokrak, Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn), Talor Gooch, Mark Hubbard, Billy Horschel, Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa), Lanto Griffin
71 Andrew Landry, Patrick Cantlay, Brian Harman, Nick Taylor (Can), Danny Lee (Nzl), Daniel Berger, Scottie Scheffler, Sergio Garcia (Spa), Collin Morikawa, Sebastian Munoz (Col)
72 Justin Thomas, Carlos Ortiz (Mex), Joaquin Niemann (Chi), Shane Lowry (Irl), Harry Higgs
73 Brendan Steele, Rory McIlroy (NIrl), Robby Shelton, Byeong-Hun An (Kor), Sung Kang (Kor), Marc Leishman (Aus), Gary Woodland, Mackenzie Hughes (Can), Tom Hoge
74 Bubba Watson, Cameron Champ, Richy Werenski, Brooks Koepka, Justin Rose (Eng), Hanbyeol Kim (Kor), Rickie Fowler, Dylan Frittelli (Rsa), Jordan Spieth
75 Keegan Bradley, Michael Thompson, Tae Hee Lee (Kor), Viktor Hovland (Nor), Joohyung Kim (Kor), Paul Casey (Eng), Adam Hadwin (Can), Harris English
76 Kevin Na, Matt Kuchar
77 Jaekyeong Lee (Kor), Seonghyeon Kim (Kor), Alex Noren (Swe), Tommy Fleetwood (Eng), Brendon Todd, Kevin Kisner, Corey Conners (Can)
78 JT Poston, Adam Long, Kyoung-hoon Lee (Kor), Jim Herman, Sungjae Im (Kor)
79 Jeongwoo Ham (Kor)
80 Matthew Wolff