Gary Woodland sizzles to lead Tournament of Champions

Gary Woodland sizzles to lead Tournament of Champions

Gary Woodland sizzles to lead Tournament of Champions

McIlroy, who shot 68, isn't the only former major victor still in the hunt as American Justin Thomas is tied for sixth after posting a one-under 72.

Kevin Tway follows the flight of his drive off the Kapalua Plantation Course's first hole during the first round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions on Thursday morning.

Two birdies and a bogey left the wonder number eight one under at the turn but a finishing flourish with three birdies in the last four holes ensured McIlroy fired himself in contention. K Tway -7 T2.

Bryson DeChambeau took ample advantage of the new rule that allows players to putt with the flagstick in and birdied three of his final five holes to finish at four-under par and in a six-way tie for sixth. Thomas shot a 70 and was seven behind, while Johnson had 69 and was eight back. But I knew I wanted to be prepared coming in.

The same could not be said for Dustin Johnson who was slapped with a two-stroke penalty for playing the wrong ball and finished with a one-over 74.

"I'm still going to play in Europe and [the fans] are still going to see me play - maybe not as regularly as it used to be - but that's just a product of where the global schedule is right now and where my life is right now", McIlroy recently told Golf.com.

"I just tried to keep my composure as much as I could - that's the hardest part when you get off to a good start and then have a hole like (the eighth)", Day said after his round.

He must play four outside the majors and World Golf Championship competitions to retain his Tour membership. "The front nine's the tough nine on this golf course, and I had a couple opportunities, but I just thought if I could get through that first nine under par, I would have a few chances on the back nine".

Ariya's team confirmed to the LPGA, according to a tour website posting, that she has made the change ahead of the season-opening Tournament of Champions on January 17-20 at Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

An emotionally charged Woodland, whose grandmother died on Friday, drained a stunning 63-foot eagle putt during a five-under-par 68 on day three at the US PGA Tour's winners-only event in Hawaii. "I've obviously been in the position multiple times".

During Saturday's second round (AEST), Leishman and former world No.1 Day each racked up triple bogeys that could have derailed their hopes at continuing Australian success at the winners-only event on Maui.

McIlroy spoke earlier in the week about playing in the final group six times past year.

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