Eagle sees Harman take three-shot lead

Eagle sees Harman take three-shot lead

The 41-year-old five-time Ryder Cup player is joined at 10-under par by unheralded compatriots John Peterson, Tom Hoge and Talor Gooch while four-time PGA Tour victor Kirk is also in contention at the same mark.

A quadruple bogey cost Jordan Spieth at the Sony Open in Hawaii as Chris Kirk and Zach Johnson shared a first-round lead.

Except for the tropical warmth, the two golf courses on the Hawaii swing are nothing alike. "I've always kind of felt like as long as there's fairways and greens and holes to putt it, then I'm going to be fine".

The Savannah native is playing just as well on Oahu as he did on Maui.

Harman had been solid before making three straight birdies, beginning at the second.

"I'd like to make these two weeks a regular step every year", Spieth said Wednesday at his press conference ahead of this week's Sony Open. He picked up an unlikely birdie on the 13th from the fairway bunker by making a 25-foot putt, and he made a 20-foot birdie on the next hole.

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"The most surprising thing was that I was like a stroke and a half or something better tee to green than he was that round, and I got beat by like seven shots", Spieth said.

The American eventually finished in joint fourth at the event, while Johnson ended up in eight spot. Joining him will be good friend and defending champion Justin Thomas, who secured back-to-back 67s to be 6 under for the tournament. He was seven shots behind.

Spieth hit four trees with four shots on the par-4 eighth hole - his 17th of the round - an episode that began with his tee shot caroming off a trunk and into a ditch. "I'm just going to show up tomorrow and try to hit the first tee shot best you can and go from there". That was first of three straight birdies, and he had ample more opportunities, including a shot that hit the pin on No. 10 and settled 3 feet away. "I considered hitting a lob wedge because I had something like 30 yards to the hole into the breeze".

After leaving his approach shot a little more than 90 feet away, Spieth struck his birdie putt more in hope than expectation, but misjudged the pace. There was some debate among his two playing partners, Xander Schauffele and Daniel Berger, along with caddie Michael Greller on what would have happened had the ball not slammed into the back of the cup. The 5-foot-11 junior ranks fifth in the Sun Belt in scoring, fifth in assists, second in field-goal percentage (.559) and fifth in assist to turnover ratio (1.9).

"I'm trying to get real comfortable on the greens, and that's a concern", he said after signing for a 68.

Schauffele birdied his last four holes and was among those at 8-under 132, five shots behind.

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