Kevin Tway was a little dizzy and it wasn’t because he was atop the leaderboard.
The 30-year-old Tway overcame inner-ear and sinus issues to shoot 7-under-par 66 and take a one-stroke lead over three players after the first round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions, first PGA Tour event of the year, on the windy Plantation Course https://golfatkapalua.com/plantation course at Kapalua Resort on the Hawaiian island of Maui.
“I was trying to drink a lot of water, eat some food and just stay upright,” said Tway, who claimed his first PGA Tour victory in the Safeway Open at Silverado in October to kick off the 2018-19 season. “I drove the ball well, kept it in play, hit a lot of greens and made some putts early.
“Everything was going my way. When you putt well, everything seems easier. The golf was good. … I was dizzy so I’m going to get horizontal and sleep a lot.”
Fourth-ranked Justin Thomas, the 2017 TOC champion, birdied five of the last seven holes including a 13-foot birdie putt on the last hole, to total 67 and is tied for second with Gary Woodland, who collected four birdies on each nine, and third-ranked Dustin Johnson, the defending champion, who holed a four-footer for birdie on the last hole.
Marc Leishman of Australia had a tap-in eagle on the fifth hole and only a double-bogey 6 on the 17th hole marred a 68 that left him in solo fifth, while Patton Kizzire made a hole-in-one with a 7-iron on 186-yard eighth hole en route to a 69 and is tied for sixth with fifth-ranked Bryson DeChambeau of Clovis, eighth-ranked Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland, Jason Day of Australia, Andrew Putnam of Pepperdine and Andrew Landry.
“I was just trying to hit the green,” said Kizzire, who got into the winners-only tournament by capturing the Sony Open in Hawaii and will defend his title at Waialae in Honolulu next week. “The wind is so tough out there, it’s difficult to judge. You just want to pick the right club. … It just hit the green and hopped right in. It was sweet.”
Sixth-ranked Jon Rahm of Spain is tied for 12th at 70, 10th-ranked Xander Schauffele of LaJolla and San Diego State shot 72 and is tied for 19th, seventh-ranked Francesco Molinari of Italy totaled 73 to tie for 22nd and top-ranked Brooks Koepka struggled to a 76 and is tied for 30th.
Kevin Na of Diamond Bar withdrew before the start because of a broken bone in his right pinky finger. He played 12 holes in the pro-am on Wednesday before being forced to stop because the pain became too intense.
For complete results, visit https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html