Cameron Smith of Australia rode two eagles to the top of the leaderboard.
The 28-year-old Smith, who has won three times on the PGA Tour, carded an 8-under-par 65 to take a one-stroke lead over top-ranked Jon Rahm of Spain, fourth-ranked Patrick Cantlay and Daniel Berger after one round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions on the Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort on the Hawaiian island of Maui.
“I started off pretty terribly, to be honest. I hit a couple of nice shots in and my yardages weren’t quite on point, I guess,” said Smith, who made a bogey on the second hole. “I just needed those two eagles to get a really low one happening. Obviously two really long putts and probably quite fortunate that they went in, but they went in.”
Smith, who won the 2020 Sony Open in Hawaii and teamed with fellow Aussie Marc Leishman to capture the Zurich Classic of New Orleans last year, sank a 44-foot eagle putt on the fifth hole and a 37-footer for another eagle at No. 15.
Cantlay, the reigning FedEx Cup champion and PGA Tour Player of the Year from Los Alamitos UCLA, made a 36-foot eagle putt at No. 15 to go with two birdies on each side of that in his 66 after making his lone bogey No. 1.
“I think that stretch of the golf course in general is the most scorable part,” Cantlay said. “That’s just this golf course. Sometimes you can get on a little bit of a roll and start to make some birdies.”
Rahm birdied four of the last six holes in his 66, which Berger matched thanks to five birdies on the front nine.
Erik van Rooyen of South Africa made five birdies on the front nine in a bogey-free 67 and is two shots back in a tie for fifth at 67 with Kevin Na of Diamond Bar, who had four birdies on each nine, and Sungjae Im of South Korea, who sank a 10-foot eagle putt on the fifth hole.
Second-ranked Collin Morikawa of La Canada Flintridge and Cal, who can take the No. 1 spot by winning this week, made three birdies on the last five holes for a 68 and is tied for eighth with former world No. 1 Brooks Koepka, FedEx Cup points leader Talor Gooch, Joel Dahmen and Garrick Higgo of South Africa.
Seventh-ranked Viktor Hovland of Norway sank an 11-foot eagle putt at No. 15 in a 69 and is in a tie for 13th that includes fifth-ranked Bryson DeChambeau of Clovis, who made a 16-foot eagle putt on the same hole, sixth-ranked Xander Schauffele of La Jolla and San Diego State, and reigning Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama of Japan.
Tenth-ranked Sam Burns is tied for 29th at 72, defending champion Harris English is 35th at 73, and eighth-ranked Justin Thomas, who won the Sentry TOC in 2017 and 2020, is tied for 36th and last at 74.
For complete results, visit https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html