Blowing out of the east at a steady 15 miles per hour on Thursday morning, it wasn't exactly a day for low scores, with Alex Noren claiming the early lead at four-under 66 and only 18 players from the morning wave shooting par or better in the opening round of the Honda Classic.
The best of his iron play came on the toughest hole on the course, the 17th.
The Louisiana State alum earned a sponsor invite into the field at PGA National Resort & Spa (Champion), and although he never competed in Final Stage of the Web.com Tour Qualifying Tournament at PGA National, he had experience around the hard Jack Nicklaus design from his American Junior Golf Association days. Berger, playing the par-4 sixth hole, waded into a hazard on the left side of the fairway and nearly lost his balance after taking a swing. He barely got out of a bunker and missed a 3-foot putt.
Noren, a nine-time victor on the European Tour, who fell to Jason Day in a marathon playoff at Torrey Pines, grabbed the last of his five birdies at his final hole, the par-four ninth to be the first in the clubhouse on 66. "I was very happy with the way I hit it today". We had a good time.
"I'm very pleased. Today was not easy. It's been the case for the last few weeks so my focus this week was to try and get a good start".
Webb Simpson putts out on the 18th hole during the first round of the Honda Classic.
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"I just hit the collar". Such a big break there. Your approaches are really important, and obviously being in the right spots with the undulation. "It's just a shame, and what they have to deal with, at such a young age, the terrible tragedy they are going to have to live with and some of the things we've seen, just don't go away".
Lee won the Vic Open near Melbourne this month and opened her 2018 U.S. LPGA Tour account last week at the Women's Australian Open, finishing fifth. Hughes had six birdies in his first seven holes before cooling off with bogeys at nine, 14 and 18.
"It definitely helps to get that kind of start, but I was just trying to keep that momentum and not get ahead of myself", Thompson said.
Woods also had a solid start, standing two under after four holes before a bogey at his seventh hole and a double-bogey at his 12th proved costly. Thomas had a run four straight birdies around the turn, and then sandwiched a birdie around two bogeys at the end.
"I had a good start today, it was better than I expected", said Moriya, who was seventh here past year.