The defending champions Justin Thomas and Harris English both scored -8 on the first day of the PGA Tour’s “start of the year” event in Hawaii on January 7.

Thomas scored eight birdies and no bogey on Plantation, par73. English also plays 65 strokes like Thomas, but the scoreboard consists of an eagle, seven birdies and a bogey. The English recorded eagle from the green, nearly 18 meters from hole 9.

The whole round, Thomas played an average of 279.6 yards, hit 11 of the 15 fairways and went to the standard green (GIR) of 16 holes. English is shorter, averaging 266.7 yards, but with absolute accuracy and similar GIR.

Justin Thomas got off to a good start, with no bogeys on the day of his departure at Sentry.  Photo: SOTC

Justin Thomas got off to a good start, with no bogeys on the day of his departure at Sentry. Image: SOTC

At hole 13, Thomas accidentally avoided bogey thanks to Austin – brother and caddy of the world’s number one (table OWGR) Dustin Johnson. Then, Thomas took a right turn, went into the empty grass and guessed the ball. But the fighting team and the referee were still trying to find it, and Austin found him stepping on it.

After releasing the ball according to the rules, Thomas threw the ball on the fairway, then onto the green and kept par 12 meters from the hole. Last year, Thomas finished at -14 and had to add two extra holes to eliminate Xander Schauffele and Patrick Reed, respectively, to win the championship with a bonus of 1.34 million USD. It was Thomas’ second time crowned in the Sentry Tournament of Champions, after the first in 2017.

This year, Thomas and English are taking advantage of two strokes compared to T3 consisting of six players including Spanish star Sergio Garcia and Korean “Ironman” Im Sung-jae.

Bryson DeChambeau in T12, with a score of -4. DeChambeau is leading the tackles at the PGA Tour this season, averaging 337.8 yards. But in the opening round of Sentry, he averaged 299.7 yards in his header with 50% accuracy and a 14-hole GIR.

Win Masters in mid-November and then relax for seven weeks, Johnson is less shrewd on the green in the New Year “open” round. He has a birdie chance in all six holes but all failed so he stood T30 with a score of -2. Johnson won Sentry twice, in 2013 and 2018.

The opening round of Sentry this year recorded two positive players including Tony Finau (+1 score) and Sebastian Munoz (+2). Both are at the bottom of the table. Finau’s odds are wide, while Munoz is the standard one.

The Sentry Tournament of Champions takes place annually and is open to the champions of the previous season only. Particularly this year, the tournament added 17 players to the Tour Championship 2020, in addition to the 25 standard slots due to the loss of many stages in the American arena because of Covid-19.

Quoc Huy synthetic

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