PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (AP) One reason Martin Kaymer enjoys the Honda Classic is because he doesn’t feel as though he has to make a bunch of birdies.
On such a serene Thursday at PGA National, that was required to keep pace.
A pair of PGA Tour rookies who last played this course at Q-school for the Web.com Tour, Cody Gribble and Wesley Bryan, each opened with a 6-under 64 in the morning and it stood the rest of the day. The wind never really materialized. The greens remained soft from a big rain the day before.
More than half of the field was at par or better.
Kaymer, a two-time major champion from Germany playing on a sponsor exemption, chipped in from behind the 17th green for birdie and closed with a two-putt birdie from 40 feet for a 65. He was one shot behind, along with Anirban Lahiri of India.
Rickie Fowler and Ian Poulter were part of a large group at 66. It was an important start for Poulter, who is playing on a medical extension from a foot injury last year and has only six PGA Tour events left to earn either $220,301 or 154 FedEx Cup points to retain his full status.
Bryan is coming off his best tournament, a tie for fourth at Riviera in which he got within two shots of Dustin Johnson toward the end of the third round. It took him awhile to get going in warm, calm weather, and he finished with a 30 on the front nine.
Gribble already has won this season at the Sanderson Farms Championship last fall while the top players were in Shanghai. He missed four straight cuts on the West Coast and finally got his swing back to where he wants it. Along with birdies on three of the par 3s, he hit all 18 greens in regulation.
PATTAYA, Thailand (AP) – Ariya Jutanugarn and Amy Yang each shot 6-under 66 to share the first-round lead in the LPGA Thailand.
Jutanugarn, the Thai ranked second in the world, had six birdies on Siam Country Club’s Pattaya Old Course. Yang, the 2015 champion, had seven birdies and a bogey.
Ryann O’Toole, Sei Young Kim, Minjee Lee and Shanshan Feng were a stroke behind the leaders.
Top-ranked Lydia Ko (70) had five birdies and three bogeys, while former No. 1 Inbee Park shot a 72 in her first action since winning the Olympic gold medal last year.
JOHANNESBURG (AP) – American Paul Peterson birdied four of his last five holes for a bogey-free 9-under 62 to top the Joburg Open leaderboard in the rain-suspended first round.
The left-hander opened on Royal Johannesburg and Kensington’s West Course.
England’s Aaron Rai and Paul Waring shot 7-under 65 on the East Course, the site of the final two rounds. France’s Romain Langasque and Jbe Kruger opened with 6-under 65s on the West Course.