Defending champ Byrd leads T of C field


A year after defeating Robert Garrigus in a sudden-death playoff to win the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, Jonathan Byrd shot a 6-under 67 at the Plantation Course to take a 1-shot lead over four players at Kapalua, Hawaii.

Byrd reeled off six straight birdies before ending the front side with a bogey at the par-5 ninth. A bogey at the 11th was his only other dropped shot of the day, offset by two birdies into the house.

Among the group tied for second are Steve Stricker, Webb Simpson, Martin Laird and Michael Bradley.

Only two players were bogey-free on Friday, and both had the surname Bradley. Puerto Rico winner Michael made five birdies to earn a share of second place, while PGA champion Keegan had two birdies and an eagle to have solo sixth on 4 under.

Both players also shot their first rounds in the 60s at Kapalua – Keegan in his first and Bradley, 46, in his ninth try.

'I'm kind of getting towards the end of my rope out here probably, so I'm elated to be here and playing with all this young talent out here,' said Michael Bradley. 'It's fun to watch.'

Stricker managed to finish tied for second despite making his first double bogey on the PGA Tour since 2008.

Four players – Johnson Wagner, Ben Crane, Bradley and Simpson – made eagles in the first round. All of them are in the top 10 of the 27-man field.