PALM HARBOR, Fla. - Charles Howell III read on a website that the Masters is a month away, and the Augusta native went out Thursday and played like he wanted to be there.
Howell played bogey-free and picked up two key birdies in a 4-under 67 that gave him a share of the lead with Keegan Bradley and Ken Duke at the Valspar Championship.
It's only one round, but Howell said it was good for his confidence to play that way on a strong golf course.
Masters champion Jordan Spieth went the other direction. He made five bogeys in his opening seven holes and never recovered for a 76. Spieth needs a low round Friday to make the cut.