Martin Laird makes solid start in Hawaii

Martin Laird produced a solid start to sit just outside the top 10 after the opening round of the PGA Tour’s Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.

Martin Laird plays a shot on the fourth hole during the first round of the Sentry Tournament Of Champions at the Kapalua Plantation Course in Hawaii. Picture: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images.
Martin Laird plays a shot on the fourth hole during the first round of the Sentry Tournament Of Champions at the Kapalua Plantation Course in Hawaii. Picture: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images.

The Denver-based Scot, who is playing in the event for the first time since 2014, carded a bogey-free four-under-par 69 on the Plantation Course in Kapalua.

He’s sitting in a tie for 12th, four shots off the lead, held by defending champion Justin Thomas and fellow American Harris English.

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Sergio Garcia, who is aiming to pick up valuable Ryder Cup points in the event, is in a group on 65 alongside fellow Masters champion Patrick Reed.

In his first outing since also claiming a Green Jacket in November, world No 1 Dustin Johnson carded a 69 to sit in a tie for 30th.

Laird, who has recorded two top-five finishes in three previous starts in the event, opened with eight straight pars before picking up a birdie at the par-5 ninth.

The 38-year-old, who earned his place in what is traditionally a winners-only field through landing a fourth PGA Tour title triumph in Las Vegas in October, then birdied the 12th, 16th and 17th in a good day’s work.

Thomas, a two-time winner, was out on 31, five-under before picking up three more shots in the last five holes while English illuminated his matching effort with an eagle at the ninth.Johnson, who landed the title in 2013 and 2018, was going along nicely as he birdied the fifth and sixth then moving to three-under after 12 only to then cover the closing stretch in one-over.

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