Tom Hoge carded a pair of eagles and four birdies in an eight-under-par 63 to take a one-shot lead at the PGA Tour’s Shriners Children’s Open in Las Vegas on Thursday.
The 33-year-old American, chasing his second win of the season, kickstarted his round with a 26-foot birdie on the 6th at TPC Summerlin.
He followed that up with a brilliant eagle two on the par-four 7th, holing out from 110 yards with a wedge from the fairway.
A run of three straight birdies on the 9th, 10th and 11th holes left him at six under before he then rolled in a monster 35-foot putt for his second eagle on the par-five 16th.
“It was an interesting day,” Hoge said. “I feel like I missed some very makable birdie putts, but I holed some real nice long ones for eagle on 16 and some other long ones.
“Certainly happy with the score, but I’ve got to make a lot of birdies the next few days.”
Hoge leads by one from South Korea’s Kim Si-woo and Maverick McNealy.
Kim posted eight birdies and one bogey in his seven-under-par 64. McNealy meanwhile swept into contention with a sensational performance over the back nine.
The 26-year-old world No 74 reached the turn at one under after a solitary birdie on the outward nine, but then reeled off six birdies down the stretch for his 64.
McNealy, who moved to Las Vegas in 2017, used his local knowledge to remain patient before letting rip on the back nine.
“The other PGA Tour players that live in Vegas, we call holes 13 through 16 Birdies Alley,” McNealy said. “You know you’re going to have a lot of opportunities at the end of the round.
“It was a really good day with the putter, that’s for sure. I capitalised on my opportunities. I was very patient today.”
Eight players are two shots off the lead after exploiting perfect conditions to shoot six-under-par 65s.
Nine players are tied for 12th on five under including Australia’s Jason Day and Scotland’s Martin Laird.
South Africa’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout shot a three-under 68, which included four birdies and a bogey.
One of the performances of the day came from Argentina’s Tano Goya, who was given just two minutes’ notice of his tee time as a replacement.
That left Goya unable to get his golf shoes on in time, so he teed off in trainers before changing into his gear during the round.
“I didn’t have time to have breakfast, didn’t have time to put my shoes on,” Goya said. “I hit the first tee shot with my trainers,” added Goya, who carded a three-under-par 68 for a share of 38th place.
© Agence France-Presse