Alex Noren, Webb Simpson share Honda Classic lead after Tiger Woods shoots 70

Swedish golfer Alex Noren (Getty Photographs)

No first-spherical chief or co-chief has gone on to win the Honda Classic since 2003 however Alex Noren and Webb Simpson are each hoping to finish that run after setting the tempo Thursday.

The final participant to win the PGA Tour event after ending the opening spherical atop the leaderboard was Justin Leonard 15 years in the past.

However Swede Noren and American Simpson staked their claims with four-beneath 66s for a one-stroke lead at PGA Nationwide Golf Membership.

Noren and Simpson have been virtually flawless, solely dropping one shot apiece whereas posting 5 birdies in Palm Seashore Gardens, Florida.

Reigning PGA Tour Participant of the Yr and US PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas is certainly one of 5 gamers inside a shot of the duo.

Thomas began his spherical on the again 9 and made 4 consecutive birdies beginning with the par-5 18th, however two bogeys on his final 4 holes made for an unsatisfactory finish.

Tiger Woods stormed into an early share of the lead on the Honda Classic earlier than carding a good-par 70.

Enjoying again-to-again tournaments having missed the reduce eventually week’s Genesis Open after making his aggressive return on the Farmers Insurance coverage Open, Woods birdied two of his first 4 holes.

The 14-time main champion, nevertheless, suffered a double-bogey on the par-5 third gap – his twelfth – following the flip however he remained composed as he birdied the subsequent earlier than attaining par for the rest.

Fellow American Rickie Fowler recorded a 1-over seventy one, a shot higher than defending Masters champion Sergio Garcia, who had 4 birdies and 6 bogeys on a troublesome day.

Former world No. 1 and 4-time main winner Rory McIlroy – enjoying in his present hometown – additionally ended the spherical two over alongside Garcia.