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Harman has strong close to tie Leishman for lead

12 January 2018

Marc Leishman has rolled on from his groundbreaking 2017 season by seizing the lead in the new year's first United States PGA Tour tournament in Hawaii.

Johnson, the worlds No. 1 player, made back-to-back bogeys and then settled for par with a 7-iron for his second shot on the par-4 fifth hole.

Defending event champion and 2017 PGA Championship victor Thomas, US Open champion Koepka, Spieth and long-hitting Dustin Johnson lead a set of US stars into the 34-player field at Kapalua for the first US event of 2018.

Leishman ran off four straight birdies around the turn and holed a 20-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole.

While Spieth struggled, Leishman offered a reminder that behind the superstars lurk a bunch of players capable of winning any given week.

"I played well, drove the ball pretty well - with the exception of a couple of drives - and the putter was really, really solid". "Happy with eight birdies, good start to a nice tournament".

Johnson slipped back to two under for the tournament when he bogeyed the third and fourth, but the world No 1 got back on track with three birdies in four holes before picking up four more on the back nine, including a sublime pitch to within a foot at the last from close to 100 feet.

"Really high", he said of his confidence level. "I've got to keep working, but confidence certainly makes it easier to play well".

He hit nine of 15 fairways on the day and 15 of 18 greens in regulation.

"It's a big key for my game to drive it well", Vegas said.

Despite scar tissue from all those near misses, the 29-year-old remains positive about his chances in 2018, though he says that he needs to take a leaf out of his pal Justin Thomas's book if he's going to do so.

Johnson looked set to be in a share of the lead overnight when he moved top of the leaderboard with a birdie at the last.

Harman has strong close to tie Leishman for lead