Texan Bur­goon starts strong at PGA Tour stop in Malaysia

USA TODAY US Edition - - SPORTS - Brent­ley Romine Con­tribut­ing: Bill Speros of Golfweek

Bron­son Bur­goon grabbed the solo lead in the first round of the CIMB Clas­sic at TPC Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia af­ter a 9-un­der 63 that saw him go 10 un­der in his last 14 holes.

Af­ter bo­gey­ing the 13th, his fourth hole Thurs­day (Wed­nes­day night ET), Bur­goon rat­tled off three birdies in a row. The Texan fin­ished with eight to­tal along with an ea­gle at the par-5 ninth.

“I drove it well and I putted pretty good, so it was kind of bor­ing golf, but that’s al­ways a good thing,” Bur­goon said. “I chipped in for ea­gle out of the bunker on my ninth hole, which kind of boosted me, then I kept go­ing.”

Bur­goon is in his third sea­son on the PGA Tour af­ter fin­ish­ing 111th in FedExCup points last sea­son. He tied for 53rd last week­end in the Safe­way Open.

Austin Cook kept a clean card and birdied four of his fi­nal five holes to shoot 64. Cook is a shot clear of a three­way tie for third that in­cludes Scott Piercy, C.T. Pan and Billy Horschel.

The first ace of the 2018-19 PGA Tour sea­son goes to Danny Lee, who notched his third ca­reer hole-in-one at the par-3 fourth hole with a 9-iron from 145 yards.

Short shots: Justin Thomas, a twotime win­ner of this event, birdied four of his fi­nal five holes to card a 66. … Paul Casey also shot 66 af­ter mak­ing two ea­gles in his open­ing five holes. … De­fend­ing cham­pion Pat Perez opened his ti­tle de­fense with a 70, which also is what Safe­way Open win­ner Kevin Tway shot.

Ry­der Cup drama: Thomas came in sup­port of Ry­der Cup cap­tain Jim Furyk on Wed­nes­day in the lat­est de­vel­op­ment of a mul­ti­tiered drama that has hung over Team USA since its drub­bing in France.

Thomas said he knew about the team pair­ings well ahead of the event, coun­ter­ing re­marks made by Pa­trick Reed.

“That was some­thing ob­vi­ously that had been talked about in ad­vance, but all I was wor­ried about was that I knew I was go­ing to play with Jor­dan and we wanted to take care of our match,” Thomas told re­porters be­fore the CIMB Clas­sic.

This drama be­gan when Pa­trick Reed said he was “blind­sided” by be­ing grouped with Tiger Woods rather than Jor­dan Spi­eth at the Ry­der Cup, adding that the prob­lem was “Jor­dan not want­ing to play with me.”

Furyk re­sponded by say­ing all con­cerned had been briefed about pair­ings well ahead of time and the pair­ings were 100 per­cent his call.

Thomas was the most suc­cess­ful Amer­i­can at Le Golf Na­tional in Paris, go­ing 4-1 over­all and 3-1 play­ing along­side Spi­eth.

Reed and Spi­eth teamed up to spark Team USA’s 2016 Ry­der Cup vic­tory. Reed strug­gled play­ing with Woods, as the pair went win­less.

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