Charles Howell III saw a news blurb that the
In strong gusts that didn't subside until the final few hours of daylight, Howell played bogey-free and picked up two big birdies on his way to a four-under-par 67 and a share of the lead with
"I was impressed I got away with no bogeys," Howell said. "It was nice to get off to a good start here on a place like this. I'm not sure what the rest of the week will hold, but to actually play a nice round on a tough golf course is good for my confidence."
Duke also played bogey-free and made birdies on the two par-three holes on the back nine that were into the wind and over the water. Bradley was the only player to reach 5 under on a day that featured 25 mph gusts, which seem stronger because the Copperhead course at Innisbrook is demanding in no wind at all.
Howell was in the penultimate group, and the wind laid down for most of the back nine. His play was solid throughout, however, particularly the four-iron into a left pin that settled a foot from the cup on the par-three eighth. He picked up another bonus birdie on the par-five 11th with a 45-foot putt.
Howell, perhaps more than any other player from the Augusta area, is linked to the Masters. He hasn't played the Masters since he tied for 19th in 2012, and Georgia is on his mind as the first major of the year gets closer.
Uihlein's 64 leads Thailand Classic
American Peter Uihlein shot an eight-under 64 to take a one-stroke lead over Sweden's Pelle Edberg after the first round of the Thailand Classic in Hua Hin.