With one bold swing, Camilo Villegas turned a solid round at the Honda Classic into his lowest start in more than a year.
Villegas drilled a 3-wood from 263 yards over the water to about 8 feet for an eagle on the par-5 18th hole at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., for a 6-under 64 that gave him a one-shot lead and another jolt of confidence as he tries to regain his status on the PGA Tour.
Branden Grace was bullish when it came to the “Bear’s Trap” by making birdie on all three holes of the notorious stretch late on the back nine.
Defending champion Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods each opened with 70 and walked away feeling much differently about their day.
Woods was in danger of a big number late in his round when he decided to take off his socks and shoes, don rain pants and step into a creek to play a shot half-submerged in the water. Instead of taking a drop that could have led to double bogey, he escaped with par and rallied for a 70.
McIlroy was 1 under for his day when his wedge from 105 yards sailed over the green. He chipped to just inside 8 feet, and took bogey when he missed the putt.
FICHARDT LEADS AFTER HISTORY-MAKING BIRDIE
South Africa’s Darren Fichardt birdied the longest par-5 in European Tour history to lead the inaugural Tshwane Open in Centurion, South Africa, by one stroke after the first round.
Fichardt shot a 7-under 65 and was one of three players in the top 24 to need four shots on the 685-yard fourth hole.
SPAIN’S MUNOZ LEADS WOMEN’S CHAMPIONS
Spain’s Azahara Munoz shot a 7-under 65 for a two-stroke lead after the first round of the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore, which features 17 of the top 20 LPGA players.
Munoz played in the day’s first group and finished with seven birdies.
NEW ZEALANDER LEE TAKES LEAD IN COLOMBIA
New Zealand’s Danny Lee fired a 7-under 64 to take the first-round lead by one shot at the Web.com Tour’s Colombia Championship in Bogota.
University Place brothers Michael and Andrew Putnam also are in the mix. Michael was tied for 15th after a 3-under 68, and Andrew was tied for 27th at 2-under 68. Ex-Washington Huskies golfer Alex Prugh was at 1-under 70, tied for 53rd.