Rory McIlroy: In the hunt at Sentry Tournament of Champions as he opens new season

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy

Kevin Tway built a one-shot lead as he made his debut at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

The American fired a round of seven-under 66 on the opening day in Hawaii to move to the top of the leaderboard with compatriots Gary Woodland, Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson his closest challengers.

Tway’s blemish-free round included seven birdies in what is his first appearance in the winners-only event after earning his first PGA Tour title at the Safeway Open in October last year.

The 30-year-old, son of eight-time PGA Tour winner Bob Tway, picked up shots early on the second, third and fifth holes before holing back-to-back birdies just before the turn and closed with further gains on the 15th and 16th.

Woodland had eight birdies and two bogeys to leave him on six under alongside Thomas and Johnson, who both bogeyed the sixth.

After an eagle on the par-five 5th, Australian Marc Leishman hit a double-bogey on the 17th to card a five-under 68, while Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy, another debutant, sits among a six-strong chasing pack on four under.