• Kaymer lurks as rookies lead Honda Classic

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    Martin Kaymer of Germany reacts to his birdie on the ninth hole during the first round of The Honda Classic at PGA National Resort and Spa on Friday in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
    AFP PHOTO

    MIAMI: Two-time major winner Martin Kaymer was hot on the heels of rookie co-leaders Cody Gribble and Wesley Bryan Thursday (Friday in Manila) after one round of the US PGA Tour Honda Classic.

    Bryan and Gribble both teed off early at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, and produced six-under par 64s that none of the later starters could match.

    But Gribble and Bryan, who is coming off a career-best tie for fourth at Riviera Country Club on Sunday, have no margin for error with Germany’s Kaymer and India’s Anirban Lahiri just a stroke back, with seven more players on 66.

    Kaymer finished with back-to-back birdies for his 65, chipping in from the green-side rough at 17.

    “It was just one of those shots you want to get within three feet or so,” Kaymer said. “It was a bit of a bonus. You try to get away with a par and then chip in for two. I take it. Sometimes it works out the other way and you make a bogey.”

    Lahiri drained a 25-foot eagle putt at the 18th to join Kaymer at five-under.

    Bryan and Gribble had set the target early.

    Bryan played his first eight holes at even par before a birdie at 18, then poured in five birdies in his last nine holes.

    He was happy to be back at PGA National, where he won his card for the Web.com Tour just over a year ago — going on to win three times on the developmental circuit to earn his PGA Tour card.

    “A place that I’m comfortable at, and a golf course I know, they are few and far between out here,” Bryan said. “It’s my first run at all these tournaments out here. I love this place, love this golf course and I had a great day.”

    Gribble, who lifted his first PGA Tour title in October with a storming finish in the Sanderson Farms Championship, hit all 18 greens in regulation to seize his share of the lead.

    He offset his only bogey at the par-four 16th with seven birdies, including at his last two holes.

    AFP

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