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Rookies race ahead at Honda

IMPRESSIVE rookies Cody Gribble and Wesley Bryan lead the way at the prestigious Honda Classic in Florida.

CLASSY rookies Wesley Bryan and Cody Gribble lead after the opening round of the Honda Classic at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens in Florida.

The pair’s opening rounds of 64 have  them one shot ahead of internationals, Martin Kaymer of Germany and India’s Anirban Lahiri.

Bryan is a huge talent who won three times on the Web.Com Tour last season, dominating the money list for most of the year and now beginning to find his feet at this higher level.

Gribble is also an impressive debut campiagner and is already a winner on the PGA Tour late in 2016 at the Sanderson Farms Championship.

“I had the luxury, I won early last year, and was able to kind of pick and choose my schedule, said Bryan after his round.

ROUND ONE HIGHLIGHTS HONDA CLASSIC:

“Didn't have to play a lot of weeks in a row back then but out here, being a rookie, your hand is pretty much forced and you've got to keep playing and keep chugging along.

“I don't know what's clicked any different but starting to get a little bit warmer weather out here than we've had on the West Coast, so that makes it a little bit easier.”

Gribble has missed his last four cuts on the PGA Tour so this is somewhat of a turnaround for him and he talked about the need to keep expectations in check.

"Honestly I think you've got to limit your expectations," he said. "It's something that I went into the fall season hoping I'd get into the event and hoping just to make the cut, and end up winning, so I think that changes your expectations and what you should do in the event.

"So I think I've got to really try to keep that lower and just kind of work on more how I should -- I need to be worried about my line and my next hole is going to be 10 tomorrow, making sure I have the right line tomorrow for the first shot, stuff like that."

Marc Leishman made the best start of the six Australians in the field when he began with a round of 67 to be in a share of 12th position and three from the lead.

Of the other Australians in the field defending champion, Adam Scott, is one behind Leishman, two late birdies helping him to a round of 68 to be in a share of 24th position and just four back of the lead.

Scott made an even slower start last year when he opened with 70 to be five behind the lead before adding rounds of 65, 66 and 70 to win by one over Sergio Garcia.

John Senden recorded a round of 69, Greg Chalmers 70, Brett Drewitt 72 and Steve Bowditch 75 while Cameron Percy, who has been playing well of late, was forced to withdraw, the reason as yet unknown.

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About The Author : Bruce Young

A multi-award winning golf journalist, Bruce's extensive knowledge of and background in the game of golf comes from several years caddying the tournament circuits of the world, marketing a successful golf course design company and as one of Australia's leading golf journalists and commentators.

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