Cantlay starts strong to hold share of lead with Hodges at American Express

By Sports Desk January 20, 2022

World number four Patrick Cantlay holds a share of the lead alongside Lee Hodges after both carded 10-under rounds of 62 on the opening day of the American Express in California on Thursday.

Cantlay, who was last season's PFA Tour Player of the Year, birdied five of his first seven holes along with an eagle on the par-five sixth in good conditions.

The 29-year-old American birdied the 11th, 12th and 13th holes before pars to round out a strong start.

Hodges, who played the back nine first, had a similar run on his event debut although he landed an eagle on the par-five fifth hole as part of a strong finish.

“I got off to a roll at the start and kind of made a bunch of putts and then I kind of lagged on the way coming in,” Cantlay said.

“I was happy with everything. I thought I did everything well and it’s a golf course I really like. It’s in perfect shape and so, if you get the ball rolling on line, it should go in.”

Both Cantlay and Hodges started on the La Quinta course but Nicklaus Tournament Course on Friday and the adjacent Stadium Course on the weekend.

Cameron Young and KH Lee are tied for second after carding eight-under rounds of 64, with the Korean missing out on a share of the lead due to two bogeys.

Young shot five-under on his back nine to move up the leaderboard, highlighted by an eagle on the 13th hole.

Joseph Bramlett, Sam Ryder, Brandt Snedeker, Danny Lee, Tom Hoge, Seamus Power, Wyndham Clark and Greyson Sigg were all seven under.

World number one Jon Rahm had a steady round on La Quinta with four birdies on his back nine to finish his round with a six-under-66.

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    Pre-tournament favourite Jordan Spieth, Webb Simpson and John Huh stood at five under, while Mito Pereira headlined the logjam at four under, still in the mix after his capitulation at the US PGA Championship last weekend.

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