PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico — Matt Kuchar decided at the last minute to play the Mayakoba Golf Classic, and he made it look like a wise decision Thursday by opening with a 7-under-par 64 for a share of the lead with Dominic Bozzelli and PGA Tour rookie Kramer Hickok.
Kuchar, who has gone more than four years since his most recent victory on the PGA Tour, missed only two fairways at El Camaleon and was bogey-free for his lowest opening round on tour since a 64 in the 2017 Phoenix Open.
The large group at 65 included 2017 tournament champion Patton Kizzire, who had back-to-back eagles, and Abraham Ancer, who this week reached No. 98 to become the first Mexican golfer to crack the top 100 in the world ranking.
Also in that group is Chattanooga's Stephan Jaeger, the former University of Tennessee at Chattanooga standout who is one of four Baylor School graduates in the field. The other former Red Raiders are Keith Mitchell, who was tied for 19th at 66, Harris English (67, tied for 30th) and Luke List (70, tied for 77th).
Finale is underway
PHOENIX — Paul Goydos and Tim Petrovic each shot an 8-under 63 and shared the lead in the Charles Schwab Cup Championship, leaving points leader Bernhard Langer seven strokes back in the PGA Tour Champions' season finale.
In sunny, 80-degree conditions at Phoenix Country Club, Langer parred the final nine holes for a 70. The 61-year-old German star opened with a chip-in eagle on the par-5 first, but he had two front-nine bogeys.
Scott Parel, No. 2 in the standings after winning two weeks ago, made a double bogey on 18 for a 71.
Langer or Parel would take the Cup with a tournament victory, while Miguel Angel Jimenez, Jerry Kelly, Scott McCarron and David Toms all would need a win and help from other players. Langer has won the season-long competition four times, including three straight from 2014 to '16. He has two victories this year.
McCarron topped the six contenders for the $1 million prize, closing with an eagle for a 65. Kelly had a 68, and Jimenez and Toms each shot a 69.
Goydos also eagled No. 1 and closed with a birdie on the par-5 18th. Petrovic eagled the 306-yard, par-4 fifth and rebounded from a bogey on the par-4 17th with a birdie on 18.
Garcia's lead large
SUN CITY, South Africa — Sergio Garcia opened with an 8-under 64 at the Nedbank Golf Challenge and held a four-shot lead, the biggest opening-round advantage on the European Tour in a year.
Garcia, twice a winner in Sun City before this event became part of the tour, made eight birdies and was bogey-free in a brilliant start to the penultimate tournament of the season.
The 38-year-old Spaniard was clear of three players in second at Gary Player Country Club: Charl Schwartzel, Mikko Korhonen and Mike Lorenzo-Vera. Six golfers were another stroke back.
Rory McIlroy, who is one of five in the field with a chance of being crowned the tour's top player at the end of the season, opened with a 72 spoiled by a double-bogey six on his second-to-last hole.
No. 1 is on top
HAINAN ISLAND, China — Top-ranked Ariya Jutanugarn shot a 4-under 68 and led by four strokes halfway through the Blue Bay LPGA.
Jutanugarn had birdies on four of her final seven holes to take command at 7-under 137 overall. The 22-year-old Bangkok native is a 10-time winner on the LPGA Tour.
Moriya Jutanugarn — the leader's 24-year-old sister — Gaby Lopez and Jennifer Song were tied for second after each shot a 71 in the second round. Chella Choi (72) was alone in fifth at 2 under, with Celine Boutier (72), first-round leader Thidapa Suwannapura (75) and Sei Young Kim (71) another stroke back in sixth.
This event is the last of five straight on the LPGA Tour's Asian swing.