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Sebastian Munoz plays yo-yo round at Zozo Championship

Sebastian Munoz leads 1st round of 2020 Zozo Championship
Sebastian Munoz shoots 8-under 64 for the 1st-round lead at the PGA Tour’s Zozo Championship on Thursday at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Colombian rides a roller-coaster round with 2 hole-out eagles for a 64 and the Zozo Championship lead as Tiger Woods struggles

Sebastian Munoz showed a flair for the dramatic Thursday in taking the first-round lead at the PGA Tour’s Zozo Championship.

Munoz holed out twice for eagle en route to a roller-coaster 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif. (scores).

American Justin Thomas added some fireworks of his own, finishing eagle, birdie, birdie to shoot 29 on the back side for a 7-under 65. He shared second place with England’s Tyrrell Hatton, one of the hottest players in golf. Hatton won two weeks ago at the European Tour’s BMW PGA before he tied for third last week in the CJ Cup at Shadow Creek, moving up to No. 9 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Munoz offset two bogeys – including a three-putt from 7 feet on the first hole – and a double bogey with eight birdies and the two eagles.

“Not a normal round,” he said.

Munoz holed a 9-iron from 168 yards for a 2 at the par-4 seventh, highlighting a seven-hole stretch on Nos. 2-8 during which he went 7 under. He bounced a 51-yard pitch shot into the hole for a 3 at the par-5 16th. He sank a 7-½-footer for birdie at the par-3 17th before holing a 13½-foot par putt for an up-and-down save at the 18th.

Munoz, 27, a Colombian who played college golf at North Texas, finished ninth last week in Las Vegas to improve to a career-high No. 63 in world ranking. He owns one victory on the PGA Tour, at the 2019 Sanderson Farms Championship.

Fifty-six of the 77 players who returned scores broke par.

Tiger Woods struggled at a course where he has enjoyed a phenomenal amount of success. He shot 4-over 76 to stand tied for 75th in a 77-man field. (Gary Woodland withdrew during the round, citing a hip injury.) It was Woods’ first competitive round since Sept. 18, when he missed the cut at the U.S. Open.

Woods won the inaugural Zozo Championship last year in Japan, tying the late Sam Snead for the PGA Tour's all-time victory mark, at 82. The Zozo was moved stateside because of travel complications tied to the global coronavirus pandemic.

Woods won the World Challenge, a PGA Tour exhibition that benefited his foundation, on five occasions when it was held at Sherwood in 2000-13, and he was runner-up five other times. Twice, he shot 10-under 62 at Sherwood. His worst round before Thursday had been 74.

This likely will be the final start for Woods before he heads to Augusta National Golf Club in three weeks to defend his title at the Masters Tournament.

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