Golf Australia

Leishman on top in Hawaii

Marc Leishman
Marc Leishman on his way to 67 at Kapalua today. Image: Getty

Marc Leishman has roared to the lead in the United States PGA Tour's first tournament of 2018 in Hawaii.

Leishman had a breakout year in 2017 and he has begun the new year in the same kind of fettle by jumping to the top of the leaderboard at the Tournament of Champions, a $US6.3 million tournament.

He carded at opening six-under 67 with eight birdies at the Kapalua resort's Plantation course to lead by a shot from American Brian Harman and Venezuela's Jhonattan Vegas at five-under.

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is well-placed at 69, but world No. 2 Jordan Spieth struggled to a 75.

Leishman, 34, won twice in America last year and has his world ranking at an equal career-high No. 12.

He said he was happy for the wind to blow at Kapalua, as the forecast suggests it will over the next three days.

‘‘It would be good if the winds stay like this; I grew up in it and I enjoy playing in it,’’ Leishman told reporters afterward.

Queensland's Cameron Smith, the only other Australian in the field, began with a 75.

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