2019 Honda Classic 1st Round Live Blog: Jhonattan Vegas leads after morning wave

Feb 28, 2019; Palm Beach Gardens, FL, USA; A baby alligator swims in a pond during the first round of The Honda Classic golf tournament at PGA National (Champion). Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports

2019 Honda Classic 1st Round Live Blog: Jhonattan Vegas leads after morning wave

PGA Tour

2019 Honda Classic 1st Round Live Blog: Jhonattan Vegas leads after morning wave

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Justin Thomas began defense of his Honda Classic championship Thursday at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Jhonattan Vegas led three players, including Ernie Els, by two shots with a 6-under 64 after morning play. Els shot a 66 for his best opening round in over two years.

Rickie Fowler, Billy Horschel and Justin Thomas began play from the 1st tee at 12:35 p.m. Eastern. Thomas has been playing well this season, with five top-10 finishes in his seven starts. He beat Luke List here 2018. Fowler won the Honda in 2017.

Among the other featured pairings: Webb Simpson, Sergio Garcia and Martin Kaymer left at 12:25 p.m. across the par-70, 7,125-yard course.

The course designed by Jack Nicklaus features a back-nine, three-hole stretch aptly called the “Bear Trap.” Holes 15, 16 and 17 form the third-toughest stretch on the PGA Tour. The 434-yard, par-4 16th is more water than hole.

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Golf Channel: 2-6 p.m.

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