Tom Hoge drains long birdie putt on 18, leads Sanderson Farms Championship

Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press

Tom Hoge drains long birdie putt on 18, leads Sanderson Farms Championship

PGA Tour

Tom Hoge drains long birdie putt on 18, leads Sanderson Farms Championship

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JACKSON, Miss. – Tom Hoge sized up a downhill putt from 46 feet out on the 18th hole at the Country Club of Jackson.

He nailed it and the spectators sitting above him applauded. The cheers Thursday were appropriate for the shot and his sizzling first round at the Sanderson Farms Championship.

Hoge sank eight birdies without a bogey and was on top of the leaderboard with an 8-under 64 when play was halted due to weather. The PGA Tour at 7 p.m. ET call it for the day and announced that the first round will resume at 7 a.m. ET on Friday.

“That was fun,” he said. “Forty feet, you’re just trying to roll it down there and get it close, end the day. To see it go in was pretty nice.”

Hoge, who needed the last putt to stay ahead of the field, wasn’t the only one to take advantage of the fast greens.

Robert Streb, Cameron Percy and Seamus Power shot 65. Two-time major champion Zach Johnson shot 67 and Joaquin Niemann, who earned his first PGA Tour victory last week, finished with a 68.

SANDERSON FARMS: Scores | Tee times

“It’s a 72-hole tournament,” Power said. “There’s plenty of time to make it up and keep it going. You’re not going to win this tournament at 7 or 8 under.

“Everyone who shoots a good one today, it’s a nice start, but you know it’s only a start. You’re going to have to get to 20 under.”

Hoge played well from the start of the day, setting the pace with four birdies in his first five holes. He hit a couple of nice wedges early and made some key putts in the middle of the round. His putt on the 18th was one of the prettiest strokes of the day.

“The greens are perfect,” Hoge said. “So if you hit it within 15 feet, you’ve got a great chance to make all the putts.”


FORWARD PRESS PODCAST: David Dusek chats with Peter Kostis to discuss highlights from his diverse career, his thoughts on the young players on the PGA Tour and his opinion on whether golf has a distance problem.


Hoge’s play was a continuation of his strong start to the season. He finished second last week at A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier, the season opener. It was his best finish on the PGA Tour.

Hoge, 30, earned his PGA Tour card through the Korn Ferry Tour playoffs.

“There was so much pressure there for a few weeks to play well and get back out here on the PGA Tour — so many great events,” Hoge said. “Once you get that done, it frees you up a little bit. At the same time, you know you played well, so just kind of keep it rolling.”

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