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Byrd leads at 6-under

January 6, 2012 - Robert Collias
Sitting here in the bowels of the Kapalua Plantation Course clubhouse — better known as the press room for the Hyundai Tournament of Champions — and Michael Bradley trails defending champion Jonathan Byrd, by one in the first round. Byrd is on fire, 6-under through 8 holes, while Bradley is done at 5-under 68. Byrd is ranked 55th and Bradley is 276th.

This is an interesting and perhaps turning-point year for this event as six top-10-ranked players, who are eligible to be in this field, aren't. To a man who I have talked to who is here, they don't get why guys like No. 1 Luke Donald, No. 3 Rory McIlroy, No. 4 Martin Kaymer, and No. 5 Adam Scott.

Here are links to my coverage leading up to this event:

Today's preview story.

—A feature on defending championByrd, who has the best-ever scoring average (68.81) for everyone with more than two appearance in the history of this event dating back to 1953 (it has been played at Kapalua since 1999).

—A feature on Ben Crane, one of my fellow Ducks, to go along with some of the players' thoughts on the no-shows.

—A feature on Harrison Frazar, who won for the first time in his 355th start on tour to get here with his family.

—And, finally, a feature on former college basketball player Gary Woodland and his prospects here after his first win last year.


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