Fresh off his victory at the BMW PGA Championship on the European Tour, Tyrrell Hatton battled through fatigue Thursday to fire a 7-under 65 to take the CJ Cup's first-round lead.
"Yeah, I mean, it's fair to say I'm pretty tired at the moment," Hatton said following his round. "Still struggling a little bit with jetlag. And you can tell by my voice, picked up a little bit of a sore throat if you like on the way over."
The 29-year-old Englishman, who moved to No. 10 in the world rankings after capturing his fifth European Tour title Sunday, began his round at Shadow Creek with two birdies and a hole-out eagle to quickly move into the top spot. He added five more red numbers to his card - and two bogeys - to secure the low round of the day.
"Today was a long day," he continued. "(I'm) very happy with my score and I just need to try and get back to the hotel this evening, have a good rest, and hopefully sleep better than I did last night and fingers crossed for another good day tomorrow."
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Defending champion Justin Thomas posted an even 72. He's won two of the last three CJ Cups, but both victories were in South Korea. The 2020 edition relocated to Las Vegas due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Brooks Koepka - the 2018 CJ Cup winner - shot 74 in his first competitive round on the PGA Tour since mid-August.
Round 2 of the CJ Cup begins Friday at 12:45 p.m. ET.