His 64 was his lowest opening round on tour since a 64 in the 2017 Phoenix Open.
When Zach Johnson's caddie had to tap out of a round due to dehydration, his playing partner Matt Kuchar had quite the suggestion for a replacement.
SHOT OF THE DAY: Full disclosure - we don't know exactly how this shot played out, but we're going with Champ hitting 3-wood over the cave bunker because it's so nice to look at. "So to be able to bring the family to enjoy some vacation time, it's a bit of a working vacation", said Kuchar, who will be one of the star attractions at the Australian Open in Sydney next week and the World Cup in Melbourne the week after.
The cut was at 4-under 138 and missing it was Jordan Spieth.
He is one shot behind the three players, who share the lead.
Kuchar has gone more than four years since his last PGA Tour victory.
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For the second successive day the 28-year-old sunk six birdies - those coming on holes four, five, eight, 11, 13 and 17 - only this time adding one bogey, at 12.
"It's kind of nice to look back and know that I've won on every stage", said Hickcok, who was also a two-time victor on the Mackenzie Tour previous year.
Champ won the Sanderson Farms Championship two weeks ago and his rapidly building fan base as a result of his exceptional length from the tee will build further this week.
"If you're not driving it well, this course is extremely hard", Kuchar said.
Hickock, a buddy of three-time major victor Jordan Spieth, is playing in just his eighth PGA Tour event and his fourth this season after spending past year on the developmental Web.com tour, where he won the DAP Championship and had five other top-10 finishes. Spieth managed only eight birdies in good scoring conditions and will have the weekend off for the seventh time this year.
Among those in the large group at 65 was Abraham Ancer, whose tie for fourth last week in Las Vegas moved him to No.98 in the world, making him the first Mexican golfer to crack the top 100 in the world rankings. Rickie Fowler (68) and Tony Finau (65) were at 8-under 134, along with their Ryder Cup captain, Jim Furyk, who had a 65.
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