Charles Howell III Shares 1st Round Lead for First Time Since 2004

CHARLIE NEIBERGALL / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

PALM HARBOR, Fla. (AP) – Charles Howell III read on a website that the Masters is a month away, and the Augusta native played Thursday like he wanted to be there.

Howell played bogey-free and picked up two key birdies in a 4-under 67 that gave him a share of the lead with Keegan Bradley and Ken Duke in the Valspar Championship.

It’s only one round, but Howell said it was good for his confidence to play that way on a strong golf course.

Masters champion Jordan Spieth went the other direction. He made five bogeys in his opening seven holes and never recovered for a 76. Spieth needed a low round Friday to make the cut.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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