PGA Tour & # 039; s return: Harold Varner III and Justin Rose share leadership in Colonial

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Justin Rose and his playing partners tried to follow the guidelines for social distance during their round

. American Harold Varner III pelted 18th to take part of the lead in the first round with England's Justin Rose when the PGA Tour returned to Texas on Thursday.

Both players beat bogey-free 63-par-63 & # 39; s in a quiet Colonial Country Club, with no fans present.

Northern Ireland's number one, Rory McIlroy, shot a two-under-par. 68.

Early starters noticed a moving minute of silence at 8:46 a.m. local time in memory of George Floyd, the African American who died in custody.

Eight minutes and 46 seconds is the length of time, Floyd was filmed while being pinned below the white officer's knee. His funeral took place Tuesday in Houston, Texas.

Varner III, one of the few black American professional players on the track, spoke at length with PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan for this week's Charles Schwab Challenge. They discussed the "potential role of the Tour in the national conversation and solution" amid global protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement against racial injustice.

On the course, Varner III pelted his first two holes and was four under nine. He then birdied the 10th and 12th holes, but missed opportunities to join Rose at the top of the scoreboard before bowing the last 10 feet.

When asked if Floyd's death and global protests had affected his game, he told Sky Sports: "I didn't think about it. I got into my zone. I love playing golf and I'm lucky do this for a living. "

"The platform I have is through golf, so I know that playing well is part of that. It shows how precious life is and you take what it is every day."

Rose, who was out in the first half of the draw, started on the 10th hole and fetched from the edge of the green with a fairway of wood for a birdie.

He was four under after seven holes and then had a run of three birdies from the first before finishing with six straight pars.

Marquee Failed to Fire

The top three in the world, McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Brooks Koepka were all attracted to play together. All three birded the first, but were unable to build on that early momentum.

McIlroy was back at par level after hitting the sixth, but was two under the turn. However, nine straight pars followed.

American Koepka, third in the world rankings, had four birdies and two bogeys in his under-68s, while the Spaniard Rahm was the last one to finish below

More to follow.

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