Varner hears the roars on No. 16, shares Phoenix Open lead

Varner hears the roars on No. 16, shares Phoenix Open lead
Harold Varner III hits from the 16th tee during the first round of the Phoenix Open PGA golf tournament, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Harold Varner III snaked in a long birdie putt at TPC Scottsdale's rowdy 16th hole, highlighting a 7-under 64 to tie Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas for the first-round lead in the Phoenix Open on Thursday.

Fowler and Thomas, roommates for the week, played bogey-free rounds in the morning under pristine weather conditions.

Varner overcame a bogey on No. 2 with three straight birdies and set off the loudest roars of the day at No. 16 in the afternoon, celebrating with a dab after his 31-foot putt dropped. He missed an opportunity for the outright lead on the drivable No. 17, three-putting from 105 feet.

Martin Laird and J.T. Poston shot 65, and four players were at 66.

Defending champion Gary Woodland shot 68. Phil Mickelson also opened with a 68.