Garber shot back-to-back 63s to qualify for the Honda Classic, then finished day one at the PGA Resort and Spa Champion Course in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., with a 3-under-par 67, the fourth lowest round of the day.
He padded his lead with another two-putt birdie at the par-five 18th to put himself in good position to claim a first title since his win in Abu Dhabi in January 2016.
Morgan Hoffmann's closing 68 was enough to secure a share of second alongside Gary Woodland. He's got two top-10 finishes and two missed cuts in four PGA Tour events prior to the Honda Classic.
"I've been play good for a while now, " said Woodland, who sits seventh in FedEx Cup points. That stretched his lead to five strokes with two holes to play. Fowler, who was shaky at the outset Sunday, was 1-over on the day but still managed a 12-under total of 268.
"A lead around here is nice, but I've still got to take care of my business and plot my way around this golf course, and not worry too much about what the other guys are doing", he said. I just wanted to play and enjoy that feeling, knowing that I was the No. 1 golfer in the world, and it only lasted about seven or eight weeks.
"A few of those putts that I made, if I don't make them I've got a pretty tight race". Bad swings were always going to happen.
Bryan is coming off a career-best tie for fourth at the Genesis Open at Riviera.
Bryan is in his first full season on the PGA Tour.
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A run of pars followed, broken by just one more birdie, a three on the 13th hole.
Fowler would get relief from the sprinklerhead and made bogey on the hole. He signaled that the veered left on him after thinking he could get past the obstacle on the right.
Fowler subsequently double-bogeyed the sixth hole to give hope to the chasing pack before recovering with a birdie at No. 8.
However, the 25-year-old shot a disappointing two over par round of 72 to finish five shots behind eventual victor Fowler.
"They're just brutally hard holes", said Scott, who rebounded with a birdie at No. 18 to finish at 3-under, six shots back of co-leaders Ryan Palmer and Wes Bryan. I felt like I hit a lot of good shots I thought were going to turn out good.
Woodland took to heart the fact that he's performing well, saying: "Obviously I'm happy with the way I'm playing".
"I'll be out front and in control, and with the way I feel about the game, the way I've been swinging, I'm looking forward to it".
The bogey at No. 9 was the last one he would make until the tournament was under wraps.