Defending champion Kevin Na shot a first-day 61 and will enter the second round of the Sony Open holding a one-shot lead over Russell Henley and Jim Furyk, who are also both former winners in Honolulu.
Na threatened a sub-60 round when he reached 8-under par through 12 holes. His hopes for a 59 ended, though, with a string of five consecutive pars starting on No. 13. Na closed with a birdie on the par-5 18th to secure the day-one marquee position.
“I played unbelievably well,” said Na. “I did everything well today and my iron play was amazing. My distance control has been great.
“I had a chance for a 59. I gave it all I could. I’m a little disappointed my putts didn’t fall, some of the good putts that I hit didn’t fall. But it’s still a good round.”
Furyk set the early mark with an 8-under 62, highlighted by an ace on the par-3 17th hole.
“I thought I was in between clubs but Fluff [caddie Michael “Fluff” Cowan] assured me it was a 6-iron for me, it was the right club and I had it teed up a little bit trying to get the ball in the air and hit down on it,” said Furyk, who won the 1996 edition of the Sony Open. “Caught it just a smidge high in the face…I wasn’t quite sure I caught enough of it to cover it.
“It carried on the green probably two or three yards, landed in a perfect spot and then released towards the pin. I guess that’s kind of the line I was looking. You never want to miss that green right. Want to make sure I hit it solid to cover.”
Russell Henley, who won the 2013 Sony, sits alongside Furyk on 8 under after a bogey-free start.
“Yeah, really just started out hitting a lot of fairways,” said Henley. “Hit a good tee shot on 1 and hit a really solid ball and just give me some momentum to keep believing that the work I put in with the driver is kind of giving me some confidence. I hit a lot of fairways and from there, I could attack.”
One further back was a group of five players tied for fourth at 7 under, including 2018 Sony winner Patton Kizzire.
Sony Open in Hawaii
Top 10: Leaderboard
1. Kevin Na -9 (61)
2. Russell Henley -8 (62)
2. Jim Furyk -8 (62)
4. Seamus Power -7 (63)
4. Haotong Li -7 (63)
4. Kevin Chappell -7 (63)
4. Patton Kizzire -7 (63)
4. Michael Thompson -7 (63)
9. Matt Kuchar -6 (64)
9. Corey Conners -6 (64)
9. Jason Kokrak -6 (64)
9. Adam Svensson -6 (64)
9. Tyler Duncan -6 (64)
9. J.T. Poston -6 (64)