Sony Open: Bae Sang-moonturns on the style to lead in Honolulu
Last Updated: 10/01/14 12:38pm
Bae Sang-moon: Has set the early pace at the Sony Open
Bae Sang-moon retained the clubhouse lead after the first round of the Sony Open in Honolulu after spirited challenges from Chris Kirk, Brian Stuard and Ryan Palmer came up just short.
South Korean Bae birdied four of the first six holes on his way to a flawless round of 63 which saw him reach the turn in five under and pick up two further shots on the way home.
Bae looked set to hold a comfortable clubhouse lead but Kirk produced a blistering finish to end his round just one shot back on six under. The 28-year-old then picked up further shots at 11, 12, 15 and 16 before an eagle on the par-five last saw him storm into contention.
Michigan native Stuard, 31, then emerged as a shining light from a second group which featured current major champions Jason Dufner and Adam Scott, and former Open winner John Daly.
First round leaderboard
(US unless stated)
-7 Sang-moon Bae (Kor)
-6 Chris Kirk
-5 Brian Stuard
-5 Ryan Palmer
Click here for collated scores
Five birdies on a superb front nine were only tempered by a bogey on the par-four eighth hole, and the best of his three birdies on the way back in saw him hit a 132-yard second shot onto the 14th green for an easy putt.
There were, however, two further bogeys on the back nine and he was forced to settle for a score of 65 and a share of third place behind Kirk after day one.
Palmer, who won this tournament in 2010, joined Stuard in third after making amends for a bogey on the first hole with birdies on four, five, six, nine, 17 and 18.
Meanwhile, Dufner and Scott both carded 67 to sit just outside the top 10, which was breached by Daly after the veteran signed for 66 and a share of fifth place with two-time US Open champions Retief Goosen and American duo Harris English and Jimmy Walker.
Boo Weekley (67), Zach Johnson (68) and Jordan Spieth (70) were also late starters and look well-placed to climb the leaderboard on Friday.