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Bae Sang-moon makes bright start in Hawaii

Updated: Friday, 10 Jan 2014 08:14 | Comments

Bae Sang-moon is bidding for a second PGA Tour title after taking last season's HP Byron Nelson Championship
Bae Sang-moon is bidding for a second PGA Tour title after taking last season's HP Byron Nelson Championship

Bae Sang-moon leads after the field after the first round of the Sony Open in Honolulu.

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 Chris Kirk produced a blistering finish to end his round just one shot back on six under.

The 28-year-old picked up shots at eight, nine, 11, 12, 15 and 16 before an eagle on the par-five last saw him storm into contention.

Michigan native Brian 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.

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.

Ryan 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.

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