Sony Open: 3 things to know after Round 1 in Hawaii

Peter Malnati

Peter Malnati hits his tee shot on Thursday on the 2nd hole at Waialae Country Club.

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One of the co-leaders made nine birdies in Sunday’s final round of last week’s Tournament of Champions. He made seven and an eagle on Thursday in his very next round. Aloha, Hawaii! Here are three things you need to know after the first round of the Sony Open at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu. 

Three share lead 

Joaquin Niemann, after a final-round 64, was tied for the lead after last Sunday’s final round of the Tournament of Champions before losing in a playoff. 

He’s tied for the lead after Thursday’s first round of the Sony. 

Niemann shot an eight-under 62 to share the lead with Jason Kokrak and Peter Malnati. Seven players are two strokes back, and 10 players are three behind. 

On the 514-yard, par-5 18th, Niemann drove it down the right side, hit his second just off the green and chipped in from 50 feet for a closing eagle.

“Spent a few days thinking about that last hole, but just taking all the positives from the week and I think just taking all the positive and pull it out for this week,” Niemann said of losing in the Tournament of Champions playoff to Harris English.

Fifty-one players are within five shots of the lead 

Daniel Berger, behind seven birdies, leads the players two shots behind the leaders. 

Also at six under are Aaron Baddeley, Si Woo Kim, Jim Herman, Vaughn Taylor and Patton Kizzire. At five under are Webb Simpson, Billy Horschel, Harry Higgs, Mackenzie Hughes, Brendan Steele, J.T. Poston, C.T. Pan, Tom Hoge, Hudson Swafford, Chris Kirk, Henrik Norlander and David Hearn.

In all, 51 players are within five shots of the lead. 

Collin Morikawa four shots back 

Among other players, Collin Morikawa is four shots behind the leaders, Adam Scott is seven back, and Sergio Garcia is eight off the pace.   

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Nick Piastowski Editor