Geoff Ogilvy amongst leaders again
Japanese star Shigeki Maruyama posted four birdies on the front nine en route to a five-under 65 and the lead after the opening round of the PGA Sony Open.
Geoff Ogilvy, who cruised to a six-stroke victory at the Mercedes-Benz Championship last week, is one of five players one stroke off the lead at 4-under 66 at the Waialae Country Club course.
"It definitely helps," Ogilvy said when asked if there was a carry-over from last week. "I just think everyone who played last week is at an advantage coming here I think, because they have all got a week of tournament golf under their belt, a week in the wind under their belt, same sort of grass."
The 5.4 million dollar event is the first full-field event of the season and the second straight in Hawaii.
After a bogey on the par-4 12th hole dropped him to 4-under, Maruyama recorded pars on four straight holes before birdying the 17th to take sole possession of the lead heading into Friday.
"I knew the weather report was for a lot of wind today, so I was mentally prepared when I got to the golf course," Maruyama said. "Really, all day long, all I was thinking, just keep your tempo, keep your rhythm real steady, and I was able to play well today."
Following his wire-to-wire win, the fifth of his PGA career, Ogilvy started his round on the back nine with a birdie. The Australian recorded six birdies and two bogeys.
"I didn't think many people would be shooting under par," Ogilvy said.
Americans Boo Weekley, Brian Gay and Webb Simpson shot rounds of 66, as did Ogilvy's countryman, Nathan Green.
Defending champion K.J. Choi, who opened with a 6-under-par 64 last year and went on to a wire-to-wire victory, shot a 68. The South Korean had four birdies and two bogeys on the round.
"I'm starting on the first, second and third and not making the putts," Choi said of his round. "Today had very tricky lines and it was very tough to read."
Choi tied for 15th last week at the Mercedes-Benz Championship.
Other notable players in the field of 114 players teeing it up on the 7,044-yard, par-70 course include Ernie Els, Steve Stricker, Stewart Cink and Adam Scott.
Els, who has enjoyed great success here since 2000, struggled to a 2-over 72. He fell to 3-over after a double bogey on No. 5. Aafter three birdies in a four-hole stretch from No. 7 to No. 10 got him back to even-par, the South African bogeyed the 16th and 17th to conclude a disappointing first round.
The 39-year-old won this event in 2003 and 2004 and finished as runner-up in 2005. Els also was third in 2001 and fifth in 2000.