The Journal Gazette
Friday, January 14, 2022 1:00 am


Furyk has ace, cards 62 to lead Sony Open

DOUG FERGUSON | Associated Press

HONOLULU – More than a quarter-century after Jim Furyk first won the Sony Open, he returned with more than a PGA Tour Champions tune-up in mind.

On a course he can handle, Furyk made a hole-in-one on the 17th hole to cap off a big run late in his opening round Thursday for an 8-under 62, giving him a one-shot lead among early starters at Waialae Country Club.

Kevin Chappell, down to his last five tournaments on a medical exemption stemming from back surgery, past Sony Open winner Patton Kizzire and Michael Thompson were at 63.

Furyk went a decade without playing the Sony Open until returning last year once he became eligible for the 50-and-older PGA Tour Champions, which opens next week on the Big Island.

“Trying to get ready for this year and what do I look at this week? I want to be competitive,” Furyk said. “I want to compete and put myself in position, in the hunt, and also want to get a feel for where my game is and what I want to work on for the year.”

Furyk, 51, won so long ago at Waialae that it was a year before Collin Morikawa was even born. The tournament had a different title sponsor in 1996, and the perks of winning ($216,000 for first place, compared with $1.35 million this year) included a United Airlines pass for two to travel anywhere in the world for a year.

Furyk opened with a long three-putt bogey, which did not project to what kind of day he had on the greens. He made a pair of 30-foot birdie putts early, and then finished strong with birdie putts from 12, 15 and 25 feet starting on the 14th hole, and then a 6-iron for an ace at No. 17.

Ryan Palmer opened with a 64, while Billy Horschel led the large group at 65. Brandt Snedeker and amateur Takumi Kanaya were at 66.

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