Kuchar builds early lead at Sony Open

American Brian Harman

Brian Harman looks a big price this week

The back half of the lovely two-week Hawaii swing to start every golf calendar year starts this week, and we have a loaded field at the 2019 Sony Open at Waialae Country Club. He made his lone birdie of the day on the par-3 7th hole but sandwiched it between bogeys at 5 and 8.

A year after his Bahamas victory that paved his way to the PGA Tour, rookie Svensson amassed an eagle and seven birdies and led by one shot from American Andrew Putnam.

Putnam was stung on his foot on Tuesday beside a pool.

For Jordan Spieth, Thursday's opening round of the Sony Open marked the beginning of a new golf year, his first chance to flush away a winless 2018 and show he's back to being one of the best players in the world.

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Spieth would have been allowed to re-drop from knee-height without penalty under the new rule, unless he played his shot from the original drop, which would be a one-stroke penalty.

Bubba Watson hits out of the bunker on the 16th green during the first round of the Sony Open PGA Tour golf event, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, at the Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Matt Kuchar was alone in third after his round of 63 with Chez Reavie, Hudson Swafford and Japan's Shugo Imahira in a three-way tie for fourth two shots further back.

"I was certainly frustrated with last season results-wise compared to previous seasons", he said. It was sticking up right in the line on about a 4-footer. "But I just got hot with the putter and just rode the wave".

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Svensson, a 25-year-old graduate of the developmental Web.com Tour, was four-under through nine holes after birdies at the fifth and sixth and an eagle at the ninth. "Yeah, kind of freaky how it all worked out".

Putnam, 29, has been a consistent performer in his two-plus seasons on the PGA Tour, without making too many headlines. Statistically, he made just over 174 feet of putts, from a 5-footer on the closing hole (his shortest birdie putt) to his longest birdie on the 14th at just under 30 feet.

"The hole was very large and the ball was going in". "Last week, if you had anything under a foot, you would be excited".

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