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Kevin Na leads the PGA Sony Open 1R

▲ Kevin Na
Honolulu AFP Yonhap News

Korean-American Kevin Na (39) started the defense of the Sony Open title on the PGA Tour.

Kevin Na took the lead in the first round of the tournament held at the Waialai Country Club (par 70, 7044 yards) in Honolulu, USA on the 14th, hitting 9-under 61 with one eagle and seven birdies without a bogey. It is one stroke away from tied 2nd place Jim Furick and Russell Henry (America, 8-under 62).

Kevin Na, who won his 5th PGA Tour title at this tournament last year, moved forward to win another title in a year.

Kevin Na cut six strokes in the first half alone. I caught birdies in a row on the 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th holes, and on the 9th hole (par 5), I hit the second shot with 204 yards left and connected it with an eagle. In the second half, he added a birdie on the 10th and 12th holes (above par 4) and jumped to the lead.

Kevin Na missed the second shot on the last 18th hole (par 5) into the bunker, but he got another birdie opportunity with an exquisite bunker shot, and calmly putt in and finished the game with a solo lead.

Kevin Na said, “Everything went well today, especially the iron play,” he said. “I had a chance to hit 59, and it was a pity that the putt didn’t drop, but it was still a good round.”

In this round, on the 17th hole (par 3, 186 yards), a 52-year-old old man Furik took the lead at one point with a successful hole-in-one. After the 6-iron tee hit the edge of the green, it rolled right in and became Furik’s sixth hole-in-one on his tour.

Furik, who has 17 victories on the PGA Tour, has won three from 2020 on the PGA Tour Champions, where 50 and over compete.

The winner of the 1996 Sony Open 26 years ago, he said, “I’m not going to pack up and go on vacation just because I’m turning 52. I want to play a good game.”

The Korean players faltered. Siwoo Kim (27) tied for 62nd with a 2-under-par 68 with four birdies and a double bogey, and Kyung-Hoon Lee (31) and Sung-Hoon Kang (35) tied for 81st with a 1-under-par 69. Im Seong-jae (24), who finished tied for 8th at the Sentry Tournament of Championship last week, was tied for 119th with a 1-over par 71 stroke.

Reporter Jang Hyung-woo

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