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Defending champion Kevin Na back on top after first round of Sony Open in Hawaii

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                Kevin Na hit from the 10th fairway in the first round of the Sony Open golf tournament, today, at Waialae Country Club.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Kevin Na hit from the 10th fairway in the first round of the Sony Open golf tournament, today, at Waialae Country Club.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                Jim Furyk reaches for his ball after hitting a hole-in-one on the 17th hole during the first round of the Sony Open golf tournament, today, at Waialae Country Club.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Jim Furyk reaches for his ball after hitting a hole-in-one on the 17th hole during the first round of the Sony Open golf tournament, today, at Waialae Country Club.

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Kevin Carll hits from the 11th tee box during the first round.

    JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Kevin Carll hits from the 11th tee box during the first round.

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Jared Sawada follows through on his shot from the 11th tee during the first round.

    JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Jared Sawada follows through on his shot from the 11th tee during the first round.

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Jared Sawada putts on the 10th hole during the first round.

    JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Jared Sawada putts on the 10th hole during the first round.

Defending champion Kevin Na moved right back to where he finished the Sony Open in Hawaii a year ago, carding a 9-under 61 this afternoon to take sole possession of first place at Waialae Country Club.

Na made seven birdies and had an eagle on the par-5 ninth hole to go out in 29. He closed with a birdie on 18 after getting up and down for the sand to notch his 11th round of 62 or better on the PGA Tour, which is the most since the Tour began tracking hole-by-hole scores in 1983, beating the nine carded by Justin Thomas and Tiger Woods.

Na, who shot a 61 in the third round a year ago, is the first defending champion to either share or hold the first-round lead since Jon Rahm in the 2021 BMW Championship.

>> PHOTOS: Sony Open first round

Na is one stroke ahead of past champions Jim Furyk and Russell Henley, who both shot 62.

The PGA Tour’s first full-field event of the new year was held with fans for the first time since Cameron Smith’s win in 2020. Na won the tournament last year when it was closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Furyk, 51, played holes 14-17 in 5 under to shoot up the morning leaderboard with a 30 on the back nine.

It’s the sixth ace on the PGA Tour for Furyk, who won the 1996 United Airlines Hawaiian Open, tying him for the third-most since they started tracking hole-by-hole scores in 1983.

Henley, who won the Sony as a rookie in 2013, closed with three pars after shooting 8 under through 15 holes.

Patton Kizzire, who won the Sony in 2018, is tied with Kevin Chappell, Seamus Power, Haotong Li and Michael Thompson at 7 under.

Defending Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama shot a 66.

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