Defending champion Kevenner ties career low with 9-under 61 at Sony Open - Sports1
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Defending champion Kevenner ties career low with 9-under 61 at Sony Open

Honolulu – Kevinna At the Sony Open on Thursday, he felt in control, tying a career low with a 9-under 61, but he still found reason to be a little disappointed.

He set his sights on rounds under 60, especially as the afternoon wind subsided, only to see three good birdie opportunities narrowly missed. He saved a 6-footer from a bunker on the 17th hole and made a 6-foot birdie on the par-5 18th.

That puts him ahead of the 51-year-old Jim Furyk, who knows what it’s like to release a round in the ’50s. Furyk is the only player to do it twice on the PGA Tour.

“I did a good job today, my irons were great,” Na said. “I’m telling you, I had a chance to hit a 59. I did my best. I’m a little disappointed that my putt didn’t fall, some good putts I made didn’t fall. But it was still a good round. “

It is enough to set a goal of back-to-back wins in Waialae. Na also shot a 61 in the third round last year. He now has five rounds and a 61 in his PGA Tour career.

This one doesn’t give him much breathing room.Furyk and Russell Henry 62 years old at the time, with Kevin Chappell and Simo Power 63 year old Irishman.

Furyk has been on the hunt for more than 25 years after he won his first Sony Open. He scored a hole-in-one on the 17th hole, closing out a big run near the end of the round.

Furyk hasn’t played in Honolulu for a decade and didn’t return until last year after he qualified for the 50-and-over PGA Tour Championship, which opens next week on the Big Island.

“Try to get ready for this year, what will I watch this week? I want to be competitive,” Furyk said. “I want to race, put myself in position, on the hunt, and also want to understand where my game is and what I want to do this year.”

Furyk won at White Islay a long time ago, that was a year ago Colin Morikawa even born. The 1996 race had a different title sponsor, and winning benefits ($216,000 for first place, compared to $1.35 million this year) included a United Airlines pass that allowed the pair to travel anywhere in the world for a year.

Furyk has other reminders.

“Played a practice round with a guy who called me ‘Mr.’ and then he asked me what I liked most about the Champions Tour,” Furyk said. “I said, ‘Nobody calls me ‘sir.’ He said his father would be mad at him if he didn’t.”

On the field, not much has changed. Waialae is on the PGA Tour’s short list of courses that don’t support going all-out, and even after the heavy rain a week ago, the bouncing and rolling hits on the fairway were enough to feel shorter.

Furyk opened with a long three-putt bogey, which doesn’t say much about his performance on the greens. He made an early pair of 30-foot birdie putts, then started birdie putts at 12, 15 and 25 feet on the 14th hole, and then hit the ace with a 6-iron on the 17th hole.

Na has no bogeys and no pressure. All seven of his birdies and eagles on the par-5 ninth were within 10 feet, and he only came seriously close to swallowing when he had to take off from a deep bunker on the right side of the green on the 17th. Bogey.

Chappell also has the head start he needs. His career has taken off since he underwent back surgery at the end of the 2018 season. He also realized that it was time to take care of more than his body.

“There was definitely something lingering on my back last year, and at the end of the year I felt like I wasn’t in good health, I wasn’t in good spirits, and I needed some time,” Chappell said. “So I did it. The tour was great with supporting me. Really getting down to the mental side, believe it or not, the better my mental state, the better my back is.

“It’s a tough job, but it’s great.”

DIVOTS

Joshua Creel Withdrew after age 72 due to positive COVID-19 test.Creel is the first player since Hideki Matsuyama Tested positive in a tournament at the Rocket Mortgage Classic last July. He is also the second player to withdraw after testing positive in many tournaments this year. cameron champion He withdrew from the Sentry Championship Tournament in Kapalua before leaving his home in Houston. … Keita NakajimaThe world’s No. 1 amateur opened with a 67. Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama shot a 66.

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