August 14, 2022

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Shoot 62 and seize Hawaii PGA lead

Shoot 62 and seize Hawaii PGA lead

Jim Furyk aced the par-3 17th on his way to firing an eight-under-par 62 and seizing the early clubhouse lead Thursday at the US PGA Sony Open in Hawaii.

The 51-year-old American, who won the title at Honolulu’s Waialae Country Club in 1996, knocked in a 6-iron shot from 187 yards on the penultimate hole for his sixth career ace and his first hole-in-one since 2011 at the WGC event at Firestone Country Club.

It was the first ace at Waialae’s 17th since Tony Finau made one in the third round in 2018.

“Obviously pretty happy,” Furyk said. “My short game was great. I putted well. There were a lot of things you don’t really expect your first round back.

“I can tighten a few things up but all in all I’m happy with how I played.”

Furyk, chasing his 18th US PGA title, made three birdie putts in a row from 11 feet, 16 feet and 25 feet at the 14th, 15th and 16th before his ace. At the par-5 18th, he was inches off on a 20-foot birdie putt and tapped in.

After an opening bogey, Furyk dropped his approach to two feet at the second and birdied, then holed birdie putts of 33 feet at the third and 30 feet at the fifth followed by a tap-in birdie at the par-5 ninth.

“I felt good with the putter in my hands and was wedging it well,” Furyk said. “But there are still three days and a lot of golf to go.”

Furyk’s 62 left him one stroke ahead of fellow US early finishers Michael Thompson, Patton Kizzire and Kevin Chappell on a course renovated longer than when he won more than a quarter-century ago.

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“Great memories,” Furyk said. “It’s a great course. It’s a little longer than I remember it but it’s a great way to start off.”

Furyk, ranked 771st in the world, shot the lowest score in PGA Tour history with a 12-under-par 58 in the last round of the 2016 Travelers Championship.

With missed cuts in his past three PGA starts, PGA 50-and-over Champions Tour regular Furyk last made the cut last February at Riviera, although he won last year’s US Senior Open.

Furyk, whose only major title came at the 2003 US Open, has not won a PGA event since the 2015 Heritage and that was his only win since the 2010 Tour Championship.