The Chilean Joaquín Niemann, thanks to an eagle on the 18th hole with which he completed the course in 62 strokes, eight under par, He shares the leadership of the Sony Open, a tournament on the North American PGA circuit that takes place at the Waialae Country Club in Honolulu (Hawaii) with the Americans Peter Malnati and Jason Kokrak after finishing the first day.
A group of six pursuers, the Americans Vaughn Taylor, Jim Herman, Patton Kizzire and Daniel Berger, the Australian Aaron Baddeley and the Korean Kim Si-woo, are within two strokes of the trio of leaders, the defending champion, the Australian Cameron Smith, It is five, while the Spanish Sergio García fulfilled the par of the field (70), but is far from the head in 99th place.
Niemann, who lost last Sunday in a playoff against American Harris English in the Champions Trophy held in the same Pacific archipelago, He said that this fact gave him “a little more motivation to forget, know how to turn the page and remember only the positive.”
With seven birdies, a single bogey on the 12th hole and the final eagle with a chip from 45 meters, The 22-year-old Chilean put up a very consistent performance in pursuit of his second PGA Tour victory after winning the A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier in 2019.
His two fellow leaders also have a single PGA Tour title on their record. Malnati, who had nine birdies and one bogey, won the Sanderson Farms Championship in 2015, while Kokrak, who won the CJ Cup at Shadow Creek last October, completed the round without any errors closing his performance with two consecutive birdies on holes 8 and 9.
Sergio García, on the other hand, had a very irregular performance with five birdies, three bogeys and a double bogey on hole 6, which left him with a total of 70 strokes. Sergio signed a three-over-par run in the first third of the lap, with two greens within three putts.
Sergio, however, has saved the day. He has not managed to have regularity in his shots to the green, beyond a stretch between holes 9 and 12 where he has been outstanding. The rest of the day has alternated lights and shadows. Still, he has managed to deliver a 70-stroke lap. He manages to be involved in the tournament and with options to pass a cut that right now has been placed at -2 and he would do well to count on it going to -4 this Friday.
Classification 1st day (par 70):
1. Jason Kokrak (USA) 62
-. Peter Malnati (USA) 62
-. Joaquin Niemann (CHI) 62
4. Vaughn Taylor (USA) 64
-. Jim Herman (USA) 64
-. Aaron Baddeley (AUS) 64
-. Patton Kizzire (USA) 64
-. Daniel Berger (USA) 64
-. Kim Si-woo (KOR) 64
10. Billy Horschel (USA) 65
-. CT Pan (TPE) 65
-. Webb Simpson (USA) 65