Collin Morikawa goes bogey free at windy Waialae to lead Sony Open

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Collin Morikawa goes bogey free at windy Waialae to lead Sony Open

PGA Tour

Collin Morikawa goes bogey free at windy Waialae to lead Sony Open

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A day of brutal wind at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Hawaii, left much of the Sony Open field scrambling. Not Collin Morikawa. The PGA Tour rookie was the only player in the 144-man field to get around the course without a bogey on Thursday.

A 5-under 65 gave him a two-shot lead. How good did that feel at the end of the day?

“Really good,” Morikawa told the Golf Channel shortly after stepping off the golf course. “I didn’t feel like I hit my driver that well but other than that, long irons – I hit a lot of 4- and 5-irons and I just hit some close. I didn’t make too many putts but I made the ones I needed to for birdie when I had some chances.”

Morikawa has made the cut in each of five starts in the wrap-around 2020 PGA Tour season. He started with a top 10 at the Safeway Open and was T-7 in last week’s winners-only Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua.

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He carried over some knowledge this week that helped him fight tough conditions on Thursday, particularly when playing holes with a cross-wind.

“The fairways are half the width of Kapalua,” he said of Waialae. “You have to hit fairways and I don’t think I did a great job today of doing that.”

He made up for it with his scoring clubs.

Tough as the golf may be, this part of the world has a homey feel for Morikawa. He has maybe a dozen family members watching this week who live nearby.

“It’s just relaxing to be here,” he told Golf Channel. “Anytime you’re able to play around family it makes you more comfortable.”

Not everyone in the field finished before darkness fell on Thursday. A few players still had a handful of holes to complete on Friday morning before the second round could get started.

Justin Thomas hits his shot on the 10th hole during the first round of the 2020 Sony Open in Hawaii at Waialae Country Club. Photo by Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Behind Morikawa, four players tied for second at 3-under 67. That included Australian Matt Jones, plus three Americans in Ted Potter Jr., Ryan Palmer and Sam Ryder.

Brendon Todd, a two-time winner already this season, was part of a large tie for sixth at 2 under. He birdied two of his final three holes to climb into that group.

Patrick Reed teed it up as news was breaking on the east coast that he had gotten his lawyer involved in the aftermath of cheating accusations followed him out of the Hero World Challenge. He was 3 under through his first 10 holes but logged two bogeys in the next three for a 1-under 69 that left him four shots off the pace.

Justin Thomas, who defeated Reed in a three-hole playoff last week to the win the Sentry Tournament of Champions, struggled to a 2-over 72 that left him tied for 63rd.

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