PGA Tour

Casey, Simpson share Sony lead

2015-01-16 08:07
Paul Casey (AP Photo)

Honolulu - Paul Casey, who was competing in Honolulu for the first time in 10 years, fired a 62 to grab a share of the lead at the PGA Tour's Sony Open on Thursday.

England's Casey is the co-leader along with Webb Simpson as they shot matching eight-under 62s in the first round at the Waialae Country Club course.

Casey is a 13-time winner on the European Tour, but his sole win on the PGA Tour came at the 2009 Houston Open.

"I don't know what to say. I mean, I'm ecstatic," Casey said. "First, I'm loving being in Hawaii. I have not been here for a long time. The last time I was here was 2010 when I played in Maui, and it's just, it's great to be back."

Former US Open champion Simpson is a four-time winner on the US tour, with the last one coming at the 2014 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Robert Streb continues to play well this season as he is tied for third with Camilo Villegas after the duo began the event with seven-under 63s. Streb won the McGladrey Classic in October.

Rory Sabbatini carded a six-under 64 and he is alone in fifth. Jason Day, Matt Kuchar, John Peterson, Tim Clark, J.J. Henry and Jonathan Randolph are all tied for sixth at five-under 65.

Casey began on the back nine. He started off with a birdie on 10 before making three consecutive pars from No. 11. On the 14th hole, Casey rolled in an 18-foot birdie putt to get to two-under for the round.

Casey got on a roll when he made five straight birdies from No. 17, putting him at seven under. After his lone bogey on No. 6, Casey made two more pars before closing things out with his ninth birdie on the ninth, giving him the clubhouse lead.

"I had no idea what to expect today, so I'm over the moon with that," Casey said.

After having used the belly putter for more than a decade, American Simpson switched to the short putter for the first time in his PGA Tour career.

It didn't seem to bother him.

"Today was a big day for me," said Simpson. "It was one of my best putting rounds I've ever had to be honest.

"I made a lot of putts. I didn't hit it great on the back nine, my first nine holes, but then I started driving it well. If you drive it well around this golf course, you're going to give yourself opportunities."

Defending champion Jimmy Walker had a strong first round and his four-under 66 has him tied for 12th in a group of 11 players.

First-round scores in the $1 million USPGA Sony Open on Thursday (par-70):

62 - Paul Casey (ENG), Webb Simpson

63 - Camilo Villegas (COL), Robert Streb

64 - Rory Sabbatini (RSA)

65 - J.J. Henry, Matt Kuchar, Tim Clark (RSA), Jason Day (AUS), Jonathan Randolph, John Peterson

66 - Brian Davis (ENG), Kevin Na, Jimmy Walker, Brian Harman, Michael Putnam, Chris Kirk, Daniel Summerhays, Troy Merritt, Russell Knox (SCO), Harris English, Blayne Barber

Read more on:    sony open  |  paul casey  |  golf

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