Bae leads Kirk by one at Sony Open

Sang-Moon Bae of South Korea recorded a bogey-free 7-under-par 63 to take the lead by one stroke over Chris Kirk after one round of the Sony Open in at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu.

Bae, who claimed his first PGA Tour victory last year in the HP Byron Nelson Championship after winning 11 times as a pro in Asia, birdied four of the first six holes and shot 5-under 30 on the front nine while playing early in the day.

“I think I played well last week, but really tough greens,” said Bae, who tied for 21st in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at Kapalua on Maui. “Very hard to read. I couldn’t read any right-to-left putts — any putts — so I missed a lot of putts last week.

“But this course is more shorter than last week, so easy read, and I can make good speed, too.”

Kirk, who captured the 2011¬†Viking Classic and the McGladrey Classic last October at the start of the PGA Tour’s new wrap-around schedule for 2013-14, was 2-over through 7 holes before collecting six birdies and sinking a 14-foot eagle putt on the final hole to complete his 64 playing alongside Bae.

Brian Stuard, who has never won on the circuit, holed a 10-foot birdie putt to finish at 65 and tie for third with Ryan Palmer, the 2010 Sony champion, who knocked in a six-footer for birdie on the last hole.

Retief Goosen of South Africa shot 66 and was tied for fifth with Harris English, Jimmy Walker, John Daly, Jason Kokrak, Daniel Summerhays and Hideto Tanihara of Japan.

Adam Scott of Australia, No. 2 in the World Golf Rankings, posted a 67 and was in a tie for 12th that included Jason Dufner, the PGA champion.

Zach Johnson, who captured the Hyundai for his third victory in his last six starts, opened with a 70 and was tied for 25th.

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