Cam Davis of Australia was pleased to play so well with family and friends watching.
The 28-year-old Davis shot eight-under-par 62 to take a two-stroke lead over Taylor Montgomery after the first round of the 59th Sony Open in Hawaii in breezy conditions at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, in the shadow of Diamond Head Crater.
“I have much of my family here, plus many friends, and they are right in front of me now,” said Davis, who claimed his only PGA Tour victory in the 2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic. “It was great to have them cheering for me all day.
“I just picked up from a really good final round last week and kept it going. I hit so many good shots today and it was great to see so many putts going in the hole all day long. My swing and my putting were so good.
“With a quick turnaround to playing tomorrow morning, I hope to have the same feeling and keep it going.”
Davis, who has won four times a pro, made five of his nine birdies on the last six holes in his 62, while Montgomery made five of his nine birdies on the back nine in a 64.
“I definitely feel like I could win at any time,” said Montgomery, whose only pro victory came in the 2019 Long Beach Open. “I hope to do that soon. I’m like: ‘How good are these damn guys with their irons?’ It’s just an area that I really want to improve on. I feel like I can get really good if I start hitting my irons really good. … I’ve been working hard on it. I’ve just got to work harder.
“Hard work trumps everything.”
Aaron Rai of England made four birdies on each nine in a 65 an is tied for third with Austin Eckroat, who played bogey-free, Stephan Jaeger, who birdied the last two holes, and Webb Simpson, who sank a five-foot eagle putt on his last hole.
Chris Kirk, who won The Sentry last Sunday, shot a bogey-free 66 and is in a big tie for seventh with Alex Noren of Sweden, Brendon Todd, Mattieu Pavon of France, Alejandro Tosti of Argentina, Eric Cole of Palm Springs, Scott Stallings, Harris English and Norman Xiong of San Diego
Defending champion Si Woo Kim of South Korea birdied the last hole for a 69 and is in a tie for 47th that includes eighth-ranked Matt Fitzpatrick of England and ninth-ranked Brian Harman, who also closed with a birdie.
Gary Woodland, the 2019 U.S. Open champion who was playing for the first time since undergoing brain surgery last September, birdied his last hole to cap a 71 and is tied for 91st.
For complete results and second-round tee times, visit: https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard