Henley leads TOC with opening 65

Russell Henley carded a bogey-free 8-under-par 65 to take a one-stroke lead over Sang-Moon Bae after one round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions on the Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort outside of Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii.

The 25-year-old Henley, who qualified for the winners-only tournament by winning the 2014 Honda Classic for this second PGA Tour victory, birdied five of the first seven holes and added three more on the back nine — including two on the last three holes.

“I’ve always been pretty good at chipping and putting, but now I’m striking the ball better than I ever have,” said Henley, who also captured the 2013 Sony Open in Hawaii. “Ever since I’ve gotten comfortable with the things we’ve been working on fundamentally, I’ve started to keep the ball in front of me more and not have as big of misses, and driving the ball better.

“Most of the really consistent players out here do the same thing every time and they have the club on plane. … Since I started hitting the ball better, I’ve been playing better golf, and that has made me play more consistent.”

Bae, whose victory in the Frys.com Open in October was his second on the PGA Tour, made five consecutive birdies through No. 8 while shooting 7-under 30 on the front nine, but had only two birdies plus a bogey on the back in his 66.

Jimmy Walker, who earned his first three victories on the PGA Tour last year at the age of 35, birdied three of the last five holes for a 67 and was tied for third with Patrick Reed, Ben Martin and Robert Streb.

Defending champion Zach Johnson posted a 68 and was tied for eighth with Matt Kuchar, Chris Kirk and John Senden of Australia.

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