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Strong winds hit Waialae Country Club during round 1 - Sony Open in Hawaii

Collin Morikawa defies strong winds to capture first-round lead at the Sony Open in Hawaii

US young gun, Collin Morikawa defied strong winds sweeping across Waialae Country Club to capture an early first-round lead on Thursday during PGA Tour's Sony Open in Hawaii.

The 22-year-old young star, who turned pro in June, took advantage of the experience he gained during another wind squall whipped calendar-year opening tournament of the PGA Tour season - the Sentry Tournament of Champions, which was won by Justin Thomas last week at the Kapalua Resort, Plantation Course, by firing five birdies to close the day with five-under par 65 - an impressive finish for such tough weather conditions.

"Really good," said a happy Morikawa, who finished the day two shots ahead of Australian Matt Jones and fellow Americans Ted Potter, Ryan Palmer and Sam Ryder.

With Morikawa safely at the top, Sam Ryder was hot on his heels, reeling off four straight birdies at the 16th, 17th, and 18th - and the first of a 4 players tie, for second place with three-under on round one.

However, Jones and Palmer both carded dramatic back-to-back birdies for a closing 67. But, it was Ted Potter Jr. who nabbed a stuning fifth and final birdie of the day at his last hole in this 4-man second place tie.

"It blew, it gusted a lot and it was tough to judge your distances," Jones said of the unusually strong winds that wreaked havoc on the scenic Hawaiian course. "But I kept the ball low, kept it in play and I think I hit a fair few greens - which was my goal today."

Morikawa said he could have hit his driver better, but he was impressive with his long irons and solid on the greens.

"I didn't make too many putts, but I made the ones I needed," he said.

Top five leading round one scores

Position

Player

R1

1

C. Morikawa

-5

T2

M. Jones

-3

T2

T. Potter, Jr.

-3

T2

R. Palmer

-3

T2

S. Ryder

-3

Highlights - round one - Sony Open in Hawaii 2020

2020 Sony Open in Hawaii, best shots of the day from round one, featuring among others Marc Leishman, Patrick Rodgers, Tim Wilkinson, Sam Ryder, and round one leader Collin Morikawa.