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The Journal Gazette

Friday, January 11, 2019 1:00 am

Golf

Canadian rookie atop Sony

DOUG FERGUSON | Associated Press

HONOLULU – Adam Svensson of Canada capped off a rookie round to remember with a 10-foot birdie putt for a 9-under 61 to take a one-shot lead in the opening round Thursday at the Sony Open.

Andrew Putnam set a target in the morning that with a 62. The 25-year-old Svensson ran off four straight birdies to tie for the lead, and then did one better with a tough up-and-down on the par-5 18th.

Matt Kuchar had a 63 playing in the afternoon.

Jordan Spieth in his 2019 debut had to be stopped from taking an incorrect drop under the new rules. That was the most interesting part of his day as he opened with a 73 and was in danger of missing the cut.

Spieth doesn't understand the visually awkward change of dropping from knee-height instead of shoulder-height and did what he has done his entire golfing life – held the ball at shoulder level. A tour official stopped and corrected him.