Just days after losing in a playoff at the Tournament of Champions, Joaquin Niemann fired an 8-under 62 in Round 1 of the Sony Open on Thursday to share a two-shot lead with Jason Kokark and Peter Malnati.
Niemann began his day with four straight pars and started filling the cup with birdies near the midway point of his round. He capped a brilliant day at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu with a chip-in eagle.
"It was a good way to finish," Niemann said afterward. "Just happy the way I played. Nice chip-in to finish and will help me sleep for tomorrow."
The 22-year-old Chilean lost to Harris English on the first extra hole last week in the 2021 opener after shooting 9-under to force the playoff. He's now played his last 36 holes at 17-under with 16 birdies and an eagle.
Kokrak also posted his 62 in the afternoon wave with Niemann, while Malnati set the early pace during windier conditions in the morning.
Here's how the top of the leaderboard stacks up after Day 1:
|Place||Player||To Par||R1 Score|
|T4||Si Woo Kim||-6||64|
Defending champion Cameron Smith sits at 3-under.
Round 2 of the Sony Open begins Friday at 12:10 p.m. ET. The broadcast starts at 7 p.m. on Golf Channel.