Webb, Casey card 62s, lead Sony Open

First Round –PGA Tour – Sony Open –Waialae Country Club – Honolulu, Hawaii –

Former U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson and formerly Top 5 player in the world Paul Casey opened with 8-under-62s at the Sony Open in Honolulu.

Webb, forgoing his trusty long putter for a shorter flat stick, posted a career-best round. The No. 44 player in the Official World Golf Ranking carded a front-nine 28 at Waialae Country Club. Casey, who won the European Tour’s KLM Open last September, rallied for five straight birdies at one point en route to his 62.

Robert Streb, who leads the FedEx Cup standings thanks to a hot start and a win at The McGladrey, is T-3 after a 63 alongside Camilo Villegas. Rory Sabbatini, Matt Kuchar and Tim Clark are both in the Top 10 after 18 holes.

Clark is a recent two-time runner-up at the Sony (2011 and 2013).

Chris Kirk, a runner-up here last season to Jimmy Walker, is T-12 after a 66. Walker, also T-12, lost earlier this week in a playoff to Patrick Reed in Maui.

Simpson was listed as a 40-to-1 betting selection at, while Casey was a longer shot at 66-1. He is 78th in the world ranking heading into this week.

Despite nearly 70 players breaking par, several players struggled on day one including Russell Henley (2-over), Hideki Matsuyama and Kevin Streelman.

Other Golf news:

  • Thanks to a hold-in-one at the 15th hole in round two, Rory McIlroy post a 66 to close the gap at the European Tour’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. Martin Kaymer (13-under overall) continues to lead. Thomas Pieters is a shot back followed by Rory at 11-under. Kaymer, a three-time winner at this event, was bogey-free on Friday.
  • Phil Mickelson announced he will skip Pebble Beach and Riviera cutting back his West Coast Swing this season. Mickelson will open his 2015 campaign at the Humana Challenge in Palm Springs and then play Phoenix and Torrey Pines. He is No. 16 in the world ranking.
  • Henrik Stenson, 2nd in the world ranking, missed the cut at the Abu Dhabi shooting rounds of 76-68. He wasn’t the only one with a disappointing start. Pablo Larrazabal, the defending champion, and Tommy Fleetwood also missed the half-way cut.
  • Kuchar has Top 8 finishes in his last three Sony Open appearances.
  • Rickie Fowler shot 75 in round two on the European Tour to slip down the leader board to T-56 alongside Justin Rose, who shot 69 in round two. Paired with Rory, Fowler had opened with 67.