Power now 72 holes without a bogey after sizzling Sony opening 63

Bernie McGuire

Seamus Power in Hawaii. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Seamus Power’s superb start to the New Year continues with a top-of-the-board 63, equalling his PGA Tour low-round on day one of the Sony Open of Hawaii.

Power put the Irish tri-colour into a four-way share of fourth place amid a sea of Stars and Stripes in the event again be played on the par-70 Wai’alae course in the capital Honolulu. All but four players among the leading 15 are not American.

Defending Sony Open champ Kevin Na stole Jim Furyk’s impressive showing with a nine-under par 61 in calm day one conditions. Na, wearing a standout shirt adorned with palm trees, snatched an eagle and seven birdies as the 38-year-old set about matching the score he shot on day three a year ago in winning a fifth Tour title.

The now 51-year-old Furyk celebrated the start of his 30th anniversary in the pro ranks with a sixth hole-in-one of his PGA Tour career by acing the par-3 17th in his round of an eight-under 62 to be sharing second with countryman Russell Henley. Furyk, who holds the Tour low of 58, is also a former Sony Open winner in being handed the trophy in 1996.

Power’s very impressive form continues with the West Waterford star now having played 72 holes, since the second round of last week’s Sentry Tournament of Champions, without a bogey.

“Everything was kind of in decent order. Wouldn’t mind hitting maybe a couple extra fairways, but overall it was pretty good. Made some nice putts here and there. Hit some nice wedge shots close, and overall nice and solid,” said Power.

“Cam (Davis) and I were talking about it a couple times, it’s bizarre to see it so calm. I certainly don’t remember that the years I played it. You want to be aggressive but the fairways are starting to firm up a little bit. A couple times, like on 9 my last hole, hit a good shot runs into very thick rough.”

Power, as he mentioned, is no stranger to the event and is making his fourth appearance.

Starting from the 10th he capped his round of seven birdies with a hat-trick of birdies from the 14th and bacK-to-back birdies at 18 and the first. He then muscled his way to a share of fourth with birdies at his 14th and 15th holes.

“The PGA Tour is tough. If you want to win, you have to have four good rounds,” added Power. “That’s the mentality you have to got to have.

“So, a nice start and puts me in a good position but there’s a long ways to go. I need to have three more good rounds to have a chance come Sunday.”

Though it was calm conditions, already the low scoring at the Sony again raises questions about the ease of PGA Tour venues. Last week we saw Aussie Cameron Smith win the Sentry with a new 72-hole Tour low of 34-under-par  Indeed, third place finisher Matt Jones, also from ‘Down Under’, matched the prior low of 31-under. This also on a par-73 layout.

The question being raised is do serious golf fans want this to be the standard fare week-in and week-out in the States or should host venues be made to help curb this ‘shooting the lights out’ scoring we’re witnessing? Maybe it’s high time the Tour started looking at reducing many of the reachable in two par-5s to par-4s.

Though don’t bring this up with Graeme McDowell who posted a level par 70 to be trailing just one spot inside the top-100.

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