Cam Davis birdied five of his last six holes and held a two-shot lead on Thursday in Honolulu when play was suspended for the night during the opening round of the Sony Open in Hawaii.
Davis, a 28-year-old Australian, fired an 8-under-par 62 at Waialae Country Club as the first full-field event of the 2024 PGA Tour season got underway.
Taylor Montgomery carded a 64, and Austin Eckroat, England’s Aaron Rai, Webb Simpson and Germany’s Stephan Jaeger shared third place at 65.
Chris Kirk, Brendon Todd, Eric Cole, Scott Stallings, Harris English, Sweden’s Alex Noren, France’s Matthieu Pavon and Argentina’s Alejandro Tosti were tied for seventh place at 66. Norman Xiong was also at 4 under par, but he had three holes to go.
Defending champion Si Woo Kim of South Korea was tied for 47th at 69, along with the field’s top two players in the world rankings, No. 8 Matt Fitzpatrick of England and No. 9 Brian Harman.
Nineteen players had yet to complete the round when play was halted due to darkness. They will conclude the round Friday morning ahead of the start of the second round.
Davis owns one win in 131 previous PGA Tour starts, at the 2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic. He has made just five career appearances at major tournaments, topped by a tie for fourth at the 2023 PGA Championship.
He didn’t foresee his impressive round on Thursday.
“I think when I was standing on the first tee staring into a 30-mile-an-hour wind on a 500-yard par-4, I was thinking, ‘Well, pars are good today,'” he said. “You know, not every hole was into the wind. Took advantage of the ones where the wind was helping. Yeah, the rest of the course as well.
“I was putting good shots in. Sort of thing I would like to see the rest of the week.”
Davis produced four birdies and his lone bogey of the day on the front nine. On the back nine, he ran off four birdies in a row starting at No. 13, then completed the round with another birdie at No. 18.
“I was seeing the green reads pretty well for some reason today,” he said. “Sometimes they don’t come too clearly, but today I felt like I was seeing them well and putting decent speed and just hitting good putts on top of that.
“Yeah, just kind of built a round slowly and then kind of exploded a little bit there at the end with a few in a row yeah, very relaxing to not be stressing for pars today and having lots of putts for birdie.”
Montgomery’s up-and-down day featured three bogeys and nine birdies.
“We definitely got a good tee time being able to play the first like six holes with no wind, and so that definitely helped,” Montgomery said. “But it was nice to come out here and put up a low one.”