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                     === Bae bounds into Sony Open lead ===
 
 Honolulu,  HI  (SportsNetwork.com) -  Sang-Moon Bae fired  a 7-under-par 63 on
 Thursday  to grab a  1-stroke lead after the opening round of the Sony Open in
 Hawaii.
 
 Bae,  who earned his  first PGA Tour win at the Byron Nelson Championship last
 year, went bogey-free with seven birdies at Waialae Country Club.
 
 "I think I played well last week (at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions), but
 really tough greens," said Bae. "Very hard to read. I couldn't read any right-
 to-left  putts --  any putts -- so I  missed a lot of puts last week. But this
 course  is  more shorter  than last  week, so easy  read, and  I can make good
 speed, too."
 
 Chris  Kirk, playing in the same group as Bae, shot 6-under 64 to snare second
 place, while Ryan Palmer and Brian Stuard both carded 65s to share third.
 
 Seven players are tied for fifth place at 4-under 66, including two-time major
 champions John Daly and Retief Goosen.
 
 World  No. 2 Adam  Scott and Jason Dufner are part of a group tied for 12th at
 3-under  67 and last week's Tournament of Champions winner Zach Johnson shares
 25th place with several others after carding an opening-round 68.
 
 Bae  and Kirk teed off in the morning from the first tee and it was the former
 who  set the  early pace, reeling off  five birdies over his first nine holes.
 Bae  dropped a 7-iron within three feet at the first, drained a 25-foot birdie
 roll at the third and didn't relent over his opening nine.
 
 Kirk,  meanwhile, started  slow with  bogeys at  the third  and sixth,  but he
 eventually responded to his playing partner's challenge, notching four birdies
 in a five-hole span from the eighth.
 
 After additional birdies at the 15th and 16th, Kirk, who is seeking his second
 victory of the 2013-2014 season, eagled the par-5 18th to wrap up his 64.
 
 "He  was off to a great start," Kirk said of Bae. "At one point he was 4-under
 and  I was still 2-over. It took some catching up for me on the back nine. But
 it's always nice to see putts falling."
 
 Bae  cooled  somewhat on the back  nine, but he  managed a pair of birdies and
 didn't  drop a  shot, parring out from  the 15th to end the opening round with
 the lead.
 
 NOTES:  Bae's 63 marked his career-low round on the PGA Tour. He tied for 21st
 last  week  at the Hyundai Tournament  of Champions ... Kirk won the McGladrey
 Classic  in November. He  is a two-time PGA Tour winner, with the other coming
 at  the 2011  Viking Classic ... Defending champion Russell Henley is tied for
 118th at 3-over 73 ... Hideki Matsuyama withdrew prior to the first round with
 a wrist injury. He was replaced by Robert Streb, who shot even-par.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 01/10 00:04:46 ET