One year after back surgery that made him wonder if he could ever play golf again, Canada's Graham DeLaet chipped in for eagle and twice holed 35-foot birdie putts for a 7-under 63 Thursday for a two-shot lead among the early starters at the Sony Open.
Carl Pettersson and former Sony Open champion K.J. Choi were among those at 65, while Webb Simpson was in the group at 66.
''I'm just so excited to be back out,'' DeLaet said. ''I had a good season my rookie campaign, and then it was all basically just taken away. And I realize now how fortunate we are to be playing golf for a living. My whole attitude is definitely better.''
His game looked to be in pretty good shape, too.
Thursday was a gentle start of the season in the first full-field tournament of the year on the PGA Tour, with the ocean breeze barely strong enough to move fronds on the palm trees that line the fairways. Just under half of those with early tee times broke par.
Kapalua winner Steve Stricker was among those wh...