SIPA USA/PA Images Niemann: Playoff defeat "hurt a little bit".
# Teed Off
Niemann bids to banish playoff blues with fast start at Sony Open
Ireland’s Seamus Power well down the field in Hawaii after a level-par opening round.

JOAQUIN NIEMANN CHIPPED in for eagle from off the green at the 18th hole to grab a share of the first-round lead in the Sony Open alongside Peter Malnati and Jason Kokrak.

Chile’s Niemann, who lost a playoff to Harris English at the Tournament of Champions on Sunday, added seven birdies and one bogey in his eight-under par 62 at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Malnati had nine birdies and one bogey as he set an early target, and Kokrak fired eight birdies without a bogey in an afternoon effort that matched his career-low round on the PGA Tour.

Niemann, who grabbed his first US tour title at the Greenbrier in September of 2019, said his near-miss at Kapalua last weekend provided “a little extra motivation”.

“It hurt a little bit,” the 22-year-old said. “But you have to go to the next page. We’re in another week. (You’ve) just got to forget about it and take the positives of last week.”

The top trio were two strokes in front of a group of six players on 64: Australian Aaron Baddeley, South Korean Kim Si-woo and Americans Vaughn Taylor, Jim Herman, Patton Kizzire and Daniel Berger.

Seamus Power, the only Irish player in Hawaii this week, finished with an eagle but it was only good enough for a level par 70 which leaves him well down the field in a share of 99th place.

© – AFP, 2021

Screenshot 2020-11-24 at 9.04.07 AM

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