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Bae grabs early Sony Open lead

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POSTED January 9, 2014 11:17 p.m.

HONOLULU (AP) — Sang-Moon Bae got off to a great start in pristine conditions along the shores of Oahu. Chris Kirk had an ideal finish.

They were together all Thursday morning, playing in the same group at the Sony Open and taking the top two spots on the leaderboard. Bae played bogey-free for a 7-under 63. Kirk shot 29 on the back nine at Waialae, including an eagle on the last hole, for a 64.

They were among the early starters in the first full-field event of the year on the PGA Tour, and they took advantage of a gorgeous day.

Their better-ball score was 56.

“He was off to a great start,” Kirk said. “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.”

Retief Goosen, finally feeling better after missing another big chunk of the year with back problems, slept awkwardly on his neck and was sore during the pro-am. That apparently healed quickly. He was in the group at 66 with Harris English, Jimmy Walker and John Daly.

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