Appleby takes early lead at soggy Sony

Honolulu: Australia`s Stuart Appleby seized the early clubhouse lead as the soggy Sony Open got underway at last, firing a six-under 64 for a one-shot edge over a group including Justin Rose.

Appleby opened with eight straight pars on Friday before a birdie at the ninth on the soaked Waialea Country Club course.

Back-to-back birdies at 12 and 13 were followed by an eagle at the par-four 16th and another birdie at 17.

Appleby chipped in for birdie from in front of the 12th green.

At 16 he was 163 yards away and hit a five-iron - not expecting to hear the cheer when it went in. He rolled in a 35-footer at 17.

"Less than two hours, really went from a pretty plain round to a good round," Appleby said.

The group in the clubhouse on 65 included England`s Rose, Mark Wilson and US tour rookie Nate Smith with the afternoon starters still on the course.

Appleby described the course as "heavy" but at least the rain that washed out play on Thursday was over, allowing the first full-field event of the US PGA Tour season to get underway.

Officials plan to play the second round on Saturday, and the third and fourth rounds on Sunday.

The Wednesday start of next week`s Bob Hope Classic adds to the pressure to finish the tournament on time.

Bureau Report

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