Casey, Simpson share early Sony lead

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Scores are typically low at Waialae Country Club, and Thursday's opening round of the Sony Open in Hawaii was no exception. Here's how things look after 18 holes, where Paul Casey and Webb Simpson share the lead:

Leaderboard: Paul Casey (-8), Webb Simpson (-8), Camilo Villegas (-7), Robert Streb (-7), Rory Sabbatini (-6), Jason Day and Matt Kuchar among those at -5

What it means: Winds kicked up a bit in the afternoon, so most of the low scores came from the morning wave. The field was first paced by Casey, in search of his first PGA Tour win since 2009, but he was later caught by Simpson's hot - albeit short - putter.

Round of the day: Casey confirmed this week that he has given up his European Tour membership to focus on the PGA Tour, and through one round that decision has worked out well. The Englishman birdied seven of his first 12 holes to briefly flirt with a 59 and made nine birdies on the day while shooting 62.

Best of the rest: Simpson deployed a regulation-length putter for the first time in a Tour round, and it worked wonders. He took only 23 putts while holing everything in sight, including birdies on eight of his final 10 holes, and his 8-under 62 was the lowest score of his career.

Biggest disappointment: Russell Henley won at Waialae just two years ago, and after contending for much of the week in Maui he was expected to go low once again. Instead, he opened with a 2-over 72 that included only two birdies and left him with some work to do to simply make the 36-hole cut.



Main storyline heading into Friday: Scores will remain low in Oahu, but the player to watch is Simpson as he rolls out the new putter. It's a storyline that will develop throughout the year with the anchoring ban looming, as Simpson is one of several notable anchorers who will need to adapt. The transition has appeared rather easy so far at Waialae.

Shot of the day: Geoff Ogilvy scored the first hole-in-one of 2015 when he aced the par-3 second hole with a 5-iron from 211 yards. The shot helped the Aussie to a 1-under 69.

Quote of the day: "I didn't want to wait until 2016 because I didn't want to be in a position where I felt like I was forced into the short putter." - Simpson