Golf's Singh seizes share of early Sony Open lead

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Los Angeles (AFP)

Fiji's former world number one Vijay Singh fired a bogey-free seven-under par 63 on Thursday to seize a share of the early first-round lead at the US PGA Tour's Sony Open in Hawaii.

The 52-year-old veteran, seeking his first US PGA Tour title since the 2008 Deutsche Bank Championship, had seven birdies on the par-70 Waialae Country Club course to share the clubhouse lead in the year's first full-field event with Americans Ricky Barnes and Morgan Hoffmann.

Singh teed off on the 10th and closed his round with back-to-back birdies at eight and nine -- missing a nine-foot eagle putt at his final hole.

"I was feeling good about my body, my swing, my mind," Singh told the Golf Channel. "I scrambled very well. Early on, I didn't hit too many fairways but I got it around the greens, chipped in once and my putter was working really well."

Although he hasn't found the winner's circle in some time, Singh said he doesn't feel it's out of reach.

"I feel like I can come out and win any tournament if I play well," he said. "It has been the same way for the last five, six years.

"I just haven't produced the scores that I want to produce, but I'm always optimistic about my next day, my next round, my next tournament."

South Korean Kim Si-Woo carded a 64 and was one stroke in front of a group of players that included England's former world number one Luke Donald on 65 with the afternoon starters still on the course.

American Jimmy Walker, seeking a third straight title at Waialae, was among those with later tee times.