15 Jan 2011

Appleby leads in Hawaii

6:32 pm on 15 January 2011

The Australian golfer Stuart Appleby has a one-shot lead at the weather-hit Sony Open in Hawaii, despite having had his pre-tournament practice limited to just 20 minutes of swinging a club without a ball.

The 39-year-old covered his final 10 holes in a sizzling six under par at a soggy Waialae Country Club to complete a six-under 64 in the delayed opening round.

Britain's Justin Rose fired a six-birdie 65 to sit level with Australian Mark Leishman, Japan's Shigeki Maruyama and Americans Matt Kuchar, Mark Wilson, Steve Marino, Michael Connell and Tour rookies Nate Smith and Ben Martin.

Defending champion Ryan Palmer opened with a 68 while smooth-swinging South African Ernie Els, winner there in 2003 and 2004, returned a 70.

Four inches of rain earlier in the week had left Waialae waterlogged, forcing practice facilities to be closed and the scheduled first day's play yesterday to be abandoned.