Rookie Adam Svensson Leads in Hawaii With 61

The four major championships - U.S. Masters, U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship - remain the game's gold standard and 38-year-old Scott is at the stage where he knows he must strike soon to add to his 2013 Masters Green Jacket. "I was around the hole, I hit 17 greens or something like that, so I gave myself a lot of opportunities and I came out with a 61". He made his lone birdie of the day on the par-3 7th hole but sandwiched it between bogeys at 5 and 8.

"I'm like, 'Wouldn't it just be a re-drop anyway?' What's the big deal?'" Spieth said.

Spieth would have been allowed to re-drop from knee-height without penalty under the new rule, unless he played his shot from the original drop, which would be a one-stroke penalty.

He still managed to keep it entertaining, especially with the new rules. He also tapped in for par on the opening hole with the flagstick still in the cup, another change that is getting plenty of attention early in the year.

Putnam needed just 23 putts, making 12 of 12 from 10 feet and rolling in birdie putts of 27, 21 and 28 feet during his round. "Like I said, could take a while, but I got pretty far off and I'm trying to backtrack significantly".

Starting his golf year earlier than in recent times after a lengthy layoff, Scott mixed five bogeys with three birdies. Ben Silverman of Thornhill, Ont., (71) and Abbotsford's Adam Hadwin (72) are both well back of Svensson's lead. This is his third year playing the Sony Open, so the course is not new to him.

Putnam was stung on his foot while poolside Tuesday and had to pull out of the pro-am because it was painful to walk.

"I was three or four years old and my dad was teeing off and I guess I made a decision to drive the cart right into the lake", Svensson said of his toddler days.

"I putted really well last week (in the Sentry Tournament of Champions), was No. 2 overall in the field, and it just carried over". He missed a six-footer for birdie on 18, a five-footer for par on 5 and dropped almost three strokes to the field on the putting greens.

Vanessa Coleman