• Sony Open, Round One

Langley & Henley in rookie control

ESPN staff
January 10, 2013 « Dodson chasing pigs & squirrels to prepare for Johnson | Chartbeat test »
Scott Langley, left, shakes hands with Luke Guthrie after his 62 round in Honolulu © Getty Images
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Sony Open leaderboard

Rookies Scott Langley and Russell Henley lead the way after round one of the Sony Open in Honolulu while Dustin Johnson's bid to win back-to-back titles got off to a slow start.

Following his four-stroke victory in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions earlier in the week, Johnson could only go round in an even-par 70 to leave him eight shots behind leader Langley.

Langley, who leads Henley by a solitary stroke, hit six birdies and an eagle at the ninth to shoot a 62 round and overtake early leader Scott Piercy, who ultimately dropped down to third.

Langley and Henley, both 23, are good friends and after his round the former commented on how both their careers have taken off in the past year.

"We were just walking up 16, you could see the ocean behind, PGA Tour signs everywhere," he said. "We looked at each other and realised this is pretty cool. To look back one year ago and to know that we weren't here ... we were in a far different place."

One year ago the pair were playing in a Hooters Tour event in Florida, where Henley missed the cut and Langley only made it by the skin of his teeth.

Henley's form on the back nine was impressive as he birdied five holes, yet a bogey at the 11th ensured pride of place on the leaderboard went to his friend.

Piercy's bogey-free round of 64 was the pick of the early tee-off candidates as the storms in Maui, which shortened the Tournament of Champions to 54 holes, were nowhere to be seen at the Waialae Country Club.

"The wind wasn't even blowing today compared to last week," Piercy said. "I just played solid, hit it in a lot of fairways, hit a lot of greens, made two fairly key putts and took care of the par-fives."

Johnson's failure to fire was understandable given the radically different nature of the course compared with the Plantation Course. Two shots ahead of the world No. 12 was Keegan Bradley as he patched up his round following a double bogey at the sixth.

Keeping pace with Bradley at two-under was England's Brian Davis as he finished strongly with back-to-back birdies at the 16th and 17th holes. Webb Simpson and Matt Kuchar both ended on four-under.

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