Golf rising star Morikawa beats high winds to lead in Hawaii

Collin Morikawa holds a two-shot lead in Hawaii

The Californian handled the windswept conditions with aplomb, though riding his luck at times after some errant drives, while running up five birdies in a five-under-par 65 at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu.

Morikawa got through the relentless 30 miles per hour wind without a bogey for a 5-under 65 and a two-shot lead over Matt Jones, Ted Potter Jr., Ryan Palmer and Sam Ryder.

"I didn't hit my driver that well but other than that it was really good", Morikawa told Golf Channel.

"It blew, it gusted a lot and it was tough to judge your distances", Jones said of the unusually strong winds that wreaked havoc on the scenic Hawaiian course.

The 22-year-old Morikawa, who earned his trip to the winner's only event at Kapalua last week by capturing the 2019 Barracuda Championship for his first PGA Tour victory, birdied four of the last 10 holes-capped by a seven-foot putt while finishing on the ninth hole.

"I got some lucky breaks when I was in a bad mood". You've got to hit fairways and I didn't do a great job of that today.

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"In the coming days I have to hit some fairs as well and we'll be fine from there", he said.

"I didn't make too many putts, but I made the ones I needed".

Thomas, victor of last week's Sentry Tournament of Champions and a Sony Open victor in 2017, bogeyed three of the first five holes before clawing one back at the long ninth, and although he dropped two more shots on the back nine, birdies at 15 and 18 lifted his spirits.

Defending champion Matt Kuchar (73) and Patrick Reed (74) fell short of getting to the weekend, while 2018 victor Patton Kizzire (74) also missed the cut.

Justin Thomas struggled early in the wind and had to keep it together for a 72.

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