You no doubt have Adam Svensson on your Fantasy Golf team.
Svensson, not a Swedish Svensson but a kid from Canada who finished as the unlucky No. 26 on the Web.com Tour but a spot in the Top 50 at the Web.com finals got him to Waialae this week.
By the way, he’s No. 444 in the world if that matters.
What did matter was the nine-under par 61 he shot on Thursday to hold the first-round lead at the Sony Open.
Things started out quietly for the 25-year-old, a couple of birdies then get got to the par five ninth where he “thinned a five-iron” from 197-yards out that stopped three feet from the hole. That eagle got him going and he’d add five birdies coming home.
“Yeah, missed a couple on the front and I was like, Just be patient. I started rolling in 40, 45 footers, something like that, and I just kind of took it from there. Had a lot of the confidence. Was just feeling it today with the putter,” Svensson said, and that appears to be the secret to scoring at Waialae — putting.
It sure wasn’t course knowledge for Svensson, who had just one full practice round and wasn’t in the pro-am.
“I played one practice round on Tuesday and I felt like my strength is ball striking. Off the tee you got to be in the fairway. If you’re not in the fairway you know 90% of the time it’s going to be a flier. So fairways are huge, and greens in regulation is important as well,” Svensson said after his career-low round on the PGA Tour.
He was a shot in front of Andy Putnam, whose putter was also hot. “I just go thot with the putter, it was ridiculous. I putted pretty good last week (Tournament of Champions) so it carried over.”
Putnam was solid but not spectacular in Maui. He shot 10-under par and finished tied for 14th.
Two shots back of Svensson was Matt Kuchar. The short Waialae course was to his liking and he put together a seven-birdie day for 63.
One big-name player who should have been near or close to the top was Justin Thomas, who shot 59 at Waialae in 2017 when he eagled the 18th hole, eagled that hole on Thursday but he had to do it to make a comeback after three straight bogeys starting at the 15th hole. In all, four back-nine bogeys thwarted what could have been a great round but he still finished three-under with 67 and kept himself in contention.