Rookie Svensson leads Sony Open after firing 61

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HONOLULU (AP) - Ocean views along the golf course seem to suit Adam Svensson of Canada.

A year after his victory in the Bahamas that paved his way to the PGA Tour, Svensson capped off a rookie round to remember Thursday with a 10-foot birdie putt on his final hole for a 9-under 61 and a one-shot lead in the Sony Open.

"It was all a blur," Svensson said. "I don't even remember which holes I birdied."

Throw in an eagle, too, a 6-iron on the par-5 ninth that he caught thin and was hopeful would clear the bunker. It did better than that, rolling out to 5 feet. But it was the back nine, as the wind began to calm along the shores just west of Waikiki Beach, where the 25-year-old Canadian made his move.

It started with a 50-foot birdie putt on the 11th hole. He hit it to 2 feet on the 12th, holed an 18-foot birdie on No. 13 and finished his run with a 10-foot birdie on the 14th. A tough up-and-down from right of the green on the par-5 18th gave Svensson the lowest round of professional career.

He did shoot a 61 while at Barry University, where he won the Jack Nicklaus Award in 2014 as the Division II player of the year.

His only significant victory as a pro was the second event last year on the Web.com Tour at the Bahamas Great Abaco Classic, and he held his position in the top 25 on the money list the rest of the year to reach the PGA Tour.

Andrew Putnam shot a 62 in the morning and looked tough to beat until Svensson came along.

It was the first time Putnam had played Waialae all week because of a bee sting, and it apparently didn't bother him. He made birdie on half of his holes, none of them tap-ins, and took only 23 putts for the lowest score of his PGA Tour career.

Putnam had a four-shot lead among the early starters. By the end of the day, Matt Kuchar had a 63, and 75 players from the 144-man field were under par.

That did not include Jordan Spieth, who made his 2019 debut with a little rust, and it showed. He had to wait until his 16th hole, the par-3 seventh, for his first birdie of the year. And that was all he made in a round of 73 that left him needing a low round just to make it to the weekend.

PRO TENNIS

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) - Andy Murray is still hoping to make it to one more Wimbledon tournament before his problematic hip forces him into retirement. For now, he's only committing to the Australian Open.

In an emotional news conference Friday, when a tearful Murray had to leave the room shortly after his first attempt to get it started, and needed to pause several times to compose himself once it had resumed, he confirmed he'd play his first-round match at the Australian Open next week but wasn't sure how much longer he could continue beyond that.

The 31-year-old Murray said he practiced in the off-season with the main goal of making one last run at Wimbledon, where he ended the 77-year drought for British men with his title in 2013, but now wasn't sure he'd make it that far.

PRO HOCKEY

LAS VEGAS (AP) - The NHL and NHL Players' Association held a lengthy meeting to discuss keeping the current collective bargaining agreement past 2020 and agreed to meet again next week to continue the talks.

The sides met for more than two hours to talk about a CBA extension that could pave the way for a World Cup of Hockey in 2020.

"I think we had a constructive dialogue," Commissioner Gary Bettman told The Associated Press on Thursday night. "But beyond that, we have nothing to announce and I have nothing to add."

PRO BASKETBALL

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) - LeBron James' strained groin is turning out to be perhaps the most significant injury of the famously durable superstar's 16-year NBA career.

James likely will miss at least three more games after being cleared to increase his on-court activity in his comeback from the injury, the Lakers announced after an evaluation by their medical staff.

The Lakers say James' healing is "progressing," and the four-time NBA MVP will participate in more functional basketball activities during the upcoming week. But the team also says it will provide another update on Jan. 16, which probably means James will miss the Lakers' three upcoming games against Utah, Cleveland and Chicago.

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