Russell Henley found Kapalua to be a lot more fun the second time around.
Henley made four birdie putts outside 20 feet on his way to an 8-under 65 on Friday, giving him a one-shot lead over Bae Sang-Moon in the opening round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.
Henley made his debut last year in the winners-only event that starts the year and never broke 70. The Plantation Course offered up far better scores without the typical wind off the west coast of Maui.
"I kept the ball in front of me pretty decent today, and didn't scare too many chances at bogey," Henley said. "But my main thing was obviously I putted great and was seeing the lines today. If I can putt like that every day, I would probably have a few more wins."
Bae was in Honolulu practicing last week when he learned the South Korean government had denied an extension of his overseas travel permit. Bae has deferred his mandatory military service, and there are questions over how much time he spent at home during this deferral. He has hired a legal firm to sort out the problems, but he caused a stir back home when he was quoted as saying he would not being going back to South Korea. What he meant was that he was not required to be there while the law firm worked on it.
Most players have not competed in nearly two months, except those who were at the Hero World Challenge the first week of December or played overseas. Masters champion Bubba Watson played in Thailand to close out his best year ever, and he has been at Kapalua for the last week before his shots counted. He had a 70, a reasonable start, though he has yet to break 69 in 12 rounds on the Plantation Course.
Jimmy Walker and Patrick Reed, who joined Watson as the only multiple winners on tour last year who are at Kapalua, led a group at 67 that included Scott Stallings, Robert Streb and Ben Martin, who chipped in for eagle on the 18th with a shot that would have gone 20 feet by the hole if it hadn't banged into the pin. Matt Kuchar, never far from the hunt, was among those at 68.
Woods to start season in Phoenix
The rowdiest event on the PGA Tour landed golf's biggest attraction when Tiger Woods said he would play the Phoenix Open for the first time in 14 years. The tournament starts Jan. 29 and ends on the Sunday of the Super Bowl, which also is in Phoenix.
Woods also announced on his website he will play the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines a week later.
Training camp roster picked
Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones were among seven World Cup veterans picked for a U.S. training camp before exhibitions against Chile and Panama.
American coach Jurgen Klinsmann selected 14 players who could make their national team debuts, including Dallas forward Tesho Akindele, last season's Major League Soccer Rookie of the Year; Columbus midfielder Wil Trapp; Tepic forward Julio Morales; and Los Angeles Galaxy forward Gyasi Zardes. Morales is eligible to play for the U.S. and Mexico.
Liverpool midfielder Marc Pelosi and 1860 Munich forward Bobby Wood are the only Europe-based players headed to the training camp, which opens Monday at Carson, Calif. Twelve of the 28 players are eligible for the under-23 team that will attempt to qualify for the 2016 Olympics.
Other members of the World Cup roster picked were goalkeeper Nick Rimando, defender Matt Besler, midfielder Mix Diskerud and forward Chris Wondolowski.
Vonn has fastest training time
Lindsey Vonn posted the fastest legal time in a final training run for a women's World Cup downhill, improving from being over five seconds off the lead in the first session on Friday.
The former Buck Hill skier trailed Daniela Merighetti by 1.25 seconds and Viktoria Rebensburg by 0.71, but the Italian and the German both missed a gate and would have been disqualified in a race.
Vonn was slowed by a cold in Thursday's training, and said she was doing "a bit better."
"I'm still lacking energy, and I have problems breathing," Vonn said. "Yesterday, I was high-speed sideslipping, just checking out the slope, trying to conserve energy but also to see what the course is like. Today was more like a normal run. I have been skiing really well. I just have to have a little bit more energy."
AROUND THE HORN
Tennis: Venus Williams beat Caroline Wozniacki 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 in the final of the ASB Classic. ... Tomas Berdych beat Andreas Seppi 6-2, 6-3 to set up a Qatar Open final against fourth-seeded David Ferrer, who beat seventh-seeded Ivo Karlovic 6-7 (2), 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4).
Bobsled: Americans Elana Meyers Taylor and Cherrelle Garrett won a women's bobsled for their third consecutive World Cup victory. Meyers Taylor and Garrett won by 11 hundredths of a second over Elfje Willemsen and Annelies Holthof of Belgium.
Baseball: Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth had arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder, and the team says no structural abnormalities were found. Werth's rehabilitation is expected to take two to three months. ... Former Twins outfielder Delmon Young finalized a $2.25 million, one-year contract to return to the Orioles.