Putnam didn't get a practice round in before the tournament because of a bee sting, and he apparently didn't need one. He made his lone birdie of the day on the par-3 7th hole but sandwiched it between bogeys at 5 and 8.
Putnam was stung on his foot while poolside on Tuesday and had to pull out of the pro-am because it was painful to walk.
Jordan Spieth in his 2019 debut had to be stopped from taking an incorrect drop under the new rules.
The assembled writers were sent scrambling to the PGA TOUR media guide after Canadian Adam Svensson found his way to the top of the leaderboard at the Sony Open in Hawaii.
Andrew Putnam hits from the 10th fairway during the first round of the Sony Open PGA Tour golf event, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, at the Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Matt Kuchar was alone in third after his round of 63 with Chez Reavie, Hudson Swafford and Japan's Shugo Imahira in a three-way tie for fourth two shots further back.
Cardinals players connections on Colts', Chiefs' rosters
The Chiefs took an early lead in the game and never let up, maintaining a large lead nearly the entire way. However, he was originally drafted by the Cardinals in the fifth round in 2011 and played two seasons.
"The first hole today, I tapped in with the flagstick [in the hole], and I didn't feel right doing that", he continued. And he tapped down a spike mark in the line of a 4-foot putt.
"Honestly it's like a frustrating asterisk that I have to pick it up and re-drop from your knee", he said on the eve of the opening round at the Sony Open.
Spieth, who endured a disappointing 2018 without a victory, said he remained confident he could get back on track. "The biggest break you'll see here is maybe a foot of break on a putt. Yeah, kind of freakish how it all worked out". He wasn't under par until a birdie at the turn on the par-5 18th, and he shot 32 on the front, which typically is the slightly tougher side.
Putnam, 29, has been a consistent performer in his two-plus seasons on the PGA Tour, without making too many headlines. He missed a six-footer for birdie on 18, a five-footer for par on 5 and dropped almost three strokes to the field on the putting greens.
"The hole was very large and the ball was going in".
He grabbed the lead at the last with a 10-foot birdie.
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