HONOLULU — K.J. Choi is accustomed to starting strong at the Sony Open, closing with a birdie for a 6-under 64 that gave him a one-shot lead Thursday and his sixth consecutive opening round in the 60s at Waialae Country Club.

Jimmy Walker usually expects the worst when he comes to these shores.

The former Nationwide Tour player of the year suffered a serious neck injury at the Sony Open in his rookie debut three years ago. Walker returned the next year and shot 80. A reluctant return to the tour helped erase some bad vibes, as Walker was among three players at 65 on a day of low scoring and no wind.

Heath Slocum, who teamed with Boo Weekley for a runner-up finish at the World Cup in China over Thanksgiving, and Stephen Marino joined Walker at 65. The group at 66 included Mercedes winner Daniel Chopra, Chad Campbell and Rory Sabbatini.

JOBURG OPEN: At Johannesburg, South Africa's Tyrone Ferreira shot a 6-under 65 in his professional debut for a share of the first-round lead in the Joburg Open. Countryman Mark Murless also opened with a 65 in rainy conditions at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club. England's Ross McGowan, Spain's Pablo Larrazabal and Wales' Sion E. Bebb shot 66s.