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Marco Garcia, Associated Press
Graham DeLaet, of Canada, blasts out of a bunker on the 13th hole during the first round of the Sony Open golf tournament, Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012, in Honolulu.

HONOLULU — Graham DeLaet showed how happy he was to be back on the PGA Tour. The Canadian opened with a 7-under 63 in the Sony Open on Thursday to take the lead among the early starters at Waialae.

About this time last year, DeLaet had just had major surgery on his lower back that made him wonder if he would ever play golf again. He feels close to normal now, and he sure looked that way in optimal conditions along the shores of Waikiki.

DeLaet chipped in for eagle on No. 9 and holed two long birdie putts to build a two-shot lead over K.J. Choi, Carl Pettersson and Kyle Reifers.

Kapalua winner Steve Stricker was among those who played in the afternoon.