Bae shot a 7-under-par 63 at the Waialae Country Club course a week after making his debut at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
He finished tied for 21st in that event and got started in Honolulu with a bogey-free round that included four birdies in the first six holes.
Chris Kirk's 64 put him alone in second place, while Brian Stuard shot a 65 to finish third by himself.
Those tied for fourth at 66 included 47-year-old John Daly, hoping for a magical week that could lead to him again being a fixture on the tour. Daly, playing on a sponsor's exemption, had a lone bogey to join Retief Goosen, Jimmy Walker and Harris English among those who shared fourth place.
Zach Johnson, whose win last week at the Tournament of Champions vaulted him to seventh in the world rankings, posted a 68. Jordan Spieth, runner-up to Johnson a week ago, was 3-under heading to the 12th tee but bogeyed three of the next four holes and finished at even-par 70.