High strength low alloy (HSLA) grade 80 (HSLA-80) steel with a thickness of 9.1-mm was successfully welded in a single pass using a 5-kW fiber laser combined with an arc welding process. It was found that the maximum gap size in the Y-groove butt joint configuration should remain below 0.2 mm for a 9.1-mm section thickness. Sound butt joints with no welding cracks but some minor microporosity were successfully obtained. However, an underfill defect was frequently observed on the top surface of the weldments. Underfilling could be mitigated through increasing the filler wire addition so as to exceed the groove volume; however, due to significant evaporation and expulsion of the molten pool at the high laser power density, the underfill defect would be difficult to fully eliminate. At slow cooling rates, slight softening in the heat affected zone (HAZ) was present in the mid-thickness region but its elimination is possible at high welding speeds.