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Henley soars to three-shot Sony Open lead

Russell Henley hits from the 10th fairway for the interval of the 2d spherical of the Sony Open golf match on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022 (January 15 in Manila), at Waialae Country Membership in Honolulu. AP PHOTO

LOS ANGELES: Russell Henley fired two eagles in a seven-below-par 63 on Friday (Saturday in Manila) to plot shut a three-shot lead over China’s Li Haotong through two rounds of the US PGA Tour Sony Open in Hawaii.

Henley, who began the day tied for 2d in the support of defending champion Kevin Na, opened with a birdie on the 10th hole at Waialae Country Membership in Honolulu, and after a bogey on the 16th he kickstarted his spherical at 18, the establish he holed out from a greenside bunker for eagle.

He gave support a stroke with a bogey on the first, then picked up six strokes in his final six holes — a storming make capped by a 29-foot eagle on the par-five ninth.

“Fine to make devour that,” Henley mentioned. “I make now not be aware the final time I had two eagles in the the same spherical, however or now not it is positively provocative.”

Henley rolled in birdie putts of about nine feet on the fourth, fifth and seventh holes and an 11-footer on the eighth.

“The entrance I started hitting a few extra fairways and giving myself some honest seems and executing there from 10 to 15 feet or less,” added the American, who’s chasing a fourth US PGA Tour title on the the same course the establish he obtained his first as a tour rookie in 2013.

Li had six birdies and a bogey in his five-below-par 65 for a 12-below total of 128.

“First few holes [my game wasn’t] somewhat on, especially on my tee shot, however I performed mighty on my support nine holes, alternative putts and performed large-stable,” mentioned Li, who has one OneAsia tour title and two European Tour titles on his resume however is still making an attempt to gather a essential US tour crown.

American aged Matt Kuchar, whose nine PGA Tour titles embody the 2019 Sony Open, was as soon as an further stroke support on 11-below 129 after his 2d straight bogey-free spherical, a five-below 65 that incorporated five birdies.

“Thankfully, I used to be as soon as discovering a bunch of fairways nowadays,” Kuchar mentioned. “Ought to you is inclined to be in the golf green you furthermore mght can make birdies. Ought to you is inclined to be now not in the golf green, you is inclined to be hoping to make pars.”

Na falls support

Na’s 2d spherical showed true how essential discovering the fairways will doubtless be with the tough at Waialae critically dense and deep this year.

The South Korean-born American hit all 14 fairways in legislation on Thursday on the methodology to a nine-below-par 61. On Friday, Na hit true four fairways in legislation and carded a one-over 71 that left him seven shots off the tempo.

American Michael Thompson was as soon as on my own in fourth after a 67 for 130.

Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama headlined a neighborhood of 11 gamers sharing fifth on 131.

Japan’s Matsuyama had seven birdies and two bogeys in his five-below effort and was as soon as joined on nine-below by 21-year-weak compatriot Keita Nakajima, the high-ranked newbie in the sector who carded a 64.

Matsuyama admitted it was as soon as somewhat demoralizing to establish Henley’s 15-below gather on the board as he was as soon as grinding through his spherical.

“That is a tricky row to hoe will beget to you is inclined to be that a ways support,” he mentioned, together with that the methodology he was as soon as taking half in he wasn’t entertaining about what number he also can must put up to cease in contact.

“I used to be as soon as in each and every single location the entrance nine, might per chance well per chance now not maintain the driver in the golf green,” Matsuyama mentioned. “So I am happy with how I accomplished.”

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