It was a wild afternoon at The Sony Open on Saturday afternoon. At one time there were seven players tied for the lead at -10 under par. After the sun got low in the Hawaiian sky, it was Chris Kirk who had sole possession of the 54 hole lead at The Waialae Country Club in Honolulu. Kirk got up and down out of a green side bunker on 18, made a 10 foot birdie putt, and will sleep on a one-shot lead.
The final group at the Sunday finale’ will not be a who’s who on the PGA Tour, but with 16 players within four shots of the lead, Sunday afternoon should be exciting. There are some interesting players on the leaderboard who have been around for a great number of years, but haven’t won a tour event in a while.
There’s 43 year-old Jerry Kelly who is two strokes back, Jeff Overton, Robert Allenby, Us Open Champ, Retief Goosen, and Pat Perez. John Daly got in the mix, shooting a 64 on Saturday, and is only five back at -7 under par.
Lurking three shots back is Zach Johnson, who has won recently. As recent as last week at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Zach shot a four under 66 on Saturday, and finished his day at -9 under for the week.
The Waialae Country Club couldn’t be more different from the Plantation Course at Kapalua. Instead of being built on a mountainside with huge fairways and greens, the 7400 yard tract on Oahu is long, tight, and flat. Players are hitting to narrow tree-lined fairways and into small greens that are protected by the hated Bermuda rough.
Will Wilcox, who is making his third start on the PGA Tour, fired a six under par 64 on Saturday, and shares second place with Harris English. The 27 year-old from Birmingham, Alabama shot the finest round of his short career, and is amazed he will be in the final group on Sunday.
“I didn’t know what was going to happen this week,” Wilcox said. “Making the cut was a dream come true. Playing good on Saturday was a dream come true. Getting to have a decent shot tomorrow is ridiculous. We’ll see.”
Harris English has played as well as anyone on tour, and is a great-looking youngster that is starting to get comfortable with his name on the leaderboard.
The 24 year-old from Valdosta, Georgia struggled a bit on Saturday, but was able to get into the clubhouse with a piece of second place. English won the OHL Classic at Mayakoba, and the Franklin Templeton Shootout, and after a 7th place finish last week on Maui, is in second place on the FedEx Cup standings.
It was just kind of `Grind it til you find it.’ This course is tough,” English said. “It’s hard to hit the fairways, and you’ve just got to be a wizard around the greens, and that’s kind of how I approached today. I didn’t have my best golf, but I scraped it around at 3-under par and I’m still in this golf tournament.”
The Golf Channel coverage will begin at 7:00PM Eastern,just in time for something to watch after the NFL playoffs are over. It should be a great Sunday if you are a sports fan!
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