Brendan Steele had the bottom rating of his PGA Tour profession with a 9-under 61, giving him a two-shot lead and one other likelihood to win the Sony Open.
Steele has purpose to nonetheless be smarting from final 12 months. He had the event all however received till a sequence of errors during the last three holes he performed to lose in a playoff to Cameron Smith.
And if Saturday was any indication, even a two-shot lead is not secure.
Overnight rain at Waialae Country Club, coupled with the tropical wind not even sturdy sufficient to make palm timber sway, left the course as weak because it has ever been.
Steele did not even have the low rating to himself. Kevin Na additionally had a 61 and was two pictures behind, alongside with Kapalua runner-up Joaquin Niemann. Na had it going so effectively he thought of a 59 when he stood over a 10-foot birdie putt on the seventeenth, figuring out that would go away him an eagle away from golf’s magic quantity. On this present day, he needed to accept a 61.
Niemann squinted his eyes into the setting solar as his strategy on the par-5 bounced as much as 10 ft for a birdie-eagle end and a 63. In two holes, he went from outdoors the top 10 to the ultimate group on Sunday.
The lowest spherical of his TOUR profession. ✔️<br><br>61 and a 2-shot lead has <a href=”https://twitter.com/Brendan_Steele?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@Brendan_Steele</a> in place for redemption <a href=”https://twitter.com/SonyOpenHawaii?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@SonyOpenHawaii</a>. <a href=”https://t.co/8Eo4NsooFZ”>pic.twitter.com/8Eo4NsooFZ</a>
Steele was at 18-under 192.
Stewart Cink birdied his remaining gap for a 65 and was three pictures behind, alongside with Charley Hoffman (64), Peter Malnati (64), Chris Kirk (65) and Russell Henley (65).
Starting occasions have been moved up by two hours Sunday with hopes of ending forward of heavy rain within the forecast.
Steele had a two-shot lead with two holes to play a 12 months in the past when he missed a 6-foot par putt on the seventeenth gap, hit a wild hook on his strategy to the simple par-5 18th and needed to accept par, and then missed the tenth inexperienced with an 80-yard shot within the playoff. It was a remaining hour when every little thing went flawed.
On this blissful day, every little thing went proper.
And he wasn’t alone.
Keith Mitchell, who had a 62 on Friday, took the lead at one level within the third spherical and was 8 beneath via 15 holes on his spherical when his tee shot landed close to a cement wall of a home and value him a penalty drop. A mediocre end gave Mitchell a 63, which felt even larger being in the identical group as Na.
There had been 10 scores of 64 or higher. The common rating for the third spherical was 66.7.
Nick Taylor, who took a two-shot lead into the third spherical, was retaining tempo till a pair of bogeys on the again 9. He shot a 68 and was nonetheless solely 4 pictures again.
Such is the character of this event in this sort of climate. It was extensive open on Saturday, and it is not prone to be any totally different within the remaining spherical.