Stuard surges to the early lead at Sony Open

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 10, 2014 at 6:58 pm •  Published: January 10, 2014
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HONOLULU (AP) — Brian Stuard had his fourth straight round of 65 at the Sony Open. Too bad it was only Friday.

Stuard completed his second round with a hybrid 3-iron into 2 feet for eagle on the par-5 ninth hole for a 5-under 65. That gave him a one-shot lead over Marc Leishman of Australia among those who played early on another gorgeous day off the shores of Oahu.

Stuard, a 31-year-old from Michigan who is in his third year on the PGA Tour, was at 10-under 130.

He had a 65-65 weekend at Waialae last year to tie for fifth, his best finish on tour besides the opposite-field events. This was his seventh straight round in the 60s at Waialae dating to his first trip in 2010.

"I think it's something to do with the greens," Stuard said. "I feel comfortable on the greens. I feel like I read them pretty well and I'm able to make putts."

That usually works anywhere, and in this case, it has put Stuard on a good spot regardless of how the other half of the field fared in the afternoon.

James Hahn already was off to a memorable start. He made an albatross 2 on the par-5 ninth hole, the first one at Waialae since Terry Mauney in 1978.

Masters champion Adam Scott and PGA champion Jason Dufner were among the late starters who faced breezy conditions on a course that was firm and fast after a full day of sunshine down from Waikiki.

Leishman also made an eagle on the ninth hole, but that was in the middle of his round. And it was part of a three-hole stretch he played in 4-under, and he made a 25-foot birdie putt on the 14th hole. It led to a 64 that put him in a good spot going into the weekend.

"They're the sort of things that really turn an average round into a good one, or a good one into a great one," Leishman said. "It was nice to shoot 6-under and get myself right in it."

Jason Kokrak had a 67 and was at 7-under 133, while rookie Hudson Swafford played bogey-free for a 64 and was in the group at 134 that included past Sony Open champion Jerry Kelly and Boo Weekley.



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