KAPALUA, Hawaii — Steve Stricker took a big step toward booking another trip to Maui with 10-under-par 63 to build a five-shot lead Saturday through two rounds at the Tournament of Champions.
Stricker played his final five holes in 5-under, including a 3-wood to 12 feet for eagle on the 15th hole that gave him some separation from Webb Simpson and the eagle-eagle finish by Kevin Na.
Stricker was at 15-under 131 and will be paired today with Simpson, who shot 68 and is alone in second place.
Na was not even part of the picture until holing a 5-iron from 221 yards for eagle on the 17th, and then hitting 3-wood to 10 feet for eagle on the final hole for 64.
Na is in third place, six shots behind Stricker.
This is Stricker’s fourth consecutive trip to Kapalua, the longest streak of anyone in the field.
Former Clemson star Jonathan Byrd, who led after a first round 67, shot 71 on Saturday.
Byrd, the defending champion in this event, is now tied for fourth place, seven shots behind Stricker. Also tied for fourth place is Martin Laird, who had 70.
D.A. Points is in sixth place after 69.
Former Georgia golfer Chris Kirk (66 on Saturday) is tied with former Georgia Tech golfer Bryce Molder (70) and PGA champion Keegan Bradley (72) for seventh place.
Michael Bradley, who was paired with Byrd in the final group of the day, fared even worse than Byrd. Bradley, who opened with 68, followed that with 75 and now tied for 10th place at 143.
The day did not start well for Rory Sabbatini.
He suffered a two-stroke penalty prior to the second round when he was late for his tee time.
The two shots were assessed on his score on the par-4 opening hole. He took five strokes to play the hole but instead of a bogey, he suffered a triple bogey. He came back to shoot 70.
EUROPEAN TOUR: In East London, South Africa, defending champion Louis Oosthuizen birdied three of his final four holes for 6-under-par 67 and a share of the third-round lead at the Africa Open.
Oosthuizen and Tjaart van der Walt (65 on Saturday) were tied at 21-under 198.
They are one shot ahead of 2009 winner and two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen (66).
Van der Walt birdied the first four holes at East London Golf Club and had nine in his round, offset by one bogey.
Goosen made par on the 18th hole while Oosthuizen and Van der Walt made birdies to take the lead.
Former Augusta State golfer Jamie Elson shot 71 and is 14 shots off the lead at 212.
Oliver Wilson, another former Jaguar, struggled to 78 and is at 217.