Brian Stuard shoots another 65, leads Sony Open by one

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HONOLULU — Fans soaking up the sun along the shores of Oahu took home plenty of memories Friday in the Sony Open, the least of which was Brian Stuard atop the leaderboard with this fourth consecutive round of 65 at Waialae.

Brian Stuard shot another 65 at Waialae and is ahead by one after two rounds of the PGA Tour's Sony Open.  MARCO GARCIA/ASSOCIATED PRESS
MARCO GARCIA/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Brian Stuard shot another 65 at Waialae and is ahead by one after two rounds of the PGA Tour's Sony Open.

Stuard finished the second round with a hybrid into 2 feet for eagle, giving him a one-shot lead over Marc Leishman and Hideto Tanihara.

The best stuff came later.

James Hahn, best known for his "Gangnam Style" moves after making birdie at the raucous 16th hole at the Phoenix Open last year, tried (and failed) for a chest-bump with his caddie after the rarest shot in golf - an albatross - when he holed out from 191 yards with a 6-iron on the par-5 ninth hole.

"That was a little spontaneous, but I forgot that - I've got to be politically correct, right? - but white men can't jump," said Hahn, a South Korean-born, Cal grad and funnyman on tour. "So I got a little air, he didn't. But it was fun. I don't think he knew I was going to chest-bump him. But that's just what I felt like at the time."

The big attraction was having surf champion Kelly Slater in the gallery for the final hour, even though he was there to watch a caddie.

Fellow surfer Benji Weatherley is on the bag this week for Masters Tournament champion Adam Scott, and he had a blast in front of two dozen friends from the North Shore. But this golf is serious business, and Weatherley showed great confidence talking Scott out of a driver on the 18th hole.

"He's really getting the hang of it," Scott said.

Scott took over from there, getting a break on the last hole when his ball was in a partial divot. Scott was able to take a free drop away from the grandstand, and while his chip came out strong, it banged against the bottom of the flagstick and stopped an inch from the hole for a tap-in birdie and 66.

Scott was only three shots behind. Weatherley was having a blast.

"It's the most fun you could ever have," he said. "I have no nerves because for one, he's so good it's embarrassing. Like every single shot is what you see on 'Sports Center,' especially that last one."

He said this during an interview with the Golf Channel.

Meanwhile, another good tournament was shaping up in Hawaii.

Stuard was at 10-under 130. Those four consecutive rounds of 65 ordinarily might be good enough to win a tournament. Except that the first half of that streak happened on the weekend at Waialae last year. Even so, it was enough for him to be in the lead going into the weekend.

It was his seventh consecutive round in the 60s at Waialae dating to Stuard's first trip here 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."

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."

Tanihara had  65 and will join Leishman and Stuard in the final group Saturday. The tee times were moved up for the third round because of rain in the forecast.

Harris English had his second straight round of 66 and was two shots behind, poised to go for his third win in his last 16 starts.

"I hit it all over the map," English said. "Yesterday, I striped it down the middle and didn't make any putts. Today, 4-under was the lowest I could have shot."

He was scrambling so far that he didn't realize until the end of his round that he had a glove on his left hand, and another one tucked under the back of his belt. This was not a new craze, like Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey with gloves on both hands. English was letting it dry out and forgot about it.

Joining Scott in the group three shots behind were Jimmy Walker and Chris Kirk, while Hudson Swafford (64), Justin Leonard and past Sony Open champion Jerry Kelly were still in the mix at 6-under 134.

Kapalua winner Zach Johnson, trying to become the first player since Ernie Els in 2003 to sweep the Hawaii swing, had 67 and was five shots behind.

Hahn also was 5-under after 68.

EUROPEAN TOUR: In Durban, South Africa, Joost Luiten holed out for an albatross on the par-5 10th hole, helping him shoot 5-under-par 67 to share the lead at the Volvo Golf Champions with Louis Oosthuizen and Tommy Fleetwood.

Luiten holed his 7-iron from 248 yards at the Durban Country Club for one of the rarest shots in golf, on his way to a 7-under 137 total. There was only one albatross – or double eagle – on the European Tour all of last season.

Oosthuizen made four birdies and a bogey in his 69, while Fleetwood had six birdies and a single dropped shot in his 67.

The caddie to Padraig Harrington collapsed and was treated for dehydration.

Ronan Flood, also Har­rington’s brother-in-law, fell ill on the sixth hole of the second round and was rushed to the clubhouse, where he was treated by a doctor.

ROSE INJURY: U.S. Open champion Justin Rose has mild tendinitis in his right shoulder and will delay the start of his season.

Rose will not play the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship next week or the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines the following week. His agent at Excel Sports, Mark Steinberg, says Rose is likely to start his year in February.

LOCAL INTEREST

SCOTT BROWN

North Augustan

Score 71-67

Shots back 8

CHARLES HOWELL

Augusta native

Score 71-67

Shots back 8

BRIAN GAY

Louisville, Ga.*

Score 71-68

Shots back 9

KEVIN KISNER

Aiken native

Score 72-68

Shots back MC

WILL CLAXTON

Swainsboro, Ga.*

Score 71-72

Shots back MC

* former resident


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