Russell Henley shot two eagles in a seven-under 63 on Friday to take a three-shot lead at the clubhouse midway through the second round of the US PGA Tour Sony Open in Hawaii.
Henley, who started the day tied for second behind defending champion Kevin Na, opened with a birdie on the 10th hole at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, and after a bogey on the 16th, started his round on the 18th, where he emerged from a green side bunker for the Eagle.
He gave a hit back with a bogey at first, then recovered six shots in his final six holes – a blistering finish capped by a 29-foot eagle at par-five ninth.
“It’s good to end like this,” Henley said. “I can’t remember the last time I had two eagles on the same lap, but it’s really exciting.”
Henley rolled in about nine-foot birdie putts on the fourth, fifth and seventh holes and an 11-footer on the eighth.
“The front, I started hitting a few more fairways and looking good and running 10-15 feet or less there,” added the American, who is aiming for a fourth US title. PGA Tour on the same course where he won his first as a tour rookie in 2013.
Henley had a three-stroke lead over China’s Li Haotong, who birdied six and bogeyed in his five-under 65 for a 12-under 128 total.
“The first few holes (my game wasn’t) quite, especially on my tee shot, but I played well on my back nine, lots of putts and played super solid,” Li said. , which has a title on the OneAsia tour. and two European Tour titles on his resume, but is still seeking a first American Tour crown.
American veteran Matt Kuchar, whose nine PGA Tour titles include the 2019 Sony Open, fell further to 129 after his second straight bogey-free round, a five under 65 that included five birdies.
“Luckily I found a bunch of fairways today,” Kuchar said. “If you’re in the fairway, you can birdie. If you’re not in the fairway, you hope to make pars.”
Na’s second round showed how important it was to find the fairways with Waialae’s particularly dense and deep rough this year.
The South Korean-born American hit all 14 fairways in regulation Thursday on his way to a par 61 nine-under.
American Jim Furyk, who started the day tied with Henley on eight under, was an over for the day through four holes.