Russell Henley’s 36-hole score was the lowest of his career at a course where he won his 1st PGA Tour event at the Sony Open. He knew better than to expect that everything would fall into place.
Russel Henley played well enough Saturday at the Sony Open, especially in the final hour, when he made crucial putts with a birdie, par, one bogey.
This resulted in a 3-under-67 and a two shot lead over Hideki Matsuyama (Masters champion), who took only 25 puts and doesn’t know how many of them went in. Matsuyama shot 63 for his 12th consecutive round of 60s in this season.
Henley misjudges his lie in thicker rough than usual for Waialae on the 13th hole. He came up short of green in more rough and dumped the next shot into a bunker for a bogey.
Henley took the lead again with a 12-foot birdie on the 15th hole. Henley kept the lead, avoiding a long three-putt on 16th and instead made a comebacker at 8 feet. To create a cushion, he made a 15-footer the 17th.
He was a 18-under 192 player and will be paired up with Matsuyama. Matsuyama in Honolulu is as popular as any other stop on the PGA Tour outside of Japan.
Matsuyama will be seeking his second win of the season, having won the Zozo Championship in Tokyo last fall. This would make him tied with South Korea’s K.J. Choi, for most PGA wins by an Asian-born player.
Waialae is not a race for just these two men. There are a lot of history on this course. As many players have come out of the pack with scores in the 60s.
Seamus Power from Ireland birdied his final two holes for 65, leaving him four behind. Matt Kuchar (67), Adam Svensson of Canada (65), are still in the hunt.