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Steady Stuard takes lead

Published January 11, 2014 4:54 pm

Golf • Exciting battle brews among Sony Open sideshows.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

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 straight round of 65 at Waialae.

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

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."

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 champion Adam Scott.

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

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.

Tanihara had a 65 and will join Leishman and Stuard in the final group Saturday. —

Leaderboard

Sony Open

Ben Stuard -10

Marc Leishman -9

Hideto Tanihara -9

Harris English -8

Also

Daniel Summerhays -3