Rookies share Sony Open lead going into final round
Honolulu • PGA Tour rookies Russell Henley and Scott Langley get to play one more round together at the Sony Open, this time with a lot more on the line.
Henley two-putted from 30 feet for birdie on the last hole Saturday for a 3-under 67, allowing him to catch up to Langley, who had to settle for a par and a 65. They broke the tournament scoring record through 54 holes at 17-under 193.
Better yet, they had a three-shot lead over Tim Clark.
At stake on Sunday is a trophy, the customary lei draped around the neck and an invitation to the Masters.
If the third round was any indication, Clark and everyone else will have to chase them down. The 23-year-old rookies never flinched on a warm afternoon with only a mild breeze on a Waialae Country Club that was ripe for low scores.
Langley made seven birdies to offset a pair of bogeys. Henley has been more steady, and he carries a streak of 43 holes without a bogey into the final round.
They each have a chance to become the first rookie to win in a PGA Tour debut since Garrett Willis in the 2001 Tucson Open.
The rookies have ruled along the shores of Oahu, and if not for Clark, it would have been even more pronounced. Clark made a birdie on the last hole that put him into the final group.
Otherwise, that spot would have been occupied by Scott Gardiner of Australia, who had a 64 and was four shots behind.
Charles Howell III, twice a runner-up at the Sony Open, had a 67 and also was four behind.
Seven players were within five shots of the lead, which included Monday qualifier Danny Lee and Pat Perez, whose goal to have a more positive attitude was severely tested on the final hole when he missed a 40-inch birdie putt. Perez still had a 67 and was at 12-under 198.
Henley and Langley shared low amateur honors at Pebble Beach in the 2010 U.S. Open, and then became fast friends by flying together to Northern Ireland for the Palmer Cup. They were thrilled to be playing together for their rookie debut in the opening two rounds.