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Rookies Going Low in First Two Days of Sony Open
The par-70 Waialea Country Club in Honolulu has been a shooting gallery through 36 holes of the $5.6 million Sony Open. The tree-lined course, which measures just over 7,000 yards - relatively short by today's PGA Tour standards, has yielded many under-par scores, with a pair of 63s by Russell Henley pushing the Tour rookie into the lead at midway through the second round.
The 23-year-old former University of Georgia player, who in 2011 became only the second amateur to win on the Nationwide (now Web.com) Tour, stands at 14-under 126, two strokes lower than first-round leader Scott Langley. After opening with a 62 Langley, another Tour rookie, posted a 66 to reach 128.
Henley was paired in the first two rounds with Langley and Luke Guthrie, another first-year player who shot a 71 and 76 this week. Henley said after the first round that being with two players his age has been a big boost.
"We've played a lot of competitive golf against each other, and it's high stakes, and I got out there on the Web.com Tour, and that's the best thing that's ever happened to me is playing a full year out there and learning a lot about myself. I'm just excited to be here.
Added the 2011 member of both the Walker and Palmer cup teams on Thursday, "You know, I think there was a lot of nerves for me the first few holes and I think playing with Scotty and Luke was huge for me, and watching them play well kind of gave me a goal to try to keep up with them, so it was definitely fun feeding off them."
Chris Kirk also enjoyed a fine outing Friday with a 62. The one-time PGA Tour winner and another Georgia grad posted four birdies and two eagles to get to 10-under 130. Tim Clark, a 37-year-old South African whose only win came in the 2010 Players Championship, is tied with Kirk after rounds of 64 and 66.
Other low scores included a 63 by veteran Pat Perez, which moved him to 131.
As of 7:40 ET, the projected cut was at 1-under 139 with nearly half the field still on the course. For live scoring updates, visit http://www.pgatour.com/tournaments/sony-open-in-hawaii/leaderboard.html.