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Henry’s big finish bets him on an early three-shot lead at Sony

Honolulu – Russell Henley set a strong goal at the Sony Open on Friday. He closed 6 under on the last 6 holes and 7 under 63 on a 30-foot eagle putt, leading 3 shots among the early starters of Waialae.

After the 18-hole leader Kevin Na began to decline, much of the morning was about to get. As many as five players had at least a lead share.

Henry made a turn by holed an Eagle’s green side bunker shot on the 18th hole of a par 5, but missed the green for a long time and entered the bogey’s back bunker on the toughest 1st hole.

And he couldn’t miss it. He birdieed both par 3s of the front nine from the inside of 10 feet, pierced a pair of 12 foot birdie putts and finished with an eagle.

As a result, he was 15 under 125, three shots ahead of Li Haotong (65), and cleared four shots of Matt Coocher, who had been in Hawaii four days before Christmas and sounded like he wouldn’t leave in a hurry.

Waialae is where everything started for Henry. He started the rookie season at the Sony Open in 2013, setting a 36-hole record at 126 at the time and defeating Scott Langley in a weekend duel to win the championship. Henry had previously won a national tour when he was in Georgia.

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It’s a simple game.

“It didn’t take long to realize that it was really difficult,” said Henry, who is now in his tenth year of the tour, winning three careers. “There were a lot of ups and downs in the first and second years, that is, every year. After this first one, I remember thinking it might be easier than I thought.”

He laughed before adding, “but not.”

On another gorgeous day along the Pacific Ocean, the winds were minimized, the tropical warmth was plentiful, the pure greens were there, and it felt comfortable. The flatstick could be his best club in the bag, and Henry was as clever with a 6-foot putt as some of his birdies.

Lee had some big moments in his career. He became the first player from China after a major round, especially at Harding Park in 2020. He was two ahead of the PGA Championship until his decline over the weekend.

He also participated in the Presidents Cup in Royal Melbourne at the end of 2019, which didn’t work very well. From another player’s bag. He lost both games.

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Abandoning contact lenses for designer eyeglasses, he was stable in 65 rounds and kept fighting for him over the weekend while playing for sponsorship forgiveness.

The other exemption was just as impressive, if not more. Keita Nakajima, the best amateur in the world, left him around the cut line because he had an early bogey. He replied 12 feet from a 6-iron for a birdie on the 17th of par 3, and he shot 30 in the back nine for 64.

Nakajima was in a big group six shots behind Henry, a group that included Stewart Cink (63), Shamus Power of Ireland (68), and Chris Kirk (65).

Na opened at 61 and the next day was the worst 10 shots. He didn’t make a birdie until the 9th hole and kept burning the edge of the putt. On Thursday, some of those putts he missed slightly were for Birdie in his bid for the sub 60 rounds. On Friday, they were for Par, which sent him from a one-shot lead after the opening round to seven shots behind Henry.

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Cameron Smith, who won 34 under pars in Kapalua, headed for Miscut with 71.

Kucha has been on the Big Island since December 21st and will be on vacation for the next two weeks before heading to AT & T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. He missed a cut in Waialae for the last two years, but this is a tournament he doesn’t want to miss. In addition, he won the Sony Open three years ago.

He made 5 of the last 10 holes birdies.

“I love golf courses. I love the environment,” says Kuchar. “You also throw it into Hawaii. It’s a paradise for me and I’m always excited to be here.”

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Henry’s big finish bets him on an early three-shot lead at Sony

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