Henley takes control in Hawaii
Last updated: 13th January 2013
Unheralded rookie Russell Henley shot a second round 63 to claim a two-shot lead at the half-way stage of the Sony Open.
The PGA Tour newcomer finished Friday's round with a total of 126 - 14-under par - to break the 36-hole record at the Waialae Country Club course by two strokes.
Henley teed off his second round at the par-70 course on the 10th hole and played a flawless round which contained no bogeys and seven birdies to open a two-stroke lead over fellow rookie Scott Langley and Scott Piercy.
Langley was the overnight leader after carding a first round 62, but followed that up with a 66 to fall off the pace slightly. Piercy joined him on 128 after carding back-to-back 64s.
"It's pretty surreal," Henley commented after his round.
"I think with that mindset it takes a little pressure off me," the 23-year-old said.
He played most of Friday's round like an old pro and made every single green in regulation.
"I didn't make every putt that was close, but I was hitting great putts, hitting them like I want to hit them, and some were falling. So I'm happy about it," he added.
He added that he enjoyed playing with Langley, who birdied the last three holes to stay in the hunt, despite being two shots behind.
The pair has a history of playing together - they tied for low amateur honors at the 2010 US Open at Pebble Beach - and will once again partner each other in the final group on Saturday.
"It's never easy to back up a really good round, I kind of got off to a little slower start," Langley noted.
"But it was certainly nice to finish the way I did and kind of get back in it with Russ."
The 2012 Players Championship winner Matt Kuchar was alone in fourth after shooting his second consecutive 64, while South African Tim Clark (66) and two more Americans - Chris Kirk (62) and Charles Howell (64) were tied on 130.
Previously Clark had suffered from chronic elbow pain, but he commented after the round that he had the problem under control nowadays.
"Obviously, I've still got to take care of myself and look after it," Clark said.
"But at least coming out to the golf course, I feel like I'm pretty much 100 percent."
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