Stuard goes low in Honolulu

Brian Stuard leads in Honululu after shooting his fourth straight 65 at the Sony Open – albeit in the second round.

The 31-year-old American, in his third year on the PGA Tour, closed with successive rounds of 65 at last year’s tournament to tie for fifth, and this year has opened with two more 65s for a 10 under par total and a one-shot lead over Aussie Marc Leishman and Japan’s Hideto Tanihara, who had rounds of 64 and 65 respectively.

Clearly, there’s something about Waialae that agrees with Stuard.

“I think it’s something to do with the greens,” he said. “I feel comfortable on the greens. I feel like I read them pretty well and I’m able to make putts.”

Stuard mixed four birdies and an eagle with a lone bogey on Friday, and he needed it, with low scores very much the order of the day.

Leishman’s 64 tied for the lowest score of the day, and puts him in prime position heading into the weekend.

Highlights of his round included an eagle on the ninth, and a 25-footer for birdie on 14.

“They’re the sort of things that really turn an average round into a good one, or a good one into a great one,” Leishman said. “It was nice to shoot 6-under and get myself right in it.”

Harris English shot a 66 to lie alone in fourth on eight under, while a large group of seven players – including Masters champion Adam Scott – are on seven under, just three shots off the lead.

Last week’s Tournament of Champions winner, Zach Johnson, is on five under, and still very much in with a shout of back-to-back wins.

Promising talent Jordan Spieth, meanwhile, was expected to be a strong performer this week, but missed the cut after rounds of 70 and 71.

“The funny thing is, I putted better this week than last week,” Spieth said.