Matt Kuchar Extends Lead At Sony Open

Matt Kuchar leads the way in Hawaii

Kooch, who opened with rounds of 63-63, stayed on track with three birdies on the front nine and carded a 54-hole score of 18-under 192.

South African native Rory Sabbatini played his first event under the Slovakian flag, and shot a second round 67 to move to five-under overall, nine shots adrift of Kuchar. "I know I can't coast". He closed with a birdie Saturday to cut Kuchar's lead to just two.

Kuchar, who had been winless for almost four years until his win at the Mayakoba Classic late in 2018 now appears likely to add a 9th PGA Tour title just three months after his 8th.

The four-time Ryder Cup team member won a bronze medal for the U.S. at the 2016 Summer Olympics. But he had a good session with his swing coach in Dallas, and it paid off two weeks later on the Gulf side of the Mexican coast.

The 40-year-old maintained his bogey-free round with a classy up-and-down from a greenside bunker at the 17th, and he was forced to lay up at the last following a blocked drive into a fairway bunker and was unable to convert another birdie chance from 15 feet.

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Kuchar ran off four birdies in five holes to start his second round Friday, handled the par 5s at Waialae again and finished with another round of 7-under 63 to take a one-shot lead over Andrew Putnam.

"Didn't feel as easy as the first two days, " Putnam said. Putnam missed an 8-foot birdie attempt on No. 18. You don't get many chances like that and it was nice to be there and been able to finish it off. ... "Still played a good round".

Bryson DeChambeau produced arguably the round of the day, matching his career-low 63 to sit tied among a nine-strong pack in fifth place on 11 under.

Corey Conners, Davis Love III, Charles Howell III, Dominic Bozzelli and Brian Stuard will all begin the final round tied at 11 under. He didn't make any, but he didn't leave himself any work for par.

The 25-year-old won the Memorial Tournament, the Northern Trust and the Dell Technologies Championship in 2018, and moved up 30 places after mixing just one bogey with eight birdies, including three in a row on the way back to the clubhouse. He's also No. 1 in the field in strokes gained on approach shots for the week. He is 2-2 in his career when leading going into the final round.

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