Hayden Buckley had two eagles in a six-under-par 64 on Saturday to grab a two-shot lead after three rounds of the Sony Open, where he’s chasing a first US PGA Tour title.
The 26-year-old American holed out from the fairway for an eagle at the 10th, then broke free atop the leaderboard with another eagle at the par-five 18th, where his approach from the fairway settled two feet from the pin.
He was two strokes clear of overnight leader Chris Kirk, David Lipsky and Ben Taylor.
England’s Taylor carded a five-under-par 65 to join the group on 13-under 197 while Lipsky fired a second straight 66 and Kirk posted a 68.
Andrew Putnam charged up the leaderboard with an eight-under 62 that featured 10 birdies, and was joined on 198 by South Korean Kim Si-woo, who signed for a 64.
Buckley, who finished tied for fifth at the Zozo championship in October, said his round was “a testament to being patient.”
“I missed a three-, four-footer for birdie kind of early on and I just stuck with it,” he said, adding that he didn’t feel as in control as he had on Friday.
“I hit a lot of greens, obviously, but I hit them in some tougher spots today — a lot of shots pin-high, with a lot more break and a little bit quicker putts,” he said. I feel like I just played smart.”
On a day when a dozen players held at least a share of the lead at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Hawaii, Buckley’s eagles made the difference.—AFP