Brandt Snedeker feels good about his swing and is making plenty of putts, a combination that has given him the 36-hole lead at the Sony Open.
Snedeker played bogey-free Friday at Waialae Country Club for a five-under-par 65. He had a one-shot lead over Kevin Kisner, who couldn’t get a putt to fall until a 12-footer on his final hole for eagle and a 66.
Snedeker was at 12-under 128.
“I feel like I’m playing great, so it should be fun,” Snedeker said about the weekend at Waialae.
Fifteen players were separated by only four shots at the halfway point. British Open champion Zach Johnson (66), Luke Donald (65), Chez Reavie (63) and Zac Blair (65) were two shots behind. The group at nine-under 131 included 49-year-old Jerry Kelly.
Vijay Singh, who turns 53 next month and can become the oldest PGA Tour winner in history, shot 69 and was four back.
He made a full commitment to an overhaul of his setup, and Snedeker said he worked hard with Butch Harmon and then showed up in Maui early, playing a couple of practice rounds with Jordan Spieth. And it helped that Kapalua’s fairways are among the widest in golf.
“Maui being wide open off the tee a little bit helped me get comfortable with it,” Snedeker said. “And then I realized this week … how it feels, what should happen, and when I do hit a bad shot, I kind of know where it comes from. So I feel way more comfortable with it this week and excited about it, because the bad shots haven’t been near as bad as they have been.”
Kisner was a runner-up in the HSBC Champions and won the RSM Classic at Sea Island in his final two tournaments of 2015, and he started the new year by finishing ninth at Kapalua on a weekend where his putter went cold. And here he is again, contending on the weekend after a year in which he had four runner-up finishes at a victory.
“To go out and play the way I did on Sunday at the RSM with a three-shot lead was a huge confidence builder,” Kisner said. “It wasn’t that favorable that I took a month-and-a-half off after it, but to come back and get right back into the fire and have a chance to win this weekend is going to be huge for me.”
Ian Poulter and Bernd Wiesberger beat Anirban Lahiri and Wang Jeunghun, 4 and 3, to help Europe take a 4 1/2-1 1/2 lead over Asia in the EurAsia Cup at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
In other fourball matches at Glenmarie, Lee Westwood and Chris Wood beat S.S.P. Chawrasia and Kiradech Aphibarnrat, 2 and 1, Ross Fisher and Kristoffer Broberg topped Prayad Marksaeng and K.T. Kim, 6 and 4, and Shane Lowry and Andy Sullivan edged Shingo Katayama and Wu Ashun, 2 and 1.
Victor Dubuisson and Soren Kjeldsen halved with Danny Chia and Nicholas Fung. Byeong-hun An and Thongchai Jaidee had Asia’s lone victory, beating Danny Willett and Matthew Fitzpatrick, 3 and 1.
The teams will play six foursomes matches Saturday and close with 12 singles matches Sunday.
England’s Ross McGowan shot a 9-under 62 to take a three-shot lead after the second round of the European Tour’s Joburg Open in Johannesburg.
McGowan had two eagles and six birdies on Royal Johannesburg and Kensington’s West Course to reach 14-under 129.
England’s Anthony Wall, South Africa’s Jean Hugo and Haydn Porteous and Chile’s Felipe Aguilar were tied for second. Wall had a 67 on the East Course, the site of the final two rounds. Hugo and Aguilar shot 65, and Porteous 66 — all on the West Course.