Monday, November 19, 2018

Brian Harman extends good play in Hawaii, takes Sony Open lead

HONOLULU ó Different islands, vastly different golf courses, same good play from Brian Harman.

One week after Harman shared the 36-hole lead at Kapalua, he ran off three straight birdies and closed with a 15-foot eagle putt for 7-under 63 and a three-shot lead through the second round of the Sony Open on Friday.

Harman was at 13-under 127, ahead of a second-place logjam of Zach Johnson (67), John Peterson (64), Tom Hoge (65), Chris Kirk (67) and Talor Gooch (66) in the PGA Tour event. A handful of players were still on the course late Friday but none with striking distance.

Except for the tropical warmth, the two golf courses on the Hawaii swing are nothing alike. The Plantation Course at Kapalua was built on the side of the mountain on the west tip of Maui and features fairways that can stretch nearly 90 yards wide and big slopes in the greens. Waialae is at sea level ó waist-high hedges along the 16th and 17th holes and behind the 11th green are all that separate grass from the beach ó with smaller, flatter greens and fairways framed by trees.

"The biggest elevation change here is from the walk down from the hotel," Harman said. "Iíve always kind of felt like as long as thereís fairways and green and holes to putt it, then Iím going to be fine."

The Georgia native surged ahead with two birdies on the back nine and closed with eagle on the par-5 ninth.

Johnson also closed with eagle to salvage 67. Kirk, who shared the 18-hole lead with Johnson, recovered from bogey on the par-4 16th to close with back-to-back birdies.

MCILROY AILMENT: Rory McIlroy said he has a heart ailment that will have to be monitored regularly but itís not expected to affect his play. McIlroy, 28, said he has a thickening of the left ventricle caused by a viral infection.