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Kirk takes one-stroke lead at PGA's Sony Open

HONOLULU — Will Wilcox finally got around to debuting as a PGA Tour rookie and was surprised as anyone to be in the final group at the Sony Open.

As for Chris Kirk and Harris English, it's no surprise at all.

Kirk got up-and-down from a bunker on the par-5 18th by making a 10-foot birdie putt for 5-under 65, giving him a one-shot lead going into the final round of a Sony Open that remains up for grabs among at least a dozen players.

Cloudy conditions and only a gentle, Pacific breeze kept everyone in the mix Saturday at Waialae, including Wilcox.

The 27-year-old from Alabama made birdie on his last two holes for 64 and was one shot behind. Wilcox qualified for the Canadian Open in 2010 and for the U.S. Open in 2011. He finally made it to the big leagues by finishing 10th on the Web.com Tour money list, although he didn't play in the Web.com Tour Finals or in the fall for what he only said were "unfortunate, personal things."

And here he is.

"I didn't know what was going to happen this week," he said. "Making the cut was a dream come true. Playing good on Saturday was a dream come true. Getting to have a decent shot (today) is ridiculous. We'll see."

Kirk, who was at 12-under 198, won the McGladrey Classic in November, his final tournament of 2013 before taking time off for the birth of his second child. He returned at Kapalua, and though he closed with 73 there, it was a good day of scrambling.

English, who had 67, won the final event of 2013 in the OHL Classic at Mayakoba. He goes for his third win in his past 16 starts on the PGA Tour.

"It was just kind of 'Grind it 'til you find it.' This course is tough," English said.

Kirk takes one-stroke lead at PGA's Sony Open 01/11/14 [Last modified: Sunday, January 12, 2014 12:37am]
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