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Worried Maruyama leads Sony

HONOLULU — Shigeki Maru­yama shot his second 5-under 65 to sit tied for first at the Sony Open on Saturday, allowing him to look ahead to the final round.

There, the Japanese golfer will be more concerned about stamina than nerves.

Because the first round was rained out, the season-opening tourney will be decided today by a 36-hole final round. Maruyama, 41, looked at his shoes and said with a laugh, through an interpreter, "My feet. It's a problem."

"I'm getting older, and 36 holes is going to be a struggle."

Maruyama, winless on the PGA Tour since 2003, hit a bunker shot that hit the pin and dropped for birdie on the par-3 No. 7. That helped him sit at 10-under 130, the same as first-round leader Stuart Appleby (66). Steve Marino (67), Roland Thatcher (65) and Mark Wilson (67) were two back.

Appleby, who birdied his final three holes, said the 36-hole finale makes the tournament "a bit of a crapshoot."

"It will be an interesting finish," he said.

Maruyama, playing on a sponsor exemption, is popular at this tournament with several Japanese in the gallery and a Japanese sponsor. He has not been heard from much since going three straight seasons with a tour victory a decade ago, partly because of back and shoulder issues.

Waialae is one of Maruyama's favorite courses, however, because there's not a premium on length. Accuracy wasn't a big deal for him Saturday as he hit only five fairways. But he needed only 25 putts, helped by holing the bunker shot on No. 7 and knocking in a 40-footer from the fringe on No. 15.

But he is well aware the tournament is only half over.

"I haven't gotten that far yet to think about winning," he said. "Right now, it's just been about really trying to play good golf and entertain the Japanese tourists who are here in numbers."

The cut was the nearest number of players to 60th place to keep the field small for the 36 holes. Anyone finishing among the top 70 will still receive credit for a cut along with money and FedEx Cup points.

Worried Maruyama leads Sony 01/15/11 [Last modified: Sunday, January 16, 2011 12:03am]
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