HONOLULU: Defending champion Jimmy Walker fired 10 birdies in an eight-under par 62 on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) to seize a two-stroke lead in the US PGA Tour’s Sony Open.
Walker, shocked by Patrick Reed in a playoff on Monday in the Tournament of Champions at Kapalua, showed he has put that disappointment behind him.
He one-putted his last 11 holes in round three and his 16-under par total of 194 gave him a two-stroke cushion over fellow American Matt Kuchar.
Kuchar, one of a trio who shared the overnight lead, carded a two-under 68 for 196.
Brian Harman and Troy Merritt shared third on 197, Harman signing for a 64 and Merritt posting a 67.
It was a further stroke back to South Afria’s Tim Clark, who carded a 68, and rookie Justin Thomas —another overnight co-leader who signed for a 70.
Max Homa was alone in seventh place on 199. Second-round co-leader Webb Simpson was part of a big group on 200.
That group also included South Korea’s Kim Hyung-Sung, who had nine birdies in an eight-under 62.
Kim, who teed off on 10, closed his round with three straight birdies at seven, eight and nine, after his only bogey of the day at the sixth.
Walker admitted he was “pretty bummed” after falling short at Kapalua on Monday.
“But I got over it,” he said. “It’s golf and you’ve got to get over it because you’ve got to go play the next day.
“It was nice to not have so much time between tournament,” said Walker, who shook off a bogey at the second to notch four birdies on the front nine.
His inward run included six more birdies, with only a bogey at the par-three 17th slowing him down.