Kooch Leads Putnam by 2 Shots at Waialae

Chez Reavie had the touch in Hawaii on Friday. More

Chez Reavie had the touch in Hawaii on Friday. More

Last season's Barracuda Championship victor was making seemingly everything at the Sony Open in Hawaii, including a clutch 20-foot birdie on the 13th hole Sunday to join the lead. With no bogeys on his card, it even felt easy to him.

"Kuch is playing well, so I feel like I've got to get out there and make some birdies if it's not too windy", Putnam said.

"I didn't hit the ball as well as first two days, so glad the putter was still warm", he said. "If I just keep plugging along I know good things are going to happen".

Runner-up Andrew Putnam closed with a two-under-par 68 that left him at 18-under.

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"It was not at all what I was looking for", Kuchar told the Golf Channel about his poor start.

The only other time Kuchar won twice in the same season was in 2013, when he won the Match Play Championship in Arizona in February and the Memorial in early June.

After shooting 67 on Thursday, Leishman fired a six-under-par 64 (131) on Saturday (AEST) to be alongside American Ted Potter, five strokes behind Matt Kuchar, who dazzled with back-to-back 63s for a 14-under-par two-round total of 126.

I get where he's coming from and know that he's just trying to build confidence, but I might have to amend my "Spieth will win three times in 2019" take in a few weeks. Just needed to make some better swings.

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Second-placed Putnam birdied his final hole, the par-five ninth, thanks to a deft 30-yard pitch over a bunker and down to inside three feet.

Putnam, who won for the first time past year in the Barracuda Championship held opposite a World Golf Championship, did his best to stay in reach. Davis Love III shot 6-under 64 to join DeChambeau, as well as Charles Howell III (6 under) and Marc Leishman (2-under 68). "I look forward to the rest of the year to try and continue to see how great this year can be".

He became eligible for the winners-only field at Kapalua last week by winning at another beach resort - Mayakoba - last year, opening with rounds of 64-64, the kind of start he has enjoyed at Waialae.

It was a hard day for 11-time PGA Tour champion Spieth, who had four bogeys and just one birdie to be tied for 127th and 12 shots off the pace.

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He has made only one bogey through 54 holes at Waialae Country Club, and his 18-under 192 was the lowest 54-hole score of his career. Teryn Schaefer presents the best social media posts from around the world of golf in "Good, Bad & Unusual" and after each day's play brings you the biggest talking points in "The Takeaway".

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