Sony Open, Russell Henley Hijacks the Lead

Russell Henley / Hugh Gentry/Reuters

Russell Henley hijacked the second round lead in the Sony Open in Hawaii, from his friend and first round leader Scott Langley, with another round of -7 under par 63. The two rookies continue to defy all the odds and dominate the leaderboard between them. Russell, who is just  two days into his PGA Tour career is already in the record books, breaking the 36-hole tournament scoring record by two shots, at -14 under par and a total of 126, the previous 36-hole record at the Sony Open was 128, shared by five players, most recently John Cook in 2002.

Russell said it all seems a bit unreal;

” It’s pretty surreal.”

The two Scotts, Langley and Piercy are now tied two shots behind on -12 under par, Scott Langley followed his opening round 62, with a second round of 66, and Scott Piercy had another round of 64, both players total 128.

Scott Langley admitted it was hard to match his amazing first round 62;

“It’s never easy to back up a really good round, I kind of got off to a little slower start, but it was certainly nice to finish the way I did and kind of get back in it with Russ. He played so well, and I was just trying to keep pace as much as I can. To finish that way was really good.”

Scott Piercy had to admit he knew very little about the two new rookies;

” It’s Russell something and Langley?  I think Russell won when he was in college, right? Hey, they’re playing well. I think I played in five final groups as a rookie and didn’t come through. There’s a learning curve, but maybe their curve is quicker than mine.”

Matt Kuchar is in fourth place alone on -11 under par, with his second round score of -7 under par, 63. Matt was real happy with the conditions here at the Waialae Country Club in  Honolulu, coming from last weeks windy weather in Maui;

” Coming from last week, it feels really easy out there, this course, is not as simple as it seems, it’s one of the tougher courses on tour. If you’re not playing well, you’re going to make some bogeys. I understand the wind is supposed to really die down over the weekend, so I certainly expect low scoring. The course is in great shape, greens are beautiful, so there’s going to be a lot more birdies and your foot has definitely got to be down on the pedal.”

One sad note today, Dustin Johnson who won last week at Kapalua, withdrew after nine holes today, suffering from the flu. Dustin will now not  get a chance to match Ernie Els as the only players to sweep the two Hawaii events.

He said of his malaise;

” I feel like I’m coming down with whatever my caddie’s got, just not feeling well. Stomach hurts, headache, tired.”

I think that as long as Scott and Russell are paired together one of them will win this tournament  they are helping each other and are not too bothered about the rest of the field. But if they are split up for the last round, competing against a seasoned Tour professional, then the going will get a little tougher coming down the stretch on Sunday.

Sony Open, Hawaii, Rookie Scott Langley Leads


on the left is Scott Langley/ Getty Images

The Sony Open in Hawaii at the Waialae Country Club.had a surprising first round leader in Scott Langley, in his first start as a rookie on Tour. Scott fired in a first round 62, -8 under par, with some wonderful stroke play and nerveless putting. Scott said he was excited about the coming days of this tournament;

“I’m a young guy, but I’m old enough to know that we have a lot of golf left. We’ve barely started, and I’m excited about the next few days.”

Just one shot behind the leader in second place is another rookie, Russell Henley, with his opening effort of -7 under par 63. Russell was pleased he got friends Scott and Luke Guthrie as his playing partners in the first round;

“I think there was a lot of nerves for me the first few holes and I think playing with Scotty and Luke was huge for me, and watching them play well kind of gave me a goal to try to keep up with them, so it was definitely fun feeding off them.”

Unfortunately Luke Guthrie did not fare so well, finishing at +1 over par, tied in 88th place.

A year ago Scott and Russell two were playing in a Hooters Tour event in Florida, Russell missing the cut and Scott just making it to proceed, walking up sixteen today the pair reminisced, Scott said;

“We were on the range trying to help each other find it. We were just walking up 16, you could see the ocean behind, PGA TOUR signs everywhere. We looked at each other and realized this is pretty cool. To look back one year ago and to know that we weren’t here, we were in a far different place.”

Tied in third spot at -6 under par are Scott Piercy and Tim Clark, Scott Piercy had a 64 in the morning, with Tim Clark matching that score in the afternoon session. Tim spent most of last year suffering from a mystery elbow injury, and came into this tournament with fairly low expectations;

“It’s going to be an exciting year for me because I do feel like I’m healthy again and can play a full schedule. I’m obviously doing a lot better than I was last year.”

Scott Piercy, the RBC Canadian Open champion, was among 20 players in the field who started their season last week on Maui, at the weather wrecked Hyundai Tournament of Champions on the Plantation Course, he recalled the terrible putting performance he endured;

” Seven three-putts and a four-putt last week. The wind wasn’t even blowing today compared to last week. I just played solid today, hit it in a lot of fairways, hit a lot of greens, made two fairly key putts and took care of the par fives.”

Seventy players in the 144-man field broke par, they included a pair from the Champions Tour. Russ Cochran, who won the Senior British Open in 2011, he had a first round of 68 and Fred Funk who shot an even par round of 70.

Golfer Matt Every is a Dope

Matt Every’s dope drug suspension is not going to go away easily, it is rumbling on due mainly to the  bizarre interview with the Golf Channel’s Kelly Tilghman. Every maintains that who his friends are and what they do are of no concern to anyone, well he is definitely wrong. His 2010 arrest for marijuana possession and the defensive statement that; ”  Honestly, man, I know more people who smoke marijuana than who don’t smoke marijuana”, could seriously hamper his attempts  to garner the endorsements that line the pockets of PGA pros. Every needs to concentrate on some exceptional public relations, starting with distancing himself from the bunch of so called friends who think drugs are OK. His image and credibility have been damaged  he’ll need to learn a bit of proper image strategy. No wonder he is desperate for this episode to fade away, but unfortunately for him every time his name appears at the top of a leader board this silly story will rear its ugly head.

Another sad story surrounding the Sony Open is the verbal set to between Vijay Singh and Rory Sabbatini, who himself is no stranger to controversy. It seems Sabbatini’s caddy, Mick Doran, moved into Singh’s eyeline while he was attempting to putt. V J missed the putt and had words with Doran about the ungentlemanly conduct. At this point Rory vigorously defended his caddy. After the round V.J. said the row was over and it was forgotten. Sabbatini disagreed at demanded Singh apologise to his caddy. I think that’s a bit rich, he should rather be telling his caddy to stand still while other people are putting.

Vijay Singh and Rory Sabbatini

Johnson Wagner wins Sony Open in Hawaii

Montford Johnson Wagner won the Sony Open at Waialae Country Club in Hawaii with a last round of -3 to finish with a total score of -13, two ahead of his nearest competitors. He grew his moustache at Thanksgiving and will now keep it in place for the next tournament, hoping it will bring him more luck.

Finishing at -11 under par were; Carl Pettersson, Sean O’Hair, Harrison Frazar and Charles Howell the Third. The two leaders at the start of play for the day both had over par rounds, Matt Every was 2 over and finished on -10, alone in 6th place. The 46 year old Jeff Maggert collapsed to record a   4 over par to finish with a total score of -8 and tied for 13th place.

Webb Simpson had a disappointing tournament finishing tied 38th, along with last weeks winner Steve Stricker both ending with totals of -4.

You beauty: Johnson Wagner is all smiles as he poses with his trophy


He had a little moment on the last green, but came through it smiling, he said afterwards;

‘I was a little shaky on the last, ‘to leave that birdie shot short was a little pathetic but I knew I was safe.

‘I’m really excited. I’ve worked so hard in the off-season with my trainer, my caddie, and I told everyone I was going to win early this year. It feels good to have done it.’

Sony Open Hawaii – Matt Who still there

Matt Every really stood relatively still shooting a -2 under 68 on Saturday, and goes into the final round tied with the now 47-year-old Jeff Maggert. Jeff fired a bogey-free round 64  in unusually calm conditions at Waialae Country Club , making an eagle on the easy par-5 ninth for the second straight day. That superb round tied Matt Every for the lead leading into the last round tomorrow. A good last round would give Jeff a chance to win on tour for the first time in nearly six years. He is closing in on the  Champions Tour but this resurgence on the main tour is due mainly to the fact that he finally took care of a bone spur in his right shoulder that has been bothering him for the last few years.

Matt Every has not had an easy time this week, surviving an awkward interview with Golf Channel after his 64 on Friday. He was defending his comments about his arrest on a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge at the John Deere Classic in 2010, he said, “I’m just ready to get it over with.”

One strange fact this week is that Webb Simpson has not finished out of the top 10 since the Tour Championship, but he goes into the final round in Waialae in a tie for 61st and has a massive task to get into the top ten of this tournament.
( Marco Garcia / Associated Press ) - Jeff Maggert shoots off the 16th fairway during the third round of the Sony Open golf tournament, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012, in Honolulu.

Photo by Marco Garcia / Associated Press

Joburg Open 2nd Round

Highlight of the Joburg second round was Englishman Richard Finch firing a hole in one at the par three 12th. Strangely enough he was not too pleased to achieve the feat, if it had come during the last round it would have earned Richard a million rand for the effort. Finch’s hole-in-one helped him into a share of the lead at the Joburg Open, sharing that position with Robert Rock and  George Coetzee at the tough Royal Johannesburg and Kensington East Course.

Finch said of his hole in one, “On 12 I looked at the back of the tee and read the board which said there was a million rand available for a hole-in-one in the final round. As my shot landed I turned around and said ‘Oh no!’ because I had hit it on the perfect line.”  “Some of Darren Fichardt’s family and friends were at the green and they started cheering, so it was clear it had gone in.” “I made one at Humewood a few years ago during the SA Open. It was sponsored by South African Airways, so I won a million air miles, which was nice.”

Richard was also delighted with his second round effort, “Starting today at five-under-par was interesting, a few birdies and you’re right up there amongst the lead, but a couple of bogeys and you miss the cut. But I’m delighted with today, I thought some of the pins were really tucked away, so I just tried to be sensible and get it on to the green to give myself a chance. I managed to roll a few in, which was good,”

Gallo Images

Sony Open Hawaii – Matt who

Matt Every has a two-shot lead at the halfway mark of the US PGA Tour event at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu. Matt who, I hear you asking. Matt Every is the American who made headlines in the summer of 2010 for being arrested on a misdemeanor marijuana charge in a hotel room during the John Deere Classic. At the time he denied possessing or using marijuana and the charges were eventually dropped, though he was suspended for three months for ‘conduct unbecoming a professional’. A strange decision by the PGA but one that Matt excepted.

“I’m not mad at the tour, they did what they had to do”. “I don’t do drugs. It was a crappy deal. Wrong place, wrong time, perfect storm and I got three months out of it,”

“I still hang out with the s upame people. If one of my friends likes to smoke marijuana every now and then I’m not going to say, well, you can’t be my friend anymore”

“Honestly, I know more people who smoke marijuana than those who don’t” “I know that’s probably not the politically correct thing to say, but it’s the truth.

“I don’t do it, but I don’t frown upon it.”

Every backed up his opening round 66 with a six-under par 64 to move to 10 under for the tournament, and that has given him a two-stroke advantage over David Hearn (66) and Carl Pettersson (67) who sit at eight under.

The best placed Australians are John Senden (67) and Gavin Coles (66) who are in a tie for 17th place, five shots off the pace. John Senden opened with a birdie but then had a couple of bogies before racking up four birdies in five holes to find himself in the thick of the tournament.

Kiwi Danny Lee’s first event as a full-time PGA Tour member ended prematurely with a missed cut at +3.

Matt Every shoots off the 9th fairway during the second round of the Sony Open in Honolulu. Photo / AP

 Photo / AP