Henley leads in Honolulu
Honolulu - Two days into his PGA Tour career, Russell Henley has written his name into golf's record books and taken a two-shot lead at the Sony Open.
Henley putted for birdie on every hole on Friday on his way to a second straight round of a 7-under 63.
His total of 14-under 126 gave him a two-shot lead over fellow rookie Scott Langley and Scott Piercy, and also broke the 36-hole tournament record by two strokes.
"It's pretty surreal," Henley said.
In the first full-field event of the season, the rookies were leading the way. All they did on another windy, warm day along the shores of Oahu was trade places atop the leaderboard. Langley opened with a 62 and followed that with a 66. That typically would be enough to stay in the lead.
Langley said he tried to stay aggressive, and then he felt he had no choice. He birdied his last three holes to reach 128.
Piercy looked as though he had a chance to catch Henley in the afternoon, even as a gentle wind turned into nothing more than a breeze, but he spent most of his time grinding over pars. A birdie on the par-5 ninth, his last hole, gave him another 64.
That means Henley and Langley will be paired together for the third straight day, this time in the last group going into the weekend.
They have been good friends for the past few years, each helping when the other was going through a bad spell. They have been linked together since they shared low amateur honours at Pebble Beach in the 2010 US Open.
"It's never easy to back up a really good round, I kind of got off to a little slower start," Langley said. "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."
The previous 36-hole record at the Sony Open was 128 by five players, most recently John Cook in 2002.
Matt Kuchar made eagle on the 18th hole to finish off a 63. He was three shots behind.
"I understand the wind is supposed to really die down over the weekend, so I certainly expect low scoring," Kuchar said. "The course is in great shape, greens are beautiful, so there's going to be a lot more birdies and foot has definitely got to be down on the pedal."
Dustin Johnson, who won last week at Kapalua, withdrew after nine holes because of illness.
"I feel like I'm coming down with whatever my caddie's got," said Johnson, who was 3 over at the turn. "Just not feeling well. Stomach hurts, headache, tired."
Henley and Langley are both well placed to become the first rookie in 12 years to win his PGA Tour debut. In 2001, Garrett Wilson captured the Tucson Open, the same week of the Match Play Championship in Australia.Leading second-round scores on Friday in the US PGA Tour $5.6m Sony Open (USA unless noted, par-70):
126 - Russell Henley 63-63
128 - Scott Langley 62-66, Scott Piercy 64-64
129 - Matt Kuchar 66-63
130 - Chris Kirk 68-62, Tim Clark (RSA)
64-66, Charles Howell 66-64
131 - Pat Perez 68-63
132 - Stephen Ames (CAN) 65-67, Danny Lee (NZL) 66-66, Scott Gardiner (AUS) 68-64, Tim Herron 66-66
133 - Jeff Overton 65-68
134 - John Rollins 68-66, Vijay Singh (FIJ) 67-67, John Huh 71-63, Alistair Presnell (AUS) 68-66, Henrik Norlander (SWE) 70-64, Matt Jones (AUS) 66-68, Rory Sabbatini (RSA)
69-65, Brian Stuard 66-68
135 - Bart Bryant 68-67, Webb Simpson 66-69, Tommy Gainey 66-69, David Mathis 69-66, Dicky Pride 68-67, Erik Compton 67-68, Hideto Tanihara (JPN) 70-65, Lee Williams 69-66, Ricky Barnes 70-65, John Senden (AUS) 69-66, Ryan Palmer 67-68, Marc Leishman (AUS) 67-68, Shawn Stefani 68-67