Los Angeles - Brendan Steele birdied his final three holes in an eventful four-under-par 66 on Friday to share the second-round lead in the PGA Tour Sony Open with Australian Cameron Davis.
Three-time tour winner Steele had a total of six birdies, two bogeys an eagle and a double-bogey to hit the halfway point at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Hawaii, on six-under 134.
Davis, a 22-year-old seeking his first top-10 finish on the US tour, had five birdies and a bogey in his 66, rolling in a 13-footer at his final hole, the ninth, to join Steele atop the leaderboard early and stay there.
On another windy day - with intermittent showers again dousing a course that absorbed overnight rain - nine players were one shot off the lead on 135.
They included Aussie Cameron Smith and Scotland's Russell Knox and Americans Bo Hoag and Rob Oppenheim who all shot 65.
Overnight leader Collin Morikawa, the only player without a bogey on Thursday, joined the group at five-under with an even par 70 capped by back-to-back birdies.
South African-born Slovakian Rory Sabbatini eagled his final hole, the ninth, for his share of third place.
Steele teed off on 10 and was two-over through his first eight holes before rolling in a 14-foot eagle putt at the par-five 18th.
He added birdies at the fourth and fifth before a wind-driven double-bogey at the sixth - which he followed with his bravura finish that included birdie putts of four feet and 11 feet and a five-footer for birdie at the ninth - where he was in a greenside bunker.
"It was a wild finish," Steele said. "I was really happy with how I bounced back to make those good swings and good putts on the last few holes."
A jam-packed leaderboard saw another five players tied on 136 and seven on 137.
The group on four-under 136 included unheralded Michael Gellerman, a 27-year-old who received a sponsor's exemption to play in the tournament that started days after his January 4 wedding.
Gellerman reeled off five birdies in a row, starting with a 28-footer at 17, to reach six-under.
He faded with three bogeys in four holes before steadying with a birdie at the eighth and closing with a par from a fairway bunker at the ninth for a three-under 67.
The testing conditions in the PGA Tour's first full-field event of 2020 saw some well-known names making an early exit.
Defending champion Matt Kuchar carded a three-over 73 that put him two-over, missing the cut by one.
Justin Thomas, who won the Tournament of Champions on Sunday at Kapalua, posted a one-over 71 and missed the cut at three-over.
"Just didn't execute," Thomas said. "I mean, it's really, really tough out there. But I played fine. I played plenty good enough to be at four- or five-under and right in contention, but I missed about every putt."
Leading second-round scores on Friday in the US PGA Tour Sony Open at
Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Hawaii (USA unless noted, par-70):
134 - Brendan Steele 68-66, Cameron Davis (AUS) 68-66
- Cameron Smith (AUS) 70-65, Keegan Bradley 69-66, Russell Knox (SCO)
70-65, Ryan Palmer 67-68, Sam Ryder 67-68, Bo Hoag 70-65, Rob Oppenheim
70-65, Collin Morikawa 65-70, Rory Sabbatini (SVK) 68-67
136 - Brian Harman 68-68, Ted Potter 67-69, Andrew Putnam 69-67, Hudson Swafford 69-67, Michael Gellerman 69-67
- Tim Wilkinson (NZL) 68-69, Im Sung-jae (KOR) 69-68, Webb Simpson
71-66, Henrik Norlander (SWE) 71-66, Patrick Rodgers 68-69, D.J. Trahan
69-68, Zach Johnson 69-68