Tournament leader, Brendan Steele looking to go one better than last year – Getty Images
Marc Leishman remains within touch of the lead at the Sony Open in Honolulu although he is now four shots from the leader, Brendan Steele.
Leishman began the day three behind the 36-hole leader, Nick Taylor but appeared to be slipping out of contention before three birdies in his final five holes saw him finish with a second consecutive round of 65 to be tied for 9th place.
Leishman knows he will have to go low tomorrow to catch and pass Steele and others, Steele a proven performer on the golf course having finished runner-up to Cameron Smith last year.
“I hit the ball great all day but couldn’t make the putts, burning edges,” said Leishman. “I knew they would drop eventually because I was hitting good putts, and they were very close to going in and they went in towards the end of the round.
“It’s a really bunched leaderboard, four back it looks like. Going to have to go low. Can’t see Steeley shooting — well, I’ll have to shoot 65 or less to have any sort of chance. Go out and attack and try to make all the putts where I give myself an opportunity and see where it leaves us.”
Leishman owns a very good record at Waialae Country Club having recorded a total of 58 under par in his 24 rounds on the golf course since 2015 and while there has been only one top ten in that time, he has an impressive level of consistency over the layout.he will likely need something more than consistent tomorrow.
Aaron Baddeley is just one further back than Leishman after he too was round in 65 today, while Matt Jones, Cameron Davis, Cameron Smith and Adam Scott are further back.
The leader, Steele, has played the event only twice in the last ten years but one of those was when runner-up last year and so enjoys good memories of a golf course where he so nearly secured his 4th PGA Tour title.
“Definitely the first practice round we played this year was on the back nine and I was remembering some shots, some good and some bad, kind of kicking myself a little bit,” said the leader describing mixed memories from last year.
“I usually play well coming off of a break, and I had a nice break. I was able to spend some time with my family and get excited to play golf again, and sometimes I lose that in the middle of the year when I’m away from home and just kind of beating my head against the wall.”