HONOLULU — Chris Kirk within the lead might need been the one shred of normalcy within the Sony Open.

Jordan Spieth began Friday with a share of the lead. He walked off the 18th inexperienced at Waialae in a minor state of shock after lacking the reduce.

“I felt I had a very dangerous deck of playing cards in the present day,” mentioned Spieth, the primary participant since Matt Each in Bay Hill in 2020 to go from a share of the 18-hole result in an early exit. “It was a bizarre, bizarre day.”

He had a 5-over 75 after opening with a 64.

Rory Sabbatini birdied the 18th gap within the morning and was inside a shot of the lead as he headed to the entrance 9. He hit his tee shot out of bounds. Double bogey. He pulled his drive into the water on No. 2. Double bogey. He pulled his second shot on No. 3 into the identical water and received the identical rating. He shot 41 on the ultimate 9 for a 74 and missed the reduce by 1.

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J.J. Spaun had a happier time till the tip, when one dangerous swing despatched his tee shot into the canal on the par-5 ninth, resulting in a bogey on the best gap at Waialae. He nonetheless shot 64 and was 1 shot behind.

However think about exhibiting up on the primary tee at a PGA Tour occasion positioned in the midst of the Pacific Ocean and seeing your highschool principal watching. Rita Kear, retired from San Dimas Excessive College, occurred to be on trip along with her husband.

“I noticed her on the primary tee and I used to be like, ‘Oh my God, is that Mrs. Kear?’ Positive sufficient was,” Spaun mentioned. “Small world.”

A wierd world Friday, no less than down the shore from wild, wacky Waikiki.

Kirk dropped just one shot in his spherical of 5-under 65, placing him at 11-under 129 for a 1-shot lead over Spaun and Taylor Montgomery, the PGA Tour rookie who’s taking part in his eighth match of the season and solely as soon as has completed out of the highest 15.

He’s well mannered to a fault, so to listen to Montgomery discuss his teenage years in Las Vegas and the time he caddied at Shadow Creek and was trash-talking Michael Jordan (it did not finish properly for Montgomery), it was onerous to think about. Then once more, that was par for the course on Friday at Waialae.

Kirk was one of many feel-good tales from the Sony Open two years in the past. He had stepped away from golf to hunt assist for alcoholism and melancholy. He obtained a medical extension, and the Sony Open was his final likelihood to maintain his full card. He did that by closing with a 65 to tie for second.

Kirk was amongst these tied for the lead when he started the second spherical. He birdied the primary three holes and, other than a bogey on No. 6, did not have an excessive amount of stress. However he can recognize the problem of making an attempt to keep up good kind from sooner or later to the subsequent.

“It is so tough to be nice at this sport professionally within the psychological aspect,” he mentioned. “I do not know if I did job in the present day or not, however fortunately did on the again 9. I all the time remind myself that stress is a privilege once you begin feeling somewhat little bit of nerves.”

Spieth wasn’t positive what he was feeling. He was even for the day, proper within the combine, when he went from the tough to a cool lie within the bunker. Subsequent up was the par-5 ninth that’s the best birdie on the course till the ball is crusing proper towards the canal.

He took a drop near the pink hazard line along with his left foot on the cart path. To take additional aid would have introduced a tree into play, however then he nervous about his left foot slipping, and his ball did not fade the best way he wished. It was a large number, and he needed to make a 10-foot putt for bogey.

It felt like that occurred all day.

“I’ve by no means led a match and missed the reduce earlier than,” Spieth mentioned. “Simply received the ball within the flawed spots on the flawed locations.”

The reduce will not formally be made till Saturday morning as a result of darkness once more saved everybody from ending. However will probably be at 2-under 138. Davis Thompson was 2 below and going through an eagle putt from simply inside 60 ft. So long as he would not four-putt, he’ll be round for the weekend. Given how Friday went, it was in all probability a good suggestion to attend.

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