By Doug Ferguson ,AP
HONOLULU, Hawaii — Jimmy Walker has a two-shot lead in the Sony Open and knows how to approach the final round.
Don’t let up.
The experience isn’t from Monday at Kapalua, where he had a three-shot lead with five holes to play and wound up losing in a playoff to Patrick Reed. It’s from last year at Waialae, where he emerged from a five-way tie for the lead by closing with a 63 to win.
��Somebody is shooting a low round every day, and you never know where it’s going to come from,�� Walker said. ��So you’ve got to go out with the expectation you’ve got to shoot a good score tomorrow.��
On Saturday, one of those rounds belonged to Walker.
With a putting performance reminiscent of his final round a year ago, Walker one-putted his last 11 holes on his way to an 8-under 62, giving him a two-shot lead over Matt Kuchar and a chance to become the first back-to-back winner of the Sony Open since Ernie Els in 2004.
��I feel good about what I’m doing,�� said Walker, who was at 16-under 194. ��Like I said, I can only go out and control what I can do tomorrow, and I can’t put anything on anybody else. I’m going to just keep trying to hit the golf shots, hit the shots I see, put it under the hole, give myself some good looks, make some putts.��
Kuchar, one of three players tied for the lead at the start of Saturday, birdied two of his last three holes for a 68 and was two shots behind.
Without the strong wind typical of this tournament, there has been a score of at least 62 every round. That led Kuchar to say that anyone within six shots of the lead would be a threat in that final round.
If that’s the case, this could very much be up for grabs.
Brian Harman (64) and Troy Merritt (67) were three shots behind, while Tim Clark (68) and Justin Thomas (70) were another shot back.
The 21-year-old Thomas, playing in the final group on the weekend for the first time, twice made key putts to turn double bogeys into only bogeys. He was tied for the lead through 12 holes until going well long on the 13th and scratching out a bogey, then dropping another shot on the 16th before closing with a birdie.