Kuchar starts Hawaii vacation with a victory

Matt Kuchar leads the Sony Open after two rounds of 63 in Hawaii

GETTY IMAGESMatt Kuchar leads the Sony Open after two rounds of 63 in Hawaii

Kuchar has won just twice in the dozen times he has held the 36-hole lead, but he feels with the way he is playing that he can add to his birdie count.

The victor of the Mayakoba Classic in Mexico in November, world No.32 Kuchar briefly surrendered the lead to Putnam after three bogeys in his first five holes on Sunday.

"I anticipate needing another good round tomorrow", he said.

Keith Mitchell surged into joint third place after making seven birdies in a round of seven-under 63, and joined Chez Reavie on 14 under overall.

"It was pretty tough to walk but obviously things worked out pretty well", he said.

Putnam, who collected his maiden PGA Tour win at last year's Barracuda Championship, nailed a tricky three-footer for par at the last to clinch outright second on 18 under.

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Putnam's birdie at the third and a series of solid pars proved enough to take him into the lead, which he maintained at the turn when he matched Kuchar's birdie at the long ninth. "I missed couple putts early but I was awfully steady, played bogey-free".

Kuchar ran off four birdies in five holes to start his second round on Friday, handled the par 5s at Waialae again and finished with another round 63. It wasn't easy because it never is on the PGA Tour, but it was simple and as low-stress as wins get.

He gets another test Sunday, and Kuchar at least is equipped with recent experience. He joins Xander Schauffle in the two-win club for this season and now has almost eight months to notch the first three-win season of his long, consistent and successful career.

The 26-year-old Imahira, who carded an eagle on the par-5 18th, finished the day in a tie for seventh with Hudson Swafford of the United States.

Marc Leishman (T3): It was a great two weeks in Hawaii for Leishman, too.

Peter Jung, who qualified by winning an amateur tournament, played in his first PGA Tour event. But I enjoy the challenge even when you're not playing well of trying to figure out shooting a score. He also beat Patrick Reed and Ian Poulter, who are both only 15 years younger than Love but also played in the Ryder Cup. Jordan Spieth had a short week despite a 66 in second round and missed the cut by one shot. Yuki Inamori is one stroke further back after carding a 68, while Rikuya Hoshino just made the cut at 2-under, following up his opening round of 66 with a 2-over 72.

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