Matt Kuchar has found his groove the first two days at Waialae and he has a pair of 63s to prove it.
Kuch is 14-under par, running away from most of the competition with the exception of Andrew Putnam, the only player close to him. Putnam followed up an opening 62 with a 65 and is a shot back.
Only two other players have reached double-digits under par — Stewart Cink (62) and Chez Reavie (65) were both in at 10-under par at the halfway point of the Sony Open.
First round leader Adam Svensson fell back to earth after his opening 61. He shot 74 on Friday and fell back into a tie for 20th.
“As well as Kuch is playing, he’s gonna be pretty hard to catch,” predicted Justin Thomas, who played the first two rounds with Kuchar. Thomas is in at five-under, tied for 20th. Bryson DeChambeau’s 67 got him to four-under.
Players have opened with dueling 63s on four other occasions at the Sony and each went on to win the tournament.
Kuchar was all smiles after his round Friday.
“Just two great days. To shoot 7-under back to back is unexpected, but certainly awfully excited. Love the golf course. It’s a challenging one. If you play well you can make birdies; if you don’t you’re going to make bogeys,” Kuchar said.
“Been on some good form, so felt really good yesterday; today probably wasn’t quite as clean. I think I hardly missed a fairway yesterday and today missed a handful. Boy, the golf course gets tough when you’re playing from the rough. Even if you have short clubs in your hand it’s challenging. I took advantage early and started out with three straight birdies, 10, 11, 12, and kind of continued the good play from yesterday.”
Kuch took advantage of what seemed like an easier back nine with those three opening birdies, another at 14 then at the par five 18th, he hit his second just 16 feet from the hole and sank the eagle putt. A solo bogey kept him from shooting 29.