Nerves on the golf course took second fiddle to the false news most golfers at the Sony Open woke up to Saturday: A text from the Hawaii Emergency Broadcast System that a ballistic missile was inbound to the islands.
To the average person it might have seemed like an obvious technical glitch. To longtime residents of Oahu, who can still remember the horror of December 7, 1941, it was anything but.
Fortunately, it was a glitch, and golf went on as normal, with Tom Hoge taking a 1-stroke lead through 54 holes, something he has never done in 75 previous PGA Tour starts.
“A new position,” Hoge said. “It’s a good one, obviously. I’ve been close to the lead a few times in the fall, so a little bit to draw on there. Haven’t quite pulled it off yet. Just getting a little more belief in myself and hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day for me.”
Hoge’s lead is tenuous over a host of players, including Brian Harman and Patton Kizzire, who are each one stroke back at 15-under.
Kyle Stanley is at -14, Chris Kirk at -13 and Russel Knox at -12.
Hoge and Kizzrie each shot 6-under 64s, the second-best round of the day to Webb Simpson’s 63. Kizzire could have had the outright lead had he not double-bogeyed No. 1. He rallied with five straight birdies from #6-10 to turn things around.
Even two-time defending champion Justin Thomas isn’t out of it yet. He shot a 66, thanks in large part to a 195-foot eagle on No. 2 and is at 10-under, six strokes off the lead tied with five other men for ninth.
Meanwhile, Day 1 co-lead Zach Johnson plunged 12 spots from second to tied for 14th after shooting a 1-over 71.
Jordan Spieth had his best round of the tournament, a 4-under 66, to sit at 7-under.