January 16 2011
Australia’s Stuart Appleby and Japan’s Shigeki Maruyama have a lot more in common than one might think -- for one, Appleby had just conditional status on the PGA TOUR last year, while Maruyama made just four starts. Well, throw all that out the window because the two are tied atop the leaderboard after two rounds at Waialae.
Maruyama, who went out early, led for much of the day after a second straight 65. Then Appleby, who switched back to the putter he used to shoot 59 at The Greenbrier Classic last year, birdied his last two holes in the afternoon to pull even with Maruyama at 10 under.
They have a long way to go, however, with a 36-hole finale set for Sunday as officials try to finish the tournament on schedule after heavy rains wiped out play on Thursday.
Those two will be grouped (along with Roland Thatcher) for all 36 holes. They start their third rounds off the 10th tee at 1:20 p.m. ET (8:20 a.m. local time). Their fourth-round tee time is set for 5:50 p.m. ET (12:10 p.m. local) off the first tee.
Appleby knows who’ll get most of the attention, especially from the Japanese media and fans who have swelled Maruyama’s galleries.
“I’m sure he’s got a couple more reporters around him than I have right now, probably at least 50 photographers,” Appleby said. “Just a normal day in Shigeki Maruyama’s life, I’d say.” – Brian Wacker
WINNING ON NINTH HOLE?: With tee times set for the final two rounds and groups going off both the first and 10th tees in each round, there’s a chance that the winner could find himself finishing on the ninth hole late Sunday.
It happened last year at the Puerto Rico Open when rookie Derek Lamely won on the ninth hole. He became the first winner to start on the back nine and win since Keith Clearwater at the 1987 Colonial Invitational.
Among the players who will finish their final rounds on the ninth hole Sunday: Ernie Els, Steve Stricker, last week’s winner Jonathan Byrd and defending champion Ryan Palmer. – Mike McAllister
EXPLAINING THE CUT: Because of that 36-hole finish, only the number nearest the low 60 on the leaderboard will compete in the final two rounds -- though the top 70 and ties will receive FedExCup points and earnings, as well as credit for making the cut.
Late in the day, the cut number moved to 3 under, meaning that 56 players will actually participate in the final two rounds Sunday. – Brian Wacker
COURSE IN GREAT SHAPE: Waialae Country Club crew’s hard work continued to pay off, as preferred lies were not needed for the second round. Players continued to praise the efforts of the grounds crew, as they were able to return the course to normal conditions after heavy rains forced the suspension of play before a single swing on Wednesday and Thursday.
The hard work did not go unnoticed by the players.
“Hat’s off to the staff here at Waialae and all the hard work they had to do to get the course ready. We played the ball down today, no lift, clean, and place, and it’s looking great,” said Mark Wilson, who shot a 3-under to jump into a tie for third with Steve Marino and Roland Thatcher at 8 under for the tournament.
Marino agreed with the miraculous turnaround of course conditions: “I can’t believe it. It was under water on Thursday, and right now you’d have a hard time telling that we had any rain out here. They did an unbelievable job.” – Heather Deranek