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January 14 2012

1:12 AM

Watch out for CH3 on weekend

By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM

HONOLULU -- Which player should the rest of the field fear this weekend at the Sony Open in Hawaii?

Try Charles Howell III.

Having reached the weekend in eight of his 10 starts in this event, Howell has never shot anything less than even-par 70 in his 16 third or fourth rounds. His scoring average in the final two rounds of the Sony Open is 67.4. That's why one reason why he has five top-10 finishes here.

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Howell
And considering he'll enter this weekend at 6 under after back-to-back 67s, Howell seems in excellent shape to finally break through with his first win at Waialae and his first TOUR win since 2007.

Howell really has no explanation for why he's played so well at the Sony Open, especially once he makes it to Saturday.

"I wish I knew," he said. "I like the golf course. It makes you think an awful lot. Par's a good score on a lot of these holes, especially in the cross winds.

"Anymore than that, I really don't know."

Although Howell said he generally favors courses that are longer and allow him to hit "a bunch of drivers" -- he's hit just four drivers in each of the first two rounds -- he obviously knows how to manage his way around this course. On Friday, he hit just three of 14 fairways, but offset his three bogeys with four birdies and an eagle at the par-5 ninth.

"It's not the first time I've only hit three fairways around here," he said.

Howell's twin 67s leaves him in a great spot heading into Saturday. He's only been in better position here after two rounds one other time -- in 2007, when he was 8 under and eventually finished tied for second.

Two years ago, he shot 66-64 on the weekend to finish tied for fifth.

Howell can't explain his success here, but he does know one thing.

"It might be in my best interest to find out why," he said.

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