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January 12 2013

12:12 AM

Round 2: Observations from Waialae

Chris Kirk made eagles from 2 and 3 feet on Friday en route to an 8-under 62. (Petersen/Getty Images)

By Fred Albers, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent

HONOLULU -- Chris Kirk liked his number.

At both the ninth and 18th holes he had 185 yards for his second shot into the par 5s during the Sony Open in Hawaii on Friday.

Kirk hit into the wind at the ninth and made eagle with a 5-iron. Kirk hit with the wind into the 18th with a 7-iron and made eagle. He hit it to 3 feet at the ninth and 2 feet on 18.

Kirk carded an 8-under 62 and vaulted into a tie for fifth place at 10 under, four shots behind leader Russell Henley.

Patience: Tim Clark has patience and needed it on Friday. He began the second round making eight straight pars while watching leader Henley post 14 under.

That patience was rewarded on the ninth hole with an eagle and he followed up with a birdie at the 10th.
Clark would finish 36 holes at 10 under with 64-66 and has not made a single bogey in the tournament.

Conditions: The fairways at Waialae Country Club are starting to get firm. Golf balls are running into the rough but scores are still good because greens are receptive. There was a brief rain shower during the night but no additional water was poured onto the putting surface.
The greens have lots of grass and it has been a wet winter in Hawaii. That combination means the greens are receiving and holding golf balls, leading to birdie opportunities.

Nerves: Pat Perez had a simple explanation for shooting 68 in the first round and 63 in the second: Nerves. Perez says he was very nervous during his first nine holes and did not calm himself until late in the opening round. The veteran says the combination of two months without golf and some new techniques caused him some anxious moments. But he was full of confidence heading into the weekend.

Ruling: Charles Howell III hit a bad drive on the 16th hole but got a good ruling. He missed the fairway behind a TV tower and was granted line of sight relief to the green. Howell promptly hit a 205-yard 8-iron out of the rough, which chased up to within a foot of the cup. The rules of golf do not always work against a player.

Sandman: Matt Kuchar says the difference between the 125th player on TOUR and the 25th player is the short game. Kuchar gave a demonstration with his bunker play this week. He is 4-for-4 in sand saves after finishing eighth on TOUR in 2012 bunker stats. Kuchar got up-and-down out of greenside bunkers 60 percent of the time last season and continued to practice his technique during the offseason.

Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. For more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, click here.

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