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January 12 2013

12:00 AM

Weary travelers struggle in Round 2

By Ann Miller, for PGATOUR.COM

HONOLULU -- After winning the wind-delayed Hyundai Tournament of Champions Tuesday — finally — Dustin Johnson didn’t even make it halfway through the Sony Open in Hawaii.

Apparently he’s not the only golfer Kapalua’s relentless weather has weakened.
Scott Piercy and Matt Kuchar have rebounded from the wind, waiting and hilly walks to move into the top five at Waialae Country Club going into the weekend – but they are the exceptions.

Johnson withdrew during Friday’s second round with flu-like symptoms. Nine more TOC golfers missed the cut, including former Sony champions Johnson Wagner and Zach Johnson.

Rookie of the Year John Huh is the only other winner from last year in the top 20, after shooting a 63. Even the 22-year-old admitted to weariness, which made Piercy feel better.

“I’m a little tired, I'm not going to lie,” said Piercy, who is 13 years older than Huh. “I was pretty sore after walking those 36 (Monday) and right back at it (Tuesday) and no sleep the next two days because I had a Pro-Am at 7:18 (Wednesday) and the first tee time (7:50 a.m. Thursday). It's been a pretty fast week, but if the wind still stays up and it gets firm out here and the ball is rolling, you've got to play some good golf to shoot some good scores.”

Piercy fired another 64 Thursday and is two shots behind leader Russell Henley. Piercy, who finished 13th at Kapalua, is making it look easy in much easier conditions at Waialae.

He has gone bogey-free for two days and had eight 3s on his card Friday, including a 14-foot eagle putt on the 18th. He one-putted 12 greens and all but the eagle were from inside 7 feet.

Kuchar is another shot back after eagling his final hole for a 63.

“This course is difficult,” Kuchar insisted. “Fortunately conditions were good. Coming from last week, it feels really easy out there. This course, as simple as it seems, it’s one of the tougher courses on TOUR. If you’re not playing well, you’re going to make some bogeys.”

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