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Steele, Davis share early lead at Waialae

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Los Angeles (AFP)

Brendan Steele birdied his final three holes in an eventful four-under-par 66 on Friday to share the early second-round lead in the US PGA Tour Sony Open with Australian Cameron Davis.

Steele had a total of six birdies, two bogeys an eagle and a double-bogey to hit the halfway point at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Hawaii, on six-under 134.

Davis, meanwhile, had five birdies and a bogey in his 66, rolling in a 13-footer at his final hole, the ninth, to join Steele atop the leaderboard with the afternoon players still on the course.

On another windy day -- with intermittent showers again dousing the field -- seven morning starters were in the clubhouse on five-under.

They included Aussie Cameron Smith and Scotland's Russell Knox and Americans Bo Hoag and Rob Oppenheim who all shot 65.

American Collin Morikawa, who was bogey-free in Thursday's brutal winds, opened the day at five-under with a two-shot lead, but fell back with a three-putt bogey at the fourth.

Steele teed off on 10 and was two-over through his first eight holes before rolling in a 14-foot eagle putt at the par-five 18th.

He added birdies at the fourth and fifth before a double-bogey at the sixth -- which he followed with his bravura finish that included birdie putts of four feet and 11 feet and a five-footer for birdie at the ninth -- where he was in a greenside bunker.

The testing conditions in the US tour's first full-field event of 2020 saw some well-known names in danger of an early exit.

Defending champion Matt Kuchar carded a three-over 73 that put him on the projected cutline of two-over.

Justin Thomas, who won the Tournament of Champions on Sunday at Kapalua, posted a one-over 71 and was at three-over.

"Just didn't execute,"Thomas said. "I mean, it's really, really tough out there. But I played fine. I played plenty good enough to be at four- or five-under and right in contention. I missed about every putt."

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