Saturday, January 14, 2012


HONOLULU -- Matt Every is 10 under after shooting a 6-under 64 in Friday's second round of the Sony Open in Hawaii. That gives him a two-shot lead going into the weekend at Waialae.
It's a position he's never been in before on the PGA TOUR.
"Just normal stuff," Every said.
Well, not exactly that normal. In 29 previous US PGA Tour starts, Every has one top-10 finish, a tie for eighth two years ago at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
But what Every meant is that his game felt normal. He avoided mistakes (it was a bogey-free day), rolled in a few putts (three from outside 20 feet) and struck his irons crisply (12 of 18 greens in regulation).
Having played 20 events on the Nationwide Tour last year and finishing 18th on the money list with four top-10 finishes, the University of Florida grad simply feels like this week's start at the Sony Open is a carryover from last year.
"I'm not saying like I'm going to be on top of the leaderboard every week," Every said, "but it's not a surprise to me. I know that I can, you know?
"It's only two rounds, though, so it's not that big of a deal."
Every closed with three straight birdies, giving him a two-shot lead over Carl Pettersson (67) and David Hearn, who kept the Canadian presence on the leaderboard with his second straight 66.
Brendon de Jonge shot 62 and Pat Perez was solid again with a 67 to finish three shots behind, along with Doug LaBelle II, a Monday qualifier at the Sony Open for the third time.
Using a new big mallet putter on Thursday, de Jonge needed 32 putts en route to shooting a 1-over 71.
Overnight, he decided to switch back to the normal-sized putter that he had used last year. He needed just 24 putts on Friday.
"I don't know why I switched (earlier this week)," de Jonge said. "I just did, and it was a mistake obviously."
Graham DeLaet, the first-round leader at 63, had consecutive double bogeys at the start of his round and rallied for a 72, putting him five shots out of the lead.
The Kona wind that picked up slightly in the afternoon provided an unusual scene on the par-5 ninth. Firm fairways and a tail wind made the 504-yard play to an average score of 3.957 -- and it's a par 5.
Erik Compton took advantage, hitting to 4 feet for eagle on his last hole to make the cut on the number at 1-under 139. Pettersson hit a big drive that left him only a sand wedge for his second shot.
"It felt weird," Pettersson said. "I freaked out. I said to my caddie, `Are you sure?' It just didn't feel right."
Steve Stricker made double bogey from a bad lie in a bunker that stalled his momentum. He had to settle for a 69 and was five shots back in his bid to become the first player since Ernie Els in 2003 to sweep the Hawaii events.
Stricker was tied for the lead when he birdied the 18th hole at the turn. On the opening hole, among the toughest on the course, he got through the hard part with a drive down the middle of the fairway. His 3-iron into the increasingly strong wind came up a yard short and plugged into a bunker, and he knocked that over the green for a double bogey.
"From that point, I struggled to get any momentum going," he said. "But I'm OK."
Russell Knox, pictured, missed the cut by one shot with a pair of 70s for 140. England's pair, Greg Owen and Gary Christian had mixed fortunes. Owen survived to play at the weekend with a pair of 69s for 138 while Christian failed to qualify with two 73s for 146.





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