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Seamus Power keeps hope of victory alive at Hawaii's Sony Open

Power is six off the lead, but Graeme McDowell missed the cut by a single shot.

Seamus Power hits from the ninth fairway during the first round of the Sony Open.
Seamus Power hits from the ninth fairway during the first round of the Sony Open.
Image: Matt York

IRELAND’S SEAMUS POWER remains in the hunt at the US PGA Tour Sony Open in Hawaii after carding a two-under 68 on Friday to end the day tied fifth.

The Waterford man currently sits on nine-under after two rounds, six shots behind leader Russell Henley who fired two eagles in a seven-under-par 63 to seize a three-shot lead over China’s Li Haotong.

“Today was a bit a of a struggle, to be honest, especially early on,” remarked Power.

“I hit a couple very loose shots, made a couple bogeys and was able to recover and kind of turn into a couple under. Kind of kept me in it to some extent, but yeah, just a couple things to tidy up there afterwards.

“It was loose early. I just lost control of my flight there and it cost me couple shots. So if we can get that back and give myself a few extra chances over the weekend, that’s the plan.”

Graeme McDowell failed to make the cut, finishing at four-under which saw him miss out by one shot. McDowell overcame a double-bogey six on the second hole, shooting six birdies to finish on 66. 

Henley, who started the day tied for second behind defending champion Kevin Na, opened with a birdie on the 10th hole at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, and after a bogey at the 16th he kickstarted his round at 18, where he holed out from a greenside bunker for eagle.

He gave back a stroke with a bogey at the first, then picked up six strokes in his last six holes — a storming finish capped by a 29-foot eagle at the par-five ninth.

“Nice to finish like that,” Henley said. “I don’t remember the last time I had two eagles in the same round, but it’s definitely exciting.”

Henley rolled in birdie putts of about nine feet at the fourth, fifth and seventh holes and an 11-footer at the eighth.

“The front I started hitting a few more fairways and giving myself some good looks and executing there from 10 to 15 feet or less,” added the American, who is chasing a fourth US PGA Tour title on the same course where he won his first as a tour rookie in 2013.

Li had six birdies and a bogey in his five-under-par 65 for a 12-under total of 128.

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“First few holes (my game wasn’t) quite on, especially on my tee shot, But I played great on my back nine holes, a lot of putts and played super-solid,” said Li, who has one OneAsia tour title and two European Tour titles on his resume but is still seeking a first US tour crown.

American veteran Matt Kuchar, whose nine PGA Tour titles include the 2019 Sony Open, was a further stroke back on 11-under 129 after his second straight bogey-free round, a five-under 65 that included five birdies.

“Fortunately I was finding a bunch of fairways today,” Kuchar said. “If you’re in the fairway you can make birdies. If you’re not in the fairway, you’re hoping to make pars.”

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