Shigeki Maruyama countered a double-bogey on the opening hole by acing the fourth and completed the third round of the US$4.8 million PGA Sony Open with a one-shot lead over Brett Quigley.
The Japanese star posted a steady two-under-par 68 on another windswept round at Waialae Country Club, giving him a 54-hole total of 10-under 200, says Channel News Asia.
Brett Quigley, winless in 220 starts on tour, settled down after a tentative start for a 68 that put him one shot behind and in the final group today with Maruyama.
Paul Azinger, the 2000 Sony Open champion whose low, boring shots are ideal for this wind, made all pars on the back nine but still shot a 67 and was at eight-under 202.
Seven other players were within five shots of the lead, including world No.1, Vijay Singh.
A forgotten man the first two days with lacklustre play and the presence of 15-year-old Michelle Wie, Singh quietly surged into contention with a 67 that put him four shots behind. He might have been closer except for taking two shots to get out of a bunker on No.16, courtesy of a plugged lie, and missing a six-foot birdie on the last, reports the Toronto Star.
Among those in the large crowd following Maruyama was Isao Aoki, inducted last year into the World Golf Hall of Fame and the last Japanese player to win the Sony Open. Maruyama was 14 when he watched Aoki hole a wedge for eagle on the last hole to beat Jack Renner by one.
"I saw him," Maruyama said. "It gives me great pressure." He could also get that looking behind him on the leader board, informs ABS CBN News.