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Sony Open 2021: Nick Taylor Leads at 12 Under After 2nd-Round 62

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJanuary 16, 2021

Nick Taylor, of Canada, hits to the 17th green during the third round of the Masters golf tournament Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Chris Carlson/Associated Press

Nick Taylor shot an eight-under 62 to vault into first place at 12 under overall following 36 holes at the Sony Open in Honolulu on Friday.

Low scores were common at the Waialae Country Club during Round 2.   

A five-golfer pack featuring Stewart Cink, Chris Kirk, Webb Simpson, Russell Henley and Vaughn Taylor ended the weekend at 10 under. Eight golfers, including 2020 PGA Championship winner Collin Morikawa, sit at nine under.

Taylor earned the tournament's best round, followed by Cink at seven under.

Taylor was one-over after five holes but caught fire from there with seven birdies and an eagle on the par-five 18th. A 66-foot pitch from the greenside rough did the trick on the 18th.

Taylor deserved some good karma on that hole after he nearly aced the 17th before watching his ball skate by.

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Right at it. 🎯 @NTaylorGolf59 nearly aces the par-3 17th @SonyOpenHawaii. #QuickHits https://t.co/3QMLHFjQvr

He ended up parring that one after missing a 12-foot par putt, but it didn't deter the 32-year-old Canadian from dominating the rest of the round.

Taylor is looking for his first tournament win since taking home the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am last February.

His round of 62 tied Joaquin Niemann, Jason Kokrak and Peter Malnati for the week's best 18-hole day thus far.

That trio of golfers couldn't sustain that momentum into Friday. Niemann shot just one-under. Malnati did as well, although he'll likely take that after starting Friday at five-over:

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

+5 thru his first 7 holes. -6 on his last 11. @PeterMalnati finishes strong in Round 2. He’s 1 shot back @SonyOpenHawaii. https://t.co/XJTSoSid19

Kokrak went in the wrong direction at one-over.

The week's best front or back nine belongs to Hideki Matsuyama, who shot seven-under through No. 3 through No. 9 thanks to five birdies and an eagle.

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Hideki Matsuyama shot his lowest career front-nine score today. He's the third player to shoot 28 on the front nine @SonyOpenHawaii since 1983. https://t.co/7IZ3bjdQ56

Matsuyama, who started on the 10th hole, began with three bogeys in his first four holes and was in danger of missing the cut with more uneven play. That wasn't a worry, however, as he stormed into moving day with a wave of momentum.

Shots of the day included William McGirt's 93-foot pitch for birdie on the 17th:

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

A perfectly played pitch shot. 👏 William McGirt gets to 5-under @SonyOpenHawaii. #QuickHits https://t.co/UXFvHKbP40

Unfortunately, that magic wasn't good enough for McGirt to make the cut, as he finished one shot below the line at two under.

Elsewhere, Vaughn Taylor fired a 29'7" birdie home on No. 2 to help finish his round in a second-place tie:

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Making moves @SonyOpenHawaii. @VaughnTaylorPGA gets to within 1 shot of the lead. #QuickHits https://t.co/ZbEhHs4vsS

Morikawa also fired a 124-yard dart on the second hole to set himself up for a 5'9" birdie putt:

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

66-65 (-9) thru two rounds for @Collin_Morikawa. Shots like this are why he's 1 stroke off the lead @SonyOpenHawaii. https://t.co/TDxTkc70Vk

Television coverage for the third round will begin on Golf Channel at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday.  

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