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Niemann finishes with eagle, shares Sony lead

12: 50 AM ET

  • Associated Press

HONOLULU — Joaquin Niemann had no regrets relating to the 18th hole on the Sony Open.

Four days after a pair of pars on the last hole at Kapalua ended in a playoff loss, Niemann holed a 50-foot chip for eagle on the 18th hole Thursday for an 8-underneath 62 and a portion of the lead with Jason Kokrak and Peter Malnati.

“It used to be a correct formula to attain,” Niemann said. “Spent a few days mad by that final hole, but taking the total positives from the week and pull it out for this week.”

They weren’t easy days for Niemann. The 22-365 days-previous from Chile is easy too young to beget experienced the inevitable losses that pile up in this sport. He performed Sunday at Kapalua with Sergio Garcia, who has experienced loads of failure, and who instructed him to take into yarn what all went upright.

So distinguished did on a breezy afternoon at Waialae on a course with dry fairways and tender greens and low scoring. Niemann’s fully bogey used to be when he fell asleep on a 25-foot birdie putt above the hole at No. 12, ran it 10 feet by the hole and three-putted. The attain used to be lovely.

Kokrak performed bogey-free, and he used to be as gratified with a 15-foot par putt on No. 1 — his 10th hole of the spherical — than any of his nine birdies. He had a 25-foot eagle putt for 61 on his closing hole that narrowly neglected.

Malnati used to be the fully one at 62 who performed within the morning, though conditions were identical for distinguished of the day.

The community at 64 integrated Daniel Berger, amongst the 31 gamers within the Sentry Tournament of Champion final week on Maui, and Jim Herman, who must had been there.

Herman made it to Hawaii every week later than he had hoped and used to be happier than ever. He recovered from the coronavirus and had his lowest come by in his 10th appearance on the Sony Open to come by his 365 days off to a correct start.

He licensed for Kapalua the Sentry Tournament of Champions by a success the Wyndham Championship, his third profession victory. But his COVID-19 test came abet obvious as he appealing to switch to Maui, and self-isolation for 10 days left him no time to come by to Kapalua.

“I no doubt feel magnificent correct,” Herman said. “Obviously, the low come by on the present time helps you no doubt feel a little bit bit higher. Didn’t know what to remain up for popping out this week.”

Herman said he had a glum four days going via the virus and straightforward doesn’t beget his stout taste and scent abet. Basically the most provocative peril used to be limited inflammation of the lungs, which pressed in opposition to his abet and made it traumatic to take a seat. He at final used to be ready hit some golf balls final weekend and performed fully one spherical of golf.

Scoring used to be ultimate for assorted reasons than Kapalua on an awfully assorted course. The wind off the Pacific shores on the fringe of the course is the same previous. Nonetheless it be been dry ample for the ball to roll, precious on tee pictures within the golf green, no longer so distinguished when it be off line and head into the tough.

There used to be one assorted twist at Waialae — out-of-bounds stakes for roughly 350 yards down the left side of the 18th fairway. The tour erected them this 365 days out of safety to those coming down the 10th fairway, and without the tents and bleachers due to of no spectators, it would possibly perchance presumably well need been tempting for additional gamers to clutch their tee shot on 18 down the 10th.

That never crossed Niemann’s mind. He hit a high plot that also tumbled via the golf green into the tough, came up upright short and carried out on a correct prove.

It obvious used to be assorted from final week. Niemann neglected a 6-foot birdie in regulation (and shot 64), after which in a playoff on the par-5 18th, he pulled it a little bit and went down a slope left of the golf green, leaving a traumatic chip and a par. Harris English won with a birdie putt.

“It used to be the principle time that it no doubt ruin me, cherish ending a golf tournament,” he said. “Perchance one or two days I upright defend thinking on how I would possibly perchance presumably well no longer fabricate birdie on 18 and come by it performed. I was talking with my coach, with my psychologist. We talked for an hour about all of the tournament, no longer for that 18th hole. It used to be a correct formula to clutch the total positives from that week.”

English, hopeful of being fully the third participant to brush the Hawaii swing, had three bogeys in a four-hole stretch on his 2d nine and needed to birdie two of the final three holes for an even-par 70.

Scoring used to be so low that fully 30 gamers from the 144-man field were over par.

“They’ve it playing astonishing,” said Webb Simpson, the truth is one of 22 gamers at 65 or higher. “I feel all us golfers admire it for the most phase when we look a correct drive and the ball leap 10 feet within the air, it be a correct feeling.”

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