Brendan Steele, Cameron Davis navigate the wind best to share Sony Open lead

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Brendan Steele, Cameron Davis navigate the wind best to share Sony Open lead

PGA Tour

Brendan Steele, Cameron Davis navigate the wind best to share Sony Open lead

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The wind howled around Waialae Country Club in Honolulu for a second consecutive day, making scoring difficult for the Sony Open field. After brilliant play on Thursday, first-round leader Collin Morikawa followed up his opening 65 with a 70 on Friday, dropping from the top spot on the leaderboard into a tie for third at 5 under.

Brendan Steele and Cameron Davis replaced the Tour rookie, having each fired a second-round 66 to reach 6 under. Note that both men went off relatively early in the day, benefiting from the calmer morning conditions.

Steele, who began his day on No. 10, holed an eagle putt on No. 18 to take some momentum into his second nine. He made five birdies in his final six holes on the front side, but threw a double-bogey in at No. 7, too. Steele, a three-time winner on the PGA Tour (who claimed his last title at the 2018 Safeway Open), has not finished inside the top 10 in his last 38 starts.

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Co-leader Cameron Davis, from Australia, remarkably had just one bogey on his card along with five birdies.

“I just kept on putting the ball in play,” he told Golf Channel after his round. “I felt like the driving was the big strength of mine over the last couple of days, just continually putting it in the fairway.”

Davis likely benefited from growing up playing in the wind. He said he was able to see the kinds of shots he needed to hit throughout the day as the gusts demanded creativity.

The nine-man tie for third at 5 under included Keegan Bradley and Rory Sabbatini. The latter was among the final players to come off the course on Friday, and closed with an eagle on the par-5 ninth. His second shot came within inches of rolling in the hole.

Morikawa is also on that number, but approached a self-described “mediocre” second round with maturity.

“It didn’t feel that different,” Morikawa told Golf Channel. “I just wasn’t giving myself chances.”

As the cut fell at 1 over, the two biggest stars from last week’s Sentry Tournament of Championship – winner Justin Thomas and runner-up (after a three-hole playoff) Patrick Reed – were on the outside looking in. Thomas had lackluster rounds of 72-71 to land at 3 over and Reed ended up on the same number with rounds of 69-74.

Defending champion Matt Kuchar also missed the cut by a single shot at 2 over.

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