The Norman Transcript

Sports

January 12, 2013

Rookies rule Sony

HONOLULU — Two days into his PGA Tour career, Russell Henley was on his way to breaking a record.

Henley putted for birdie on every hole on his way to a second straight round of a 7-under 63, giving him a two-shot lead over fellow rookie Scott Langley among early starters Friday in the Sony Open. He was 14-under 126, which would break the 36-hole scoring record at this event by two shots.

“It’s pretty surreal,” Henley said.

In the first full-field event of the season, the rookies were leading the way. All they did on another windy, warm day along the shores of Oahu was trade places atop the leaderboard. Langley opened with a 62 and followed that with a 66. That typically would be enough to stay in the lead.

Langley said he tried to stay aggressive, and then he felt he had no choice. He birdied his last three holes to reach 128.

Unless anyone could catch them in the afternoon, they would play together a third straight time, in the last group going into the weekend. The college grads first were linked when they shared low amateur honors at Pebble Beach in the 2010 U.S. Open.

“It’s never easy to back up a really good round, I kind of got off to a little slower start,” Langley said. “But it was certainly nice to finish the way I did and kind of get back in it with Russ. He played so well, and I was just trying to keep pace as much as I can. To finish that way was really good.”

The previous 36-hole record at the Sony Open was 128 by five players, most recently John Cook in 2002.

Among the late starters was Scott Piercy, who opened with a 64 and already was at 10 under for the tournament as he headed to his back nine.

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