Matt Kuchar leads Sony Open by two shots after 54 holes

Chez Reavie had the touch in Hawaii on Friday. More

Chez Reavie had the touch in Hawaii on Friday. More

So odd was this round that Reavie made more eagles than birdies, and the one shot that made him think the ball might go in the hole led to a par.

Putnam, who trailed by one stroke at the halfway stage, shot a three-under 67 to get to 16 under overall. He walked that birdie in, too, and all that remained was the trophy ceremony.

After shooting 67 on Thursday, Leishman fired a six-under-par 64 (131) on Saturday (AEST) to be alongside American Ted Potter, five strokes behind Matt Kuchar, who dazzled with back-to-back 63s for a 14-under-par two-round total of 126. He ended it with another birdie on the par-5 18th, his 24th of the week.

The 25-year-old won the Memorial Tournament, the Northern Trust and the Dell Technologies Championship in 2018, and moved up 30 places after mixing just one bogey with eight birdies, including three in a row on the way back to the clubhouse.

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"I think it might've been Jay-Z that said 40's the new 20", Kuchar said. "The other two, I just hit the shot I was trying to see and it was going at the hole". He was battling me.

Birdies on the 10th and 12th holes put Kuchar briefly ahead by one until Putnam caught up to him on 13, but it was close as the 29-year-old would come for the remainder of the round. "For me, I've never had a cushion like this coming down to the last (hole)".

Canada's Corey Conners, who got into the field through a Monday qualifier, had a 64-64 weekend and was among four players who tied for third, though none had a serious chance of challenging what amounted to a two-player race at the top. "To have won two out of three starts on the PGA TOUR is mind boggling to me".

It was Kuchar's 9th PGA Tour title and takes his career earnings beyond US$46 million, the 10th highest earner in PGA Tour history. Putting was again key though - Kuchar, who ranked first for Greens In Regulation for the week, had a Putting Average ranking of fifth, and Putnam ranked second.

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Kuchar then won once in 2014 - the RBC Heritage - but came up empty until last fall when he won the Mayakoba Golf Classic.

Leishman is coming off a tie for fourth at the Tournament of Champions on Maui last week after starting his United States tour season with a victory in the CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur, tied 18th at the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in South Korea and tied second at the World Cup in Melbourne alongside Cameron Smith. Kizzire and Kuchar have both doubled-up in Hawaii just a few months after winning in Mexico. About as good as it could have been without a win.

Kuchar has finished inside the top 15 in each of his last six starts here, including four consecutive top-10s from 2011-2015. Love is not playing next week on the Big Island because he is playing the Singapore Open.

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