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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, January 05, 2019 1:00 am


Run of birdies vaults Woodland

DOUG FERGUSON | Associated Press

KAPALUA, Hawaii – Gary Woodland wasn't making any putts until he chipped in for birdie, and then he couldn't miss.

Woodland broke away from a five-way tie for the lead Friday by running off five straight birdies, and then finishing with one more for another 6-under 67 that gave him a three-shot lead going into the weekend at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

None of his birdie putts were longer than 10 feet, which helped. But this was more a measure of his confidence, which dates to his work with putting guru Phil Kenyon during the British Open last summer at Carnoustie.

“The big deal was just staying patient on the greens,” Woodland said. “It's very tough putting with the crosswinds and I didn't see anything go in early, but nice to see the chip go in on 11 and kind of got me going, propelled me for the rest of the round.”

Woodland was at 12-under 134.

Rory McIlroy had another good finish with three birdies over his last five holes for a 68, leaving him three shots behind along with Bryson DeChambeau (68) and Kevin Tway, who didn't make his first bogey at Kapalua until the 17th hole of the second round. He shot a 71.

Defending champion Dustin Johnson had a 74, which included a two-stroke penalty, the first time in 33 rounds at Kapalua that he was over par.

Johnson, the defending champion and a two-time winner at Kapalua, was seven shots behind.