Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama shot a 4-under 66 in the third round of the Sony Open in Hawaii to fall five shots off the lead following a blistering day of low scoring led by new leader Brendan Steele.
Matsuyama, a five-time PGA TOUR winner, made one eagle, three birdies and a lone bogey at Waialae Country Club to end the round in a share of 13th position on Saturday. He hit 16 greens in regulation but lost 2.65 strokes in Strokes Gained: Putting against the field.
India’s Anirban Lahiri made a big move up the leaderboard to equal 17th position following a 64 which featured a double bogey against eight birdies. It was his lowest career round at the tournament in what is his fourth appearance on the famous holiday isle.
Starting from the 10th hole, Lahiri made three successive birdies from the 12th hole before running up a disastrous seven on the par-5 18th hole, following a penalty stroke after an errant second shot. The Indian star rebounded strongly on his inward nine by picking up birdies on Hole Nos. 2, 4, 7, 8 and 9 for a three-day total of 12-under 198.
Chasing a fourth PGA TOUR win, Steel, who lost in a playoff here to Cameron Smith last year, leads by two from Kevin Na and Joaquin Niemann on 18-under 192 following a career low 61. He enjoyed a blemish-free card and sank nine birdies to hold the 54-hole lead/co-lead for the sixth time in his career.
Na also shot a fine 61 to move into the hunt while Niemann, who lost in a playoff to Harris English in the Sentry Tournament of Champions last week, carded a 63 to give himself a shot at a second PGA TOUR win.
Brendan Steele 65-66-61—192 (-18)
Kevin Na 67-66-61—194 (-16)
Joaquin Niemann 62-69-63—194 (-16)