Chris Kirk carded a second-round 65 to retain a one-shot lead at 11-under in the Sony Open in Hawaii.
After seeking help for his addictions, Kirk returned to golf two years ago on a medical extension. Last year's event was his last chance to keep his card which he did by finishing tied for second place.
2,791 days since his last win on TOUR.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 14, 2023
"I felt good going into today, and after playing really well yesterday you want to come out and hit some solid shots and kind of ease into it. I did not ease into it at all. Really nice putt I made on 1, and then couple pitching wedges on 2 and 3 that I hit pretty close.
"I was felt like off the races, but then maybe, yeah, it can be hard to sustain that sometimes for 18 holes, that type of momentum. We're all trying to birdie all 18 holes but we never do it.
"Hit a couple tee shots that weren't quite what I wanted on 5 and 6 and was able to make a good save on 5, and then bogeyed on 6 unfortunately. But then after that, after I made the turn, really just kind of settled in and played steady, solid golf on the back nine.
"Three birdies, no bogeys. Never really in any kind of stress, which was a nice way to finish off my day.
"It's so difficult to be great at this game professionally in the mental side," he said. "I don't know if I did a good job today or not, but thankfully did on the back nine. I always remind myself that pressure is a privilege when you start feeling a little bit of nerves."
PGA Tour rookie Taylor Montgomery is playing his eighth tournament this season and has only finished outside the top-15 once so far. He shares second place at 10-under after closing with a 66.
64-66 to open for the clubhouse leader @SonyOpenHawaii 💪
Taylor Montgomery continues his hot start to the season. pic.twitter.com/PWhE6uYZhg
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 13, 2023
Tied alongside him is J.J. Spaun who shot 64, matchind his best second-round score on Tour (2017 WM Phoenix Open). Spaun has played the Sony Open five times previously and his best finish so far was T47 in 2018.
Defending champion Hideki Matsuyama carded a 1-under 69 to notch his 13th consecutive under-par round at the Sony Open in Hawaii, the longest active streak at the event. He currently lies in T46 at 3-under.
Hayden Buckley (64) and David Lipsky (66) complete the all-American top-5, tied in fourth at 9-under.
Jordan Spieth started the day in a share of the lead alongside Kirk and Montgomery but closed with a 75 that included six bogeys and a single birdie, missing the cut by one shot. He is the first player since Matt Every at Bay Hill in 2020 to miss after sharing the first-round lead.
"I've never led a tournament and missed the cut before," said Spieth. "Just got the ball in the wrong spots at the wrong places."
Play was suspended due to darkness at 6:18 p.m., with Davis Thompson to conclude his second round on Saturday at 7:10 a.m. The third round will consist of threesomes off Nos. 1 and 10 with tee times from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.