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Sunday, January 16, 2005



Sony Open



art
DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Shigeki Maruyama reacted after missing a putt yesterday.


Maruyama runs
with biggest crowd

The Japanese golfer sees
his gallery grow as he climbs
to the top of the leaderboard

» Round 3 scores
» Azinger wants to do more than talk

Shigeki Maruyama might have to sign autographs from Waialae Country Club to the Honolulu International Airport if he holds on to win the $4.8 million Sony Open in Hawaii.

The only golfer here whose entourage is worthy of a rock star, the popular Japanese golfer played a heart-stopping round yesterday that included a double-bogey 6 on the first hole, a hole-in-one at the fourth and an eagle putt that just died at the hole on the 18th, much to the chagrin of the pro-Shigeki crowd.

Add it all together and Maruyama carded a 2-under 68 for a 54-hole total of 10-under 200. He begins today's final round with a one-shot lead over Brett Quigley (68) and a two-shot advantage over 2000 Sony Open champion Paul Azinger, who kept within range with a 3-under 67.

Quigley, looking for his first PGA Tour win, held the lead for part of the afternoon, dipping to 10 under with a birdie at the par-3 11th. But coming down the stretch, Quigley bogeyed the 15th and parred the rest to keep a firm grasp on second.

Keep an eye on the 40-somethings. Azinger is not the only 45-year-old threatening to win the first full-field event in 2005. Former Masters champion Larry Mize revisited his glory days with a stunning 6-under 64, matching the best round of the tournament. He is tied for fourth with Robert Gamez, who came in with a 68 yesterday for a three-day total of 203.

Lurking in the rough are world No. 1 Vijay Singh and 2001 rookie of the year Charles Howell III. Howell got into the thick of it with a 64. He is tied for sixth with Singh, who shot a 3-under 67 to finish at 204.

But Singh is not the crowd favorite this week. That honor belongs to Maruyama, who not only had the pressure of trying to get a win on the PGA Tour in front of the horde of Japanese media, but dealing with past Japanese winner Isao Aoki.

"I watched Mr. Aoki win the tournament here when I was 14," Maruyama said of the 1983 United Airlines Hawaiian Open winner. "I think I was in school and I saw his picture in the news. I tried not to look at him because he's always putting pressure on me."

Quigley was paired with Azinger in the group in front of Maruyama. Both played relaxed rounds that could bode well for them over the pressure-packed final 18 holes. The past two years ended in a playoff, with South African Ernie Els winning both. Quigley doesn't care how it ends, just as long as he secures his first win on tour.

"Of course, it would be unbelievable," Quigley said. "It's certainly the ultimate goal for me out here, but just go and try to have fun tomorrow. I've done a pretty good job of doing that. I got a new caddy this year and just trying to keep it light and not beat myself up."

Azinger is taking a similar approach. Facing the twilight of his run on the PGA Tour, Azinger hopes his experience at the par-70 Waialae course will come in handy. Had he birdied the 18th for a third consecutive day, he'd be in a perfect spot to overtake Maruyama.

"I was trying to fly that ball about 30 yards in the air, about 1 or 2 yards short of the pin and just stop it," Azinger said. "I think at the last second, I didn't want to be 5 feet past. It's the only shot I've looked back on for the whole tournament. Even my lousy shots feel fine."

Howell didn't have many of those. He began the day even par for the tournament, but fired a 4-under 31 on the difficult front nine and a 2-under 33 on the back. He had one of three eagles at the par-5 ninth and birdied the 18th to put himself in contention.

"This golf course isn't easy," Howell said. "In fact, I was very happy with even par after the first two rounds. A 64 any time, any place, I'll take, but today it was very good."

Singh is also within shouting distance of the lead. Never a winner in Hawaii, Singh still is comfortable here. He has nine consecutive rounds in the 60s and if he goes low early, it might put pressure on the golfers following him.

"If I can get out there and have a good start and not worry about what the guys are doing, I think that's the key," Singh said. "I've been hitting a lot of good shots, but I'm not finishing over the putts. I've had my chances over here. I've never won. Hey, maybe this week, you never know."


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Round 3 scores

At Waialae Country Club
Purse: $4.8 million
Yardage: 7,060
Par: 70

Shigeki Maruyama 67-65-68 -- 200
Brett Quigley 66-67-68 -- 201
Paul Azinger 67-68-67 -- 202
Larry Mize 70-69-64 -- 203
Robert Gamez 69-66-68 -- 203
Charles Howell III 70-70-64 -- 204
Vijay Singh 69-68-67 -- 204
Bart Bryant 70-69-66 -- 205
Adam Scott 71-65-69 -- 205
Tom Lehman 67-68-70 -- 205
Justin Rose 67-66-72 -- 205
Luke Donald 74-67-65 -- 206
Shaun Micheel 70-68-68 -- 206
Jeff Maggert 70-68-68 -- 206
Andrew Magee 67-68-71 -- 206
Pat Perez 71-70-66 -- 207
Tommy Armour III 69-71-67 -- 207
Craig Stadler 71-69-67 -- 207
David Toms 71-68-68 -- 207
Dick Mast 74-64-69 -- 207
Jason Allred 69-68-70 -- 207
Stewart Cink 66-69-72 -- 207
Rory Sabbatini 72-70-66 -- 208
Ernie Els 71-67-70 -- 208
Jeff Sluman 67-68-73 -- 208
Arron Oberholser 71-69-69 -- 209
Loren Roberts 70-70-69 -- 209
Ryan Palmer 69-70-70 -- 209
Franklin Langham 71-68-70 -- 209
Craig Parry 69-70-70 -- 209
Brent Geiberger 68-71-70 -- 209
Jonathan Kaye 67-71-71 -- 209
Steve Allan 75-67-68 -- 210
Ryuji Imada 73-69-68 -- 210
Chris Riley 71-71-68 -- 210
Jason Bohn 71-70-69 -- 210
Joe Durant 69-72-69 -- 210
Peter Jacobsen 72-68-70 -- 210
D.J. Trahan 70-67-73 -- 210
Tom Byrum 66-71-73 -- 210
Jonathan Byrd 73-69-69 -- 211
Steve Flesch 73-69-69 -- 211
Heath Slocum 72-70-69 -- 211
Daniel Chopra 73-69-69 -- 211
Tom Kite 71-71-69 -- 211
Tom Pernice Jr. 69-72-70 -- 211
Zach Johnson 76-65-70 -- 211
Nick Watney 70-70-71 -- 211
Todd Hamilton 69-71-71 -- 211
Tim Herron 68-72-71 -- 211
John Cook 72-68-71 -- 211
Hank Kuehne 66-73-72 -- 211
Dean Wilson 69-70-72 -- 211
Chad Campbell 67-71-73 -- 211
Woody Austin 67-71-73 -- 211
Sean Murphy 70-72-70 -- 212
Omar Uresti 70-72-70 -- 212
Brian Gay 71-70-71 -- 212
Jesper Parnevik 72-69-71 -- 212
D.A. Points 71-70-71 -- 212
Jim Furyk 71-69-72 -- 212
Bob Estes 71-69-72 -- 212
Briny Baird 68-71-73 -- 212
Greg Owen 69-73-71 -- 213
D.J. Brigman 73-69-71 -- 213
Billy Mayfair 71-71-71 -- 213
John Riegger 72-68-73 -- 213
Sean O'Hair 69-71-73 -- 213
Rich Beem 70-69-74 -- 213
Retief Goosen 72-70-72 -- 214
Ben Crane 71-70-73 -- 214
Rob Rashell 73-67-74 -- 214
Paul Gow 70-68-76 -- 214
Greg Meyer 71-70-74 -- 215
Joey Snyder III 71-71-74 -- 216
Steve Jones 73-69-74 -- 216
Duffy Waldorf 74-68-75 -- 217
Charles Warren 74-68-76 -- 218



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