Once beaten by Steph Curry as a teenager, Sony contender Will Gordon goes through with 63

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Speaking in hoops, Will Gordon had gone cold off the field.

The 26-year-old from Davidson, North Carolina, missed four birdie putts from within 10 feet on his first seven holes of Saturday’s third round of the Sony Open in Hawaii.

“I had hit so many good putts… I kind of smiled at my caddy,” said Gordon. “I was like, ‘I hit everyone on the line and none of them went in.’

Then Gordon started to warm up.

He found his shot on the par-4 eighth hole with an easy 4-footer birdie before emptying four more consecutive birdie putts, his longest at 24 feet on the par-3 11e. He added a 5-yard birdie on the par-4 14e and then gave his putter a break on the par-3 17echipping from about 30 meters.

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“I’m just trying to revise the tendencies that I know I get going when I start doing badly,” said Gordon, who also placed third in strokes won: off-the-tee on Saturday when he was 7-under 63 shot to move within the top 10 at Waialae Country Club and just four shots behind leader Hayden Buckley.

“I tried not to overcomplicate it and just keep it simple and try to really keep level with my posture and keep my lower body a little bit calmer today. I was able to hit it really nicely and give myself some chances. I worded it great. I just haven’t been within 20 feet. So today was really nice to have some looks.

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Speaking of looks, Gordon is also a great basketball player. How could he not grow up around the Davidson men’s hoops program? Gordon’s parents are good friends with retired coach Bob McKillop, and the Gordons were homestays for three Davidson players when Will was in grade school.

Full scores from the Sony Open in Hawaii

Young Gordon, one of the top junior players in the country at the time, developed a relationship with former Davidson standout and current NBA superstar Steph Curry. Gordon estimates that the two played golf about a dozen times from when Gordon was between the ages of 8 and 14 until Curry was a few seasons into his pro career with the Warriors.

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“It was a cool time in my life,” Gordon said on Saturday. “I don’t talk to him much anymore, but it served as a great inspiration to me growing up.”

When asked if he and Curry played head-to-head matches, Gordon nodded, “Oh yes, yes.” I think he cut me off last time, and once he got into the win column, we didn’t play anymore.

As for a 3-point shooting contest, Gordon was smarter than that.

“I wanted to stay in the win column,” he said.

He sticks to draining putts.