Saturday in Waialae: Several players compete for first win, packed with leaderboard and more from Sony Open third round in Hawaii

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With 18 holes left to play at Waialae Country Club, the Sony Open title is up for grabs.

The finish in Hawaii is about to end with 15 players at or within five shots of the lead, many of them looking for their first career win or first in years.

Hayden Buckley created some separation late in his round as he held his 222 yard approach to a few feet and converted the eagle to finish the day at 15 under, two shots ahead of the pack. The 2023 Sony would be Buckley’s first win on the PGA Tour.

If you missed the third round action, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you missed from Saturday on Oahu.

Winless leaders

Hayden Buckley puts his putt on the third hole during the third round of the Sony Open in Hawaii golf tournament at Waialae Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

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Hayden Buckley (below 15), David Lipsky (below 13), Ben Taylor (below 13) and Will Gordon (below 11) are all looking for their first wins on the PGA Tour.

Chris Kirk (13 years old), who played in the final group on Saturday with Taylor Montgomery and JJ Spaun, has not won in eight years.

Chances are Sunday at the Sony Open will be life-changing for someone close to leading.

The back nine guys

Andrew Putnam puts his putt on the third hole during the third round of the Sony Open in Hawaii golf tournament at Waialae Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

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Nick Taylor and Andrew Putnam started in the back nine on Saturday thanks to a late Friday night decision. With a lot of the pressure off their shoulders, they took advantage.

Both players shot 8-under 62s, tied for the round of the day.

Taylor is now 10 under for the week (made the count cut) and five back, while Putnam is firmly in contention at 12 under, three back.

“I played my first nine great up front,” said Putnam after his round. “Think I was 5-under. A few loose swings, a few bogeys I don’t usually make, and then the putter got hot. Made some long putts. I’m pretty sure my wins are pretty high for this round.

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Indeed it was. Putnam made 4,459 strokes on the greens on Saturday. For the week, Putnam is the first in SG: Putting.

Taylor needs something special to claim the title on Sunday, while Putnam is in a great position to win his second Tour title and first since 2018.

Shot(s) of the day

Hayden Buckley was tied for the lead as he stepped to the 10th tee box. Walking off the par 4 green, he had a two-shot lead courtesy of a hole-out eagle from 132 yards.

Buckley immediately gave away a shot at number 11 with a bogey on the par 3. After making six straight pars, he hit a long iron into the par 5 last. Perfect swing at the perfect time.

Chances to win

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek