Four share lead on crowded Hyundai leaderboard


Scores remain low, but things are now crowded at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. Here's how things look at the halfway point, where Jimmy Walker is among four co-leaders on the Plantation Course:

Leaderboard: Jimmy Walker (-11), Russell Henley (-11), Sang-Moon Bae (-11), Zach Johnson (-11), Hideki Matsuyama (-10), Charley Hoffman (-10), Brendon Todd (-10), Patrick Reed (-10), Robert Streb (-10)

What it means: There are only 34 players in the field, but a third still have realistic thoughts of winning. The top nine players are separated by only one shot, including Walker, who won three times last season and shot a 68 to grab a share of the lead.

Round of the day: Hoffman made the day’s biggest run, shooting a 7-under 66 despite a late hiccup. The last man to qualify for this week’s event, Hoffman made nine birdies, including eight across his final 10 holes. A double bogey on the 17th hole briefly cost him a share of the lead, but the run of birdies still moved him into a share of fifth.

Best of the rest: Matsuyama found only seven fairways, the fewest in the field, but his ball-striking turned around Saturday with a 7-under 66. Matsuyama’s opening bogey was his lone blemish, and he added six birdies across his final 10 holes to move into contention for his second Tour title.

Biggest disappointment: On a day when most players were deep in red figures, Chris Kirk went in the other direction. After an opening-round 68, Kirk made the turn in even and was ultimately derailed by a triple bogey on the 14th hole. His 3-over 76 dropped him 22 spots in the standings, and at 2 under he leads only Tim Clark and Kevin Stadler.

Main storyline heading into Sunday: At the halfway point, the tournament remains wide open as low scores are expected in each of the next two rounds. Henley and Bae are comfortable playing with the lead, but a player to watch may be Johnson, who used an accurate day from tee to green to give himself a realistic chance to successfully defend his Hyundai title.

Shot of the day: Hoffman spun his approach to the par-4 10th to within 5 feet, a shot that sparked a back-nine rally. He converted the short birdie putt and went on to card seven birdies on the inward half.