Wilcox making most of sponsor's exemption at Sony


Through 54 holes, it appears Will Wilcox is eager to make the most of his opportunity.

One year after Russell Henley won the Sony Open in Hawaii as a PGA Tour rookie, Wilcox is looking to follow in the footsteps of his fellow Web.com Tour graduate. Following a 6-under 64 Saturday at Waialae, the 27-year-old will head into the final round just one shot off the lead held by Chris Kirk.

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Though he holds a PGA Tour card for the 2013-14 season, Wilcox needed a sponsor's exemption to get into the field this week in Hawaii due to his low priority ranking to start the new wraparound season. After a strong year on the Web.com circuit, Wilcox opted to skip the four-event Web.com Tour Finals, citing personal reasons. As a result, he plummeted down the list for status among Finals graduates and entered the season 49th out of the 50 players to receive their cards.

"It's a dream come true to be able to play out here," Wilcox told Golf Channel following his Saturday 64, a round that included seven birdies against just one bogey.

Wilcox is making just his third career PGA Tour start this week, and playing the weekend for the first time. His prior two starts, at the 2010 RBC Canadian Open and the 2011 U.S. Open, both resulted in missed cuts.

While a strong final round may be required for Wilcox to claim his first career PGA Tour win, the Alabama resident knows a little bit about going low. Just last July, he became the fourth player in Web.com Tour history to card a 59, shooting golf's magic number during the final round of the Utah Championship.