If rookies making their first starts are supposed to fade over the weekend, no one told Scott Langley and Russell Henley.
Playing alongside each other for the third straight day, the pair set a new 54-hole scoring record at the Sony Open and will share the lead heading into the final round at Waialae Country Club.
Henley, who led entering Saturday after back-to-back rounds of 63, carded only three birdies but did not drop a shot for the second consecutive day. Langley, who led after the first round, continued to ride a hot putter in carding a 5-under 65 during a third round that featured seven birdies. At 17-under 193, the duo established a new 54-hole mark at Waialae and are three shots clear of their nearest competitor, both seeking their first career PGA Tour win.
Tim Clark, who was a runner-up at the Sony Open in his last appearance in 2011, shot a second consecutive round of 4-under 66 and at 14-under 196, the South African will play with Langley and Henley in the final group on Sunday. Charles Howell III, who himself has twice been a runner-up at Waialae, sits tied for fourth one shot further back after a 3-under 67 on Saturday. Alongside Howell at 13 under is Scott Gardiner, who shot 5-under 65 in the third round and, like the co-leaders, is making his first start as a PGA Tour member this week.
Perhaps inspired by the performance of Henley, fellow Georgia Bulldog Harris English carded an 8-under 62 in the third round, marking the lowest round of the day and tying for the low round of the week. After making the cut on the number Friday, English advanced 44 spots up the leaderboard into a tie for 14th as a result, and at 10-under 200 will begin Sunday seven shots off the pace.
In contention after 36 holes, both Matt Kuchar and Scott Piercy struggled to manufacture birdies on a course that yielded low scores for the third straight day. Kuchar managed only two in shooting an even-par 70 to fall back into a tie for 10th at 11 under, while Piercy fell one shot further back into a tie for 14th after a 2-over 72.