With COVID-19 behind him, Simpson shares Sony Open lead

The chalk is writing a predicable script through two rounds of the Sony Open in Hawaii.

Webb Simpson, a pre-tournament favorite and a winner of two events last season, birdied his final three holes Friday to fire his second consecutive 5-under-par 65 to move into a share of the lead midway through the second round of the Sony Open at windless Waialae Country Club.

The world No. 8, who tied for 17th in last week’s year-opening Sentry Tournament of Champions, is back at full strength after contracting COVID-19 around Christmas. The 2018 Players champion and 2012 U.S. Open victor has 12 birdies and two bogeys through 36 holes.

“Today wasn’t quite as sharp as yesterday,” said Simpson, who finished third and in a tie for fourth in his last two starts in the Sony. “Hit a ball in the water on 2. Didn’t hit quite as many fairways but managed really well. I think staying present this week has allowed me to kind of get through these frustrating moments.

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“I birdied the last two holes yesterday and today I birdied the last three. I think being patient on this golf course is paying off for me. It’s one of those days where calm…

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