Asian stars Yuan and An among leaders as Indian-American Bhatia is tied 14th at Sony Open -
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Asian stars Yuan and An among leaders as Indian-American Bhatia is tied 14th at Sony Open

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Akshay Bhatia. 

Khel Today Bureau 

Honolulu: Akshay Bhatia was lying tied 14th at the Sony Open in Hawaii as he continued his good form into the second event of the 2024 season. The wiry Indian American left hander shot a fine 6-under 64 after a first round 69 to be 7-under after 36 holes.

There was a strong Asian presence with China’s Carl Yuan (66-65) and Korea’s Byeong Hun An (67-64) among the three co-leaders. The third player in shared lead was Austin Eckroat (65-68) at 9-under.

Another Indian-American Sahith Theegala (72-67) missed the cut by one.

Aaron Rai of England who was tied third after the first round of 65  shot 69 in the second round and slipped to T-20.

Competing in his second season on TOUR, Yuan moved from No. 126 to No. 125 in the FedExCup Fall and Eligibility Points List when Jon Rahm was removed from the list in December, earning full status on TOUR in 2024. With this adjustment, Yuan would not have been eligible for the Sony Open in Hawaii

He reached 9-under 131 to boost his hopes of becoming the first mainland Chinese golfer to secure a PGA TOUR victory.

An crafted a flawless six birdies to seize his fourth career lead/co-lead after two rounds. The Asian duo were joined at the top of the leaderboard by American Austin Eckroat, who fired a 66. An was fourth at The Sentry last week.

The trio are a stroke clear of a packed leaderboard, which features a 10-way tie for fourth place including last week’s The Sentry winner Chris Kirk (66), eight-time TOUR winner Stewart Cink (65) and overnight leader Cam Davis (70).

Defending champion Si Woo Kim of Korea (66) will enter the weekend rounds four off the pace while 2022 winner Hideki Matsuyama birdied his closing two holes for a 68 to make the halfway cut on 138.

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