Choi goes clear in Hawaii
South Korean has title at his mercy
Last Updated: 14/01/08 9:20am
Choi: Strong start
KJ Choi is poised to collect his seventh PGA Tour victory after storming four shots clear entering the final round of the Sony Open in Waialae, Hawaii.
The South Korean, who has held the lead from the opening round, fired a four-under-par 66 to stretch his one-shot overnight advantage and take a stranglehold on the event.
A birdie-birdie start cemented his place at the top of the leaderboard and he was never threatened before another birdie at the final hole gave him a four-stroke cushion.
"I'm very satisfied with my shots, the way I'm shaping them," he said. "I'm hitting the shots the way I want to and I feel really good."
Unknown New Zealander Tim Wilkinson emerged as his closest pursuer with a round-of-the-week 62, courtesy of an opening that saw him pick up seven shots in 11 holes.
Kevin Na played with countryman Choi in the final pairing but lost ground on the leader with a round of 69 to lie five back alongside Steve Marino, who continued a solid week with a 68.
Chad Campbell is amongst a group of four players within hailing distance six off the lead, but needs some help on the greens after converting just four of 14 birdie opportunities in a third round 66.
"I'm happy with the way I'm hitting it - hopefully I can get the putts to start falling," he reflected. "It's going to be tough. "He (Choi) hits a lot of fairways, and that's what you've got to do out here."
There was disappointment for Britain's Kenneth Ferrie on his debut as a PGA Tour member, lying in 20th place at the halfway stage but forced to withdraw due to a stomach virus.