Carl Yuan shouldn’t be at the Sony Open in Hawaii.
However, this PGA Tour season and golf world in general are unlike anything before it. So, he is. And he’s taking advantage.
Yuan finished last season No. 126 in the FedEx Cup standings, which meant he wasn’t supposed to have a Tour card for 2024. He wasn’t going to be able to play in the Sony Open in Hawaii or have full status on the PGA Tour.
Thanks, Jon Rahm.
Yuan shot 5-under 65 on Friday in the second round, moving to 9-under 131 for the tournament. He’s in the field thanks to Rahm and his move to LIV Golf, which shuffled Yuan up a spot to retain his PGA Tour card.
And in his first tournament of 2024, Yuan is taking full advantage. He’s tied for the lead heading to the weekend in Hawaii.
Sony Open: Photos
“Hopefully not,” Yuan said when asked whether he thinks he’ll be known as the last guy in. “Hopefully I have my score and performance will kind of cover that part. Yeah, I mean, just looking forward to another year on Tour. With all the learning experience from my rookie year, definitely feel like I’m more prepared for being out here.”
He started his day with a birdie at the first and then bogeyed the third. However, Yuan made birdie on three of his next four holes to turn 3 under and added two more on the home stretch to sign for his 65. At 9 under, Yuan is tied with Austin Eckroat and Byeong Hun An for the lead.
The 26-year-old had two top-10 finishes coming last season, both in the fall at the Sanderson Farms Championship (T-6) and the Butterfield Bermuda Championship (T-4). At the Sanderson, he finished one shot out of a playoff.
“I had a couple chances last year being the final two groups, have a shot on the weekend,” Yuan said. “Yeah, I feel like I just got to do what I did last two days: be patient and stay committed, know exactly what I’m going to do before I hit a shot and see how it turns out.”
Here are four more things to know from the second round of the 2024 Sony Open in Hawaii.
Austin Eckroat’s 25th birthday was Friday. It’s safe to say his dinner is going to be a good one.
Eckroat birdied his final hole, the par-5 ninth, to shoot 4-under 66 and sits…