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Lucas Glover extends lead to three shots

U.S. Open champion had another purple patch in the middle of his round to shoot an 8-under 65 at the SBS Championship on Friday, giving him a three-shot lead and the lowest 36-hole score at Kapalua for five years.

Even at 15-under 131, and in a tropical paradise, this is no time for Glover to relax.

John Rollins had a 66 and was three shots behind, followed by defending champion Geoff Ogilvy (66), Sean O’Hair (67), Matt Kuchar (68) and Martin Laird (68) at 11-under 135.

“I’m pretty aggressive so I’m going to have to pick my spots,” Glover said. “I’m going to have to make some birdies. These guys are the best players in the world, and they’re going to be coming after me.”

The conditions have been so pristine over two days along the Maui coastline that everyone in the 28-man field was at par or better. And with the Plantation Course at Kapalua as defenseless as ever, 11 players were tied for the lead at one point early in the second round.

Then Glover ran off three straight birdies, all of them inside 8 feet, then made a par that felt like a birdie. His tee shot found the bunker at No. 8 and rolled so far back that it was close to the front lip, forcing Glover to stand outside the sand. He blasted out to 12 feet and holed the putt, putting him in a good frame of mind heading to the ninth tee.

Glover hit 3-wood to 12 feet for eagle, then hit a wedge to 4 feet on the 10th for an easy birdie.

Just like that, he was back in control, and Glover made sure he stayed there with a few more birdies late in his round, including a wedge that bounced off the flag at the 16th and settled next to the cup.

“There’s quite a few players out there that can win this thing and are playing some nice golf,” O’Hair said.

Players were relishing the chance to play their best in ideal conditions.

“Nobody who’s been to Hawaii has seen it this calm,” Glover said. “We get to be a little more aggressive. Club selection is a lot easier. I wouldn’t mind seeing it come up and having some goofy stuff go on, just for fun.”

Glover had the lowest 36-hole score at Kapalua since Vijay Singh also was at 131 in 2005. The record was a 17-under 129 by Ernie Els in 2003, when he set a PGA Tour record at 31 under for a 72-hole event.

More wind might make a three-shot lead feel like nothing, so the field was not discouraged by Glover’s lead.

“He’s going to have to keep playing well,” Ogilvy said. “In the wind, four or five shots can disappear. But if he’s even par on the front nine, three-fourths of that lead could be gone. We all know that if the weather is benign, we have to go low.”

Ogilvy played bogey-free and continues to pitch the ball cleanly, which he did last year in winning by six shots. O’Hair made a late push when he saw Glover’s score, pounding a 3-wood on the final hole that set up an eagle.

Masters champion Angel Cabrera had another 68 and was five shots behind at 10-under 136, while British Open champion Stewart Cink and Kenny Perry were in the group another shot behind.

The other major winner is PGA champion Y.E. Yang, who was trying to stay in the mix until hitting into the rough on the 18th and eventually three-putting from 12 feet for a triple bogey and a 74, leaving him 13 shots behind.

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