Nick Taylor gets a break and a birdie and leads Sony Open

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Nick Taylor hits from the eighth fairway during the second round of the Sony Open golf tournament Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Jamm Aquino)

HONOLULU – Nick Taylor pitched in for eagle to get his round headed in the right direction, and he kept going until he finished with a good break and one last birdie for an 8-under 62 and a two-shot lead Friday in the Sony Open.

It's still as crowded as the H-1 at the top, typical of this tournament.

Taylor gave himself at least some separation with a gap wedge to 6 feet for birdie on No. 8, and then even his worst swing of the day turned into a birdie on the par-5 ninth.

The Canadian hooked his tee shot toward the high netting of the driving range. The ball was so close to the knee-high boundary fence that his only hope was to play the shot left-handed. However, the netting that extends upward from the fence is considered a temporary immovable obstructure. Taylor was given a free drop.

He hit iron to about 50 yards short of the green leaving a good angle, and he clipped a wedge to 2 feet.

“It was a fortunate break,” Taylor said. “Easily could have probably gone under the fence, but to bounce off and get a drop was a break and it was nice to take advantage of it.”

Taylor, who won at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am last year, was at 12-under 128.

Five players were two shots behind, a group that was decidedly Southern for the second leg of this Hawaii swing — Stewart Cink (63), Webb Simpson (65), Russell Henley (64), Vaughn Taylor (66) and Chris Kirk (65).