Stricker leads at halfway in PGA Tour opener in Hawaii

    Steve Stricker hits an approach during his second round 63 at the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.

    Story highlights

    • Steve Stricker leads at halfway in Tournament of Champions
    • Stricker five clear in Hawaii after second round 10-under 63
    • Kevin Na finishes with two eagles in his 64 at the Plantation Course
    • Rory Sabbatini given two-shot penalty for arriving late on tee
    America's Steve Stricker took command of the opening PGA Tour event of the season in Hawaii with a second round 10-under par 63 Saturday.
    It gave Stricker a five-shot lead at halfway in the Tournament of Champions with a 36-hole total of 15-under par 131.
    Fellow American Webb Simpson carded second straight 68 to be the nearest challenger on 136, while South Korean-born American Kevin Na moved into third on 137 with a superb 64.
    Stricker is the highest-ranked player at No.6 in the 27-man tournament and lived up to his status as he closed with an eagle and two birdies in his final four holes.
    "This game is never easy, but I had it going today," Stricker told AFP.
    I felt like I was going to make every putt I looked at there for a while and I gave myself a lot of opportunities -- which is the key."
    Na finished even more impressively with an eagle-eagle burst, holing a five-iron from 221 yards at the 17th.
    A 10-foot eagle putt on the last saw him home in 29, equaling the back-nine record for the par-73 Plantation Course set by Vijay Singh in 2004.
    "That was exciting. That was a lot of fun. All of a sudden on the back nine I started getting it together."
    The tournament is open to last season's title winners, but is missing three of the four major champions with Rory McIlroy and Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland and Charl Schwartzel of South Africa skipping the $5.6 million event.
    Schwartzel's compatriot Rory Sabbatini was penalized two shots for arriving late on the tee, but then conjured up five birdies and an eagle during his 70 for three-under 143.
    Scotland's Martin Laird and first-round leader Jonathan Byrd shared fourth place on 138.