Hawaii, January 14: Tom Hoge climbed to the summit of a crowded leaderboard following the third round of the Sony Open in Hawaii, where a false alarm on a missile alert caused panic.
Golfers at the PGA Tour tournament were left unsettled after the mistaken transmission of an alert warning of an incoming ballistic missile.
The emergency push alert was received via phone on Saturday (January 13) morning before the error was confirmed 38 minutes later.
When tensions eased and play got underway at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, American Hoge carded a six-under-par 64 to claim a one-stroke lead.
Hoge, who was second heading into the penultimate day, had six birdies – two in a row from his final holes to hit the front – during a flawless round to be 16 under overall.
Countryman Patton Kizzire also shot a third-round 64 as he ended the day alongside overnight leader Brian Harman (68), who dropped down into a tie for second.
Kyle Stanley's 65 earned him outright fourth at 14 under, a shot ahead of Chris Kirk (67).
Thank God! pic.twitter.com/5wJOpHPf40— Sony Open in Hawaii (@SonyOpenHawaii) January 13, 2018
Reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year and US PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas posted a four-under-par 66.
Thomas, who was vocal amid the early chaos in Hawaii, holed an eagle, five birdies and three bogeys on a mixed day, which left him six strokes off the pace.
Three-time major champion Jordan Spieth recorded his best round of the tournament, though the former world number one is still nine shots behind Hoge.
Spieth, who carded rounds of 69 and 68 prior to the weekend, hit a bogey-free four-under-par 66.