• Sony Open 3rd day

Allenby and Palmer lead the way at Sony Open

ESPN staff
January 17, 2010
Robert Allenby and Ryan Palmer will duel on the final day © Getty Images

Robert Allenby and Ryan Palmer hold a three-stroke lead after 54 holes of the Sony Open in Hawaii. Palmer started the day a shot ahead of Allenby, but the latter fired a 67 to his partner's 68 and they will go head-to-head in the final round at the Waialae Country Club on Sunday.

The pair may not have things entirely their own way on Sunday as Steve Stricker is three shots off the lead after a 69, while Zach Johnson, Troy Matteson and Davis Love III are alongside the world No.3.

Allenby has been hampered by an ankle problem all week, but it did not seem to trouble him on Saturday as he produced some near-flawless golf. "I'm moving in the right direction," Allenby said. "I may not win tomorrow, but I believe I will definitely win this year. And when I do, I'll win again and again. With me, it's just confidence. When I get the confidence going, I feel like I can do anything. I have that confidence right now, and I'm very patient. Hopefully, I can do what's needed."

Palmer is happy he and Allenby have a cushion at the top of the leaderboard. "It's a big help having a three-shot lead," Palmer said. "That's still a lot to make up in one round of golf, especially if the wind keeps blowing. I'm very ecstatic with where I'm at. I couldn't be in a better spot."

Stricker struggled on the greens before holing a birdie putt on 18 and he feels he is well placed to challenge. "Very important," Stricker said of the final putt. "It's a good start for tomorrow. I'll only be about three shots back, and not a lot of guys in between. So I've got a shot at it."

Justin Rose is struggling for consistency in the early weeks of the year and followed up an excellent 65 on Friday with a 71 to slip nine shots off the lead and two behind a group containing Ernie Els and Retief Goosen.

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