(Reuters) - Two days after Justin Thomas opened with a magical 11-under-par 59 at the Sony Open in Hawaii, fellow American Kevin Kisner fell agonizingly short of following suit on Saturday when he narrowly missed an eagle putt on his final hole.
Kisner watched as his attempt from 10 feet slid past the right edge of the cup at the par-five ninth and he then tapped in for a birdie to card a career-best 60 on the PGA Tour for a 13-under total of 197 after three rounds.
"I hit two great shots (on the ninth hole) and had a great look at it," Kisner told Golf Channel about his bid to become only the eighth player to break 60 on the U.S. circuit.
"Just a little bit of a misread, I guess. I hit a good putt, I looked up and I thought it was going dead middle but it didn't break."
Having made the halfway cut right on the number at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Kisner was delighted to soar up the leaderboard in the third round with 10 birdies in a bogey-free display.
"I'm just excited to play well," said the 32-year-old, whose sole victory on the PGA Tour came at the 2015 RSM Classic.
"The first two days were a struggle and to have a spot in the weekend... and then I got it rolling and I could feel it coming.
"It was just fun to have that opportunity. I was enjoying it out there."
Asked whether improved putting had made the biggest difference for him on Saturday, Kisner replied: "One hundred percent, especially after the first day.
"I hit it great the first day and didn't make anything. I am excited about where it's going and I'm looking forward to playing tomorrow."
(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in St. Augustine, Florida; Editing by John O'Brien)