American Palmer edges ahead after nine holes at Waialae

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HONOLULU (Reuters) - American Ryan Palmer reeled off three birdies and a lone bogey on the front nine to edge one stroke clear of a congested leaderboard midway through Sunday's final round of the Sony Open.

Stricker was four under for the day after 11 holes while double U.S. Open champion Goosen held the clubhouse lead at 12-under 268 after firing a sizzling nine-birdie 62.

Swede Carl Pettersson, after 11 holes, was a further two shots back at 10 under with American Charles Howell III, who had four holes to play.

Allenby, who had been tied for the lead with Palmer overnight, pulled one stroke clear at 12 under when he knocked in a four-footer to birdie the opening hole.

However, Palmer drew level by rolling in a nine-foot birdie putt at the par-four third before both players bogeyed the tricky par-three fourth.

Palmer missed the green to the left off the tee and Allenby three-putted as they both dropped back into a three-way share of the lead with the fast-starting Stricker.

World number three Stricker had birdied three of the first holes, a monster 30-footer at the fourth lifting him to 11 under overall.

Palmer snatched the outright lead after hitting a superb wedge approach to three feet at the par-four fifth before he was caught by Goosen moments later.

South African Goosen, seven strokes off the pace overnight, recorded his ninth birdie of the round when he coolly sank a 12-foot putt at the par-three 17th.

Goosen failed to birdie the par-five last when he narrowly missed a seven-footer before Palmer again edged a stroke in front by rolling in 10-foot birdie putt at the par-four eighth.

(Writing by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Alastair Himmer)