Hideki Matsuyama, helped by three consecutive birdies on the back nine, moved one step closer to his second PGA Tour victory by surging into a tie for the lead at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions on Sunday.
The 22-year-old Japanese produced near-flawless golf as he fired a seven-under-par 66 in the third round on the hilly Plantation Course at the Kapalua Resort.
Matsuyama, who clinched his maiden PGA Tour win at last year`s Memorial Tournament, signed off with his eighth birdie of the day at the par-five 18th to post a 17-under total of 202 in the elite winners-only event.
That put him level with American Jimmy Walker, a three-times champion on the U.S. circuit last season who briefly led by two shots on Sunday before losing momentum over the closing stretch on the way to a 67.
South Korea`s Bae Sang-moon, one of four players tied for the lead overnight, was a further stroke back at 15 under after returning a 69, ending the third round tied with American Patrick Reed (68).