Hawaii missile alert: Sony Open disrupted by false as relieved Justin Thomas laughs off a 'hell of a mistake'


Tom Hoge kept his cool despite off-course distractions to leapfrog fellow American Brian Harman and top the Sony Open leaderboard after the third round.

Hoge followed up two rounds of 65 to go one better and sit 16 under for the tournament in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Meanwhile, off the course a ballistic missile alarm warning which was sent by mistake caused a brief panic for players, officials and fans alike.

The message: “Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill,” was flashed to phones across the US state.

A second text message from the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency confirmed it was a false alarm – although it did not arrive for some 38 minutes.

Players took to Twitter to express their concern – and relief – once the threat had subsided.


Thomas claimed the false alert was ‘one hell of a mistake’ (Getty)

Justin Thomas, who is joint-ninth on 10 under, said: “To all that just received the warning along with me this morning… apparently it was a “mistake” hell of a mistake!! Haha glad to know we’ll all be safe.”

Talor Gooch added: “Welp this was quite a “mistake” made by someone. Birdies didn’t seem too important for a few minutes. Let’s make sure this one doesn’t happen again POTUS.”

On the course, and after carding a trio of birdies on each of the front and back nines, Hoge sits one clear going into Sunday’s final round.

Harman toiled on his third round, carding three birdies and a bogey to go round in 68, leaving him a shot behind Hoge and tied for second with Patton Kizzire, who hit 64 for the second consecutive day.

Kyle Stanley is breathing down the necks of the leaders, with his 65 pushing him up to fourth on 14 under.


An image of the false-alarm phone alert warning Hawaiians of an incoming ballistic missile (Tulsi Gabbard)

Among the biggest fallers of the day was Gooch, who sat tied for third after Friday but went round in par and dropped seven places to joint-ninth.

Zach Johnson carded 71 to fall to tied-14th after a double bogey on the 14th.

Jordan Spieth – who hit a quadruple bogey on his opening round – improved to joint-28th with a round of 66, with two birdies on the fifth and ninth and another pair on the 12th and 18th.


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