PGA Tour

Thomas sets course record at Sony Open

Justin Thomas (Getty)
Justin Thomas (Getty)

Los Angeles - Justin Thomas closed with an eagle for the second straight day as he followed rare 59 with a second-round 64 to extend his lead to five shots at the halfway stage of the Sony Open.

Thomas didn't let up on Friday after becoming the seventh and youngest player in USPGA Tour history to shoot a 59.

He rolled in an eight-foot put on the 18th at Waialae in Honolulu, Hawaii, to get into the history books again by recording the tour's record for lowest 36-hole total of 123.

"It's cool," Thomas said. "Just like yesterday, anytime you can get your name in the record books is awesome."

The 23-year-old American is at 17-under and has a five stroke lead over fellow American Gary Woodland, who shot back-to-back 64s in the first two rounds.

"I really hit a lot of quality shots today," Thomas said. "I obviously had a great day. To finish with an eagle was huge.

"The bogeys were a bit of a bummer but I made enough birdies on the back nine to counter that," he said.

England's Justin Rose and Zach Johnson shot 64 and 61 respectively and were tied for third with Hudson Swafford, who carded a 68.

Thomas joined elite company on Thursday. Most recently, Jim Furyk carded a record 58 at the Travelers Championship in Connecticut in August. Furyk also has a 59 on his tour resume, as does Al Geiberger, Chip Beck, David Duval, Paul Goydos, Australian Stuart Appleby.

"Rounds like yesterday happen when everything is clicking," he said.

Thomas took a while to warm up before posting four straight birdies beginning with the par-five No. 9. He finished his round with one eagle, seven birdies, seven pars and three bogeys.

"You have to be patient," he said. "I was hitting a lot of greens all day so I knew there would be birdie opportunities out there.

"I understood there wasn't going to be as many as yesterday, but if stayed patient and keep my head on then good things happen."

World number 12 Thomas is seeking his third victory in his last four starts. Last week he beat Japan's Hideki Matsuyama by three strokes to win the Tournament of Champions at Kapalua.

He also defended his title at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia in November -- where he also relegated Matsuyama to second place.

Thomas failed to make the cut at this event last year, shooting 70-71 in the first two rounds. But he is the only multiple winner on the tour so far this season and it has done wonders for his confidence.

"I will able to use some of the things I learned from winning last week to play tomorrow and this weekend," he said.

Leading second-round scores on Friday in the USPGA Tour Sony Open at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Hawaii (USA unless noted):

123 - Justin Thomas 59-64

128 - Gary Woodland 64-64

130 - Hudson Swafford 62-68, Justin Rose (ENG) 66-64, Zach Johnson 69-61

131 - Webb Simpson 66-65, Charles Howell 65-66, Luke List 67-64, Satoshi Kodaira (JPN) 65-66, Russell Henley 64-67, Russell Knox (SCO) 64-67, Tony Finau 64-67

132 - Jamie Lovemark 64-68, Rory Sabbatini (RSA) 63-69, Scott Piercy 66-66, Miguel Tabuena (PHI), Henrik Norlander (SWE), Y.E. Yang (KOR) 67-65, Daniel Berger 65-67, Jordan Spieth 65-67, Hideto Tanihara (JPN) 67-65, Cameron Smith (AUS) 64-68

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