Thomas sets 36-hole record at Sony

Fit­ting en­core: Leader reaches 17-un­der, up by 5

Hawaii Tribune Herald - - SPORTS - Col­lege bas­ket­ball

HONOLULU — Justin Thomas fin­ished with an­other ea­gle and put him­self in the PGA Tour record book again Fri­day in the Sony Open.

One day af­ter his 59 made him only the sev­enth player in PGA Tour his­tory break 60, Thomas made an 8-foot ea­gle putt on the 18th hole at Wa­ialae for a 6-un­der 64 to set the 36-hole scor­ing record on the PGA Tour.

Thomas was at 17-un­der 123 and had a five-shot lead over Gary Wood­land.

The pre­vi­ous mark was 124, last matched at the 2015 BMW Cham­pi­onship by Ja­son Day at Con­way Farm.

“It’s cool,” Thomas said. “Just like yes­ter­day, any­time you can get your name in the record book, it’s awe­some. I had no idea un­til I fin­ished.”

Thomas started slowly, not pick­ing up his first birdie un­til the fifth hole. Ir­ri­ta­tion from a three-putt bo­gey on the eighth hole got him go­ing, and Thomas ran off four straight birdies around the turn.

From there, no one got closer than four shots on an­other ideal day for scor­ing off the shore just up the road from Waikiki Beach.

Na­tional League AT­LANTA BRAVES -- Ac­quired INF Micah John­son from the Los Angeles Dodgers for a player to be named or cash con­sid­er­a­tions. Agreed to terms with LHP Ian Krol and RHP Arodys Viz­caino on oneyear con­tracts. CHICAGO CUBS -- Named David Ross spe­cial as­sis­tant to base­ball op­er­a­tions. CINCIN­NATI REDS -- Agreed to terms with LHP Tony Cin­grani, SS Zack Cozart, CF Billy Hamil­ton and RHP Blake Wood on one-year con­tracts. COLORADO ROCK­IES -- Agreed to terms with 3B Nolan Are­nado on a two-year con­tract. LOS ANGELES DODGERS -- Agreed to terms with RHP Josh Fields, C Yas­mani Gran­dal and LHPs Alex Wood and Luis Avi­lan on one-year con­tracts. MI­AMI MAR­LINS -- Agreed to terms with 2B Derek Di­et­rich, SS Adeiny Hechavar­ria, OF Mar­cell Ozuna and RHPs Tom Koehler and A.J. Ramos on one-year con­tracts. MIL­WAU­KEE BREW­ERS -- Agreed to terms with RHP Wily Per­alta and RHP Car­los Tor­res on one-year con­tracts. NEW YORK METS -- Agreed to terms with C Travis d’Ar­naud and LHP Josh Ed­gin on one-year con­tracts. PITTS­BURGH PI­RATES -- Agreed to terms with INF Jody Mercer and RHPs Jared Hughes, Juan Ni­ca­sio, Ger­rit Cole and Drew Hutchi­son on one-year con­tracts.

SKI­ING 10 a.m. NBC: USSA Freestyle World Cup, Men’s & Women’s Moguls* 11:30 a.m. NBC: FIS Alpine World Cup, Men’s Down­hill*

ST. LOUIS CAR­DI­NALS -- Agreed to terms with Trevor Rosen­thal and Kevin Siegrist on one-year con­tracts. SAN DIEGO PADRES -- Agreed to terms with RHPs Carter Capps and Bran­don Maurer and LHPs Chris­tian Friedrich and Brad Hand on oneyear con­tracts. SAN FRAN­CISCO GI­ANTS -- Agreed to terms with INF Ed­uardo Nunez and RHP Ge­orge Kon­tos on oneyear con­tracts. WASHINGTON NA­TION­ALS -- Agreed to terms with OF Bryce Harper, C Derek Norris, 3b An­thony Ren­don and RHP Tan­ner Roark on one-year con­tracts. Agreed to terms with LHP Neal Cotts on a mi­nor league con­tract.

FOOT­BALL Na­tional Foot­ball League CAROLINA PAN­THERS -- Pro­moted Steve Wilks to de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor. DEN­VER BRON­COS -- Ter­mi­nated the con­tracts of of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Rick Den­ni­son, O-line coach Clancy Barone and tight ends coach Brian Par­i­ani. JACK­SONVILLE JAGUARS -- Named Joe DeCamil­lis spe­cial teams co­or­di­na­tor.

Ra­dio NFL PLAY­OFFS 11:30 a.m. 670 AM: Green Bay at Dal­las 3:20 p.m. NBC: Pitts­burgh at Kansas City

Na­tional Hockey League

Fri­day Toronto at N.Y. Rangers, 2 p.m. Chicago at Washington, 2 p.m. Buf­falo at Carolina, 2:30 p.m. N.Y. Is­lan­ders at Florida, 2:30 p.m. Columbus at Tampa Bay, 3 p.m. New Jer­sey at Cal­gary, 4 p.m. Win­nipeg at Ari­zona, 4 p.m.

Top 25 1. Bay­lor (15-1) did not play. Next: at No. 25 Kansas State, Satur­day. 2. Kansas (15-1) did not play. Next: vs. Ok­la­homa State, Satur­day. 3. Vil­lanova (16-1) did not play. Next: at St. John’s, Satur­day. 4. UCLA (17-1) beat Colorado 10489. Next: at Utah, Satur­day. 5. Gon­zaga (16-0) beat Loy­ola Mary­mount 93-55. Next: vs. No. 21 Saint Mary’s, Satur­day. 6. Kentucky (14-2) did not play. Next: vs. Auburn, Satur­day. 7. Duke (14-3) did not play. Next: at No. 14 Louisville, Satur­day. 8. Creighton (16-1) did not play. Next: vs. Tru­man State, Satur­day. 9. Florida State (16-1) did not play. Next: at No. 11 N. Carolina, Satur­day.

Wood­land made a 10-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole for his se­cond straight 64.

Wood­land and Thomas as part of the fi­nal group could be a real power show — Wood­land is re­garded as one of the premier power play­ers in golf, though he has been far more re­served off the tee, de­spite be­ing tempted to hit driver.

“I did that my first cou­ple times here and that didn’t work out for me,” he said. “I’m very com­fort­able with where my game is. Driver feels great, I just don’t get many op­por­tu­ni­ties out there. I’m not com­plain­ing about be­ing in the fair­way, ei­ther.”

Thomas wasn’t bash­ful. He smashed a 355-yard drive down the 12th fair­way that set up a flip wedge to 12 feet for his fourth straight birdie. He also took an un­usual line on the 14th, ham­mer­ing a high drive over the trees and bunker down the left side and back into the fair­way, leav­ing him 70 yards to the green on the 430-yard hole. He pitched that up to just un­der 5 feet and missed the putt, one of the few he failed to con­vert.

Zach John­son had a 61 and Olympic gold medal­ist Justin Rose shot 64. They were in the group seven shots be­hind along with Hud­son Swaf­ford, who opened with a 62 but could only man­age a 68.

Jor­dan Spi­eth felt empty af­ter rounds of 65-67, par­tially be­cause he was nine shots be­hind and pri­mar­ily be­cause he had as many chances as Thomas over the last two days. Only one of them has been con­vert­ing putt af­ter putt.

“Just has a re­ally cold put­ter this week,” Spi­eth said. “I think it added to the frus­tra­tion on the green, be­cause the game is look­ing so easy to him. I felt like I was hit­ting the ball in the same lo­ca­tion, I’m just be­ing out­done on the green. That’s some­thing a lit­tle ab­nor­mal to me.”

That made Thomas, his best friend in golf for the last 10 years, chuckle.

“Now he knows how a lot of peo­ple feel,” Thomas said.

Thomas never made it to the North Shore on Thurs­day af­ter his 59, though he was happy to have missed out on Spi­eth and Smylie Kauf­man’s ocean ad­ven­ture that in­cluded a cap­sized kayak. He ap­proached the next day like any other, try­ing to hit good shots, get birdie chances and ex­pand his lead.

He ticked ev­ery box, even pick­ing up a record he knew noth­ing about.

Thomas rolled in a 12-foot birdie from the col­lar left of the 15th green, only to give the shot back with a tee shot he pulled into the bunker. From the left rough, with the sun in his face, he belted it out and onto the green for an­other clos­ing ea­gle.

Com­ing off a three-shot vic­tory last week at Ka­palua, he is in prime po­si­tion to join Ernie Els in 2003 as the only play­ers to sweep Hawaii.

“He’s not stop­ping, as we can see,” Spi­eth said.

Rose was one shot out of the lead when he fin­ished — Thomas had yet to tee off — and was hope­ful of stay­ing in range. Rose knows from ex­pe­ri­ence that start­ing strong and hold­ing it to­gether for four rounds isn’t easy. He shot 60 in the first round at Dis­ney in 2006, stretched his lead early in the se­cond round and by the end of the week was five shots be­hind the win­ner.

“You def­i­nitely need the mind­set when you’re that far ahead to keep the ac­cel­er­a­tor down,” Rose said.

As­so­ci­ated Press

Justin Thomas fol­lowed up his 59 with a 64 on Fri­day at Wa­ialae in Honolulu.

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