Thomas adds 2nd record to resume
Justin Thomas finished with another eagle and put himself in the PGA Tour record book again Friday in the Sony Open in Honolulu.
One day after his 59 made him only the seventh player in PGA Tour history to break 60, Thomas made an 8-foot eagle putt on the 18th hole at Waialae for a 6-under-par 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.
Woodland made a 10-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole for his second straight 64.
The PGA Tour’s previous 36-hole record was 124, last matched at the 2015 BMW Championship by Jason Day.
“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.
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 manage only a 68 Friday.
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 past 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 10 years, chuckle.
“Now he knows how a lot of people feel,” Thomas said. McIlroy hurts back: Rory McIlroy remained in contention at the South African Open in Johannesburg despite a back problem that nearly forced him to withdraw.
The second-ranked McIlroy shot a 4-under 68, leaving him three strokes behind leader Graeme Storm of England. McIlroy birdied five of the first six holes on the back nine, but bogeyed the final two.
“I’m actually surprised I’m standing here,” McIlroy said. “I actually thought about pulling out before even teeing off today. I tweaked my back somehow, and the first few shots today weren’t very comfortable and it still isn’t really comfortable. I can’t really take a deep breath because I’ve done something to my upper back.”
Storm shot a course-record 63 to reach 12-under 132. Diamond Resorts Invitational: Woody Austin shot a 12under 59 at the Diamond Resorts Invitational in Orlando, scoring 43 points in the modified Stableford event for PGA Tour Champions, LPGA Tour and celebrity players.
Kevin Sutherland shot the only 59 in official PGA Tour Champions play, accomplishing the feat at the 2014 Dick’s Sporting Goods Open.
Lexi Thompson was tied for 13th with 26 points to top the four LPGA Tour players in the field. Former A’s pitcher Mark Mulder led the celebrity field with 26 points.
Justin Thomas waves to the gallery after shooting a 64 to maintain his lead at the Sony Open in Honolulu.