Justin Thomas sets new 36-hole record to lead Sony Open

Meanwhile, Seamus Power fired a round of 66 to move up the leaderboard in Hawaii

Justin Thomas of the United States plays a shot on the 18th hole during the second round of the Sony Open In Hawaii. Photo: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Justin Thomas of the United States plays a shot on the 18th hole during the second round of the Sony Open In Hawaii. Photo: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

 

Justin Thomas wrote his name into the record books for the second time in two days as his 123-score at the halfway point of the Sony Open in Hawaii became the lowest 36-hole total in PGA Tour history.

The 23-year-old became the youngest man to card a sub-60 round with an opening 59 in Honolulu and he followed it up with 64 on Friday to move to 17 under par overall.

Perhaps more importantly, Thomas is five shots clear of nearest challenger and fellow American Gary Woodland, while England’s Justin Rose is among those in a tie for third on 10 under par.

For Waterford’s Seamus Power it was an encouraging day as he carded five birdies in a round of 66 to move up to five under.

But again, it was all about Thomas. He started his second round with four straight pars before putting from nearly 20 feet for his first birdie while he was inches away from a hole in one on the seventh, with his tee shot agonisingly going past the left of the pin.

Five birdies and three bogeys followed over the next few holes but he eagled the last for the second day in a row after superbly driving his approach shot out of the rough to within eight feet before holding his nerve to sink the putt.

Thomas, who last week emerged victorious in the SBS Tournament of Champions, also in Hawaii, told the PGA Tour’s official website: “It’s cool, any time you can get your name in the record books is awesome.

“I had no idea until I finished, until I signed and (someone in the scoring tent) said ‘123’, and I was like ‘man, I’d love that a couple more times in my career’.

“I played great, I really hit a lot of quality shots but the three bogeys I made were just terrible, they were a lack of concentration. But I obviously had a great day out there, to finish with that eagle was huge.

“The bogeys I made on 13 and 17 were a bit of a bummer, but I made enough birdies on the back nine to kind of counteract that so it was great to back up (the first round 59) with that.”

Woodland opened his round with a bogey but it was his solitary blemish as five successive birdies from the sixth helped the 32-year-old to his second successive 64, a score matched by Rose.

The Olympic gold medallist, like Woodland, made seven birdies and one bogey to move to 10 under, alongside American duo Hudson Swafford and Zach Johnson, who carded a nine under par 61 that featured seven birdies and an eagle at the last.

Scotland’s Rusell Knox is among a cluster of players on nine under, with world number five Jordan Spieth a further shot back.

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