Justin Thomas makes PGA Tour history in Hawaii
By Andy Swales
Last Updated: 14/01/17 1:16pm
Justin Thomas created history on Friday by setting a PGA Tour record for the lowest 36-hole total.
The American followed his 59 on Thursday by posting a six-under-par 64, and the new 36-hole low of 123 beats the previous best by a single shot.
As a result of his milestone performance at Waialae, the 23-year-old holds a five-stroke lead at the half-way stage of the Sony Open in Hawaii.
However, he had to eagle the final hole to set the new record and did so by firing a seven-iron to within eight feet of the pin at the par-five 18th – where he holed out to create a new Tour milestone.
In addition to his eagle at the last, Thomas made seven birdies and three bogeys over the Honolulu course.
In-form Thomas won the SBS Tournament of Champions last Sunday on another Hawaiian island, beating Japan's Hideki Matsuyama by three shots.
So far this calendar year Thomas is 39-under-par for six rounds and, with 36 holes to play at Waialae, his nearest challenger is compatriot Gary Woodland, who has posted two 64s.
Two shots further back is Englishman Justin Rose, one of three players sharing third spot – although a distant seven strokes adrift of Thomas who claims he has a lot improving still to do.
Thomas said: “I definitely haven't shown the world my best golf. I haven't even shown the world great golf, or consistent, great golf.
“I understand it's tough to get everything clicking, and everything isn't clicking for me. Everything's good, but rounds like yesterday happen when everything's clicking.
“I think I'm getting more confident and I'm improving too. I'm doing a lot of hard work with my dad and putting coach, Matt Killen, this off-season to work on my weaknesses.
“I think I'm just trending up and hopefully wanting to show everyone in the world what I have.
"But the three bogeys I made were just terrible, a lack of concentration or just not playing smart but obviously I had a great day out there. To finish with that eagle was huge."
And the omens look good for Thomas this weekend. All three players (Pat Perez, David Toms and Jason Day) who jointly held the previous 36-hole best of 124 went on to win their respective events.
Pat Perez opened 61-63 and won the Bob Hope Classic in 2009; David Toms shot 62-62 en route to winning the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial in 2011 while, more recently, Jason Day carded 61-63 in 2015 when he triumphed at the BMW Championship at Conway Farms.
As for pre-tournament favourite Jordan Spieth, the two-time major winner is nine shots behind after rounds of 65 and 67.