Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Golf

Justin Thomas sets PGA Tour 36-hole scoring record

HONOLULU — Justin Thomas finished with another eagle and got into the PGA Tour record book again.

Thomas holed an 8-foot putt on the par-5 18th for 6-under 64 to set the tour's 36-hole scoring record at 123. At 17 under, he also had a five-shot lead over Gary Woodland going into the weekend, when the focus shifts from records to a trophy.

Coming off a first-round 59, Thomas started slowly until running off four straight birdies around the turn. The 23-year-old bogeyed the 17th from the bunker, then hit out of the rough to 8 feet on the last hole to atone for it.

Woodland had a second straight 64 and was at 12-under 128.

Justin Rose (64) and Zach Johnson (61) were in the group seven shots back.

"(Friday) was an important round to keep pace with … Justin Thomas," Rose said. "It's about consistently playing well the whole week and waiting for your hot round."

The conditions were so pure again — fast fairways, soft greens and barely enough wind to blow a palm frond — that Rose wasn't sure his 64 would be his best this week.

Said Johnson: "There wasn't any major stress."

PGA Europe: Rory McIlroy stayed close to the leaders at the SA Open despite hurting his back. He made five birdies on the first six holes of the back nine but bogeyed the final two to finish with 4-under 68 and in a five-way tie for fifth at 9-under 135 after two rounds in Johannesburg, South Africa.

"I'm actually surprised I'm standing here," he said. "I actually thought about pulling out before even teeing off (Friday). I tweaked my (upper) back somehow, and the first few shots weren't very comfortable, and it still isn't really comfortable. I can't really take a deep breath."

McIlroy said he was going to get treatment in an effort to stay in the tournament.

Graeme Storm jumped into a two-stroke lead at the top of the leaderboard after shooting a course record 9-under 63 at the Glendower Golf Club. Storm led Peter Uihlein (64), overnight leader Trevor Fisher (68) and Jbe Kruger (67) by two.

First Europe Ryder Cup captain dies: John Jacobs, the captain of the first European Ryder Cup team and a European Tour official, has died at 91. The tour announced the death Friday. A cause was not provided. Mr. Jacobs played for Britain at the 1955 Ryder Cup and was instrumental in later bringing together Europe and Britain. In 1979 he was captain of the first Ryder Cup team that included players from continental Europe.

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