Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Thomas leads by two halfway through CIMB Classic

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Justin Thomas shot 6-under 66 on Friday to take a two-stroke lead halfway through the CIMB Classic, staying within striking distance of the tournament record he set last year.

He started the second round of the PGA Tour event in a three-way share of the lead with Keegan Bradley and Derek Fathauer after opening with 64, and followed up with a bogey-free round that included six birdies to move to 14 under, two shots clear of Asian Tour leader Anirban Lahiri.

Thomas, who won his first PGA Tour title here last year with a 26-under-par 262, wasn't entirely happy with his iron shots and wedges in the second round but remains hopeful of producing very low scores on the weekend at the par-72, 7,005-yard TPC Kuala Lumpur.

"The thing about this course, you can go shoot 12 or 13 under in a day," he said, "so hopefully I can get it going a little bit this weekend … like I did last year."

Lahiri had eight birdies but finished with a 66 — after a double-bogey on his final hole for the second consecutive day — leaving him at 12 under.

"I would have liked to be in a better position the way I've played, but it's not over yet," Lahiri said.

There is no cut, so the whole field of 78 will keep playing this weekend.

LPGA: Minjee Lee patiently navigated Jian Lake's undulating greens to stretch her lead to six strokes in the Blue Bay LPGA in Hainan, China. The 20-year-old Australian followed her opening 7-under 65 with a bogey-free 67 in windier afternoon conditions off Hainan Clear Water Bay. "I had a pretty solid round," Lee said. Three days after Typhoon Sarika roared through the South China Sea beach resort, the wind kicked up as Lee played the back nine. The wind makes it more difficult in valleys and on plateaus. Germany's Caroline Masson was second at 6 under after a second straight 69. She birdied four of the last five holes — the lone par coming on a 3-foot birdie miss on the par-4 15th.

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