Justin Thomas shoots 61 to tie for the lead with Matt Kuchar and Webb Simpson at the end of the day at the Sony Open in Hawaii
Matt Kuchar and Webb Simpson are seeing a lot of one another at the Sony Open in Hawaii. having been drawn to play together for the first two rounds, they will do play together in the final pairing on Saturday as joint leaders. They share the lead, on 12 under, with 21-year-old Justin Thomas.
Thomas made the day’s lowest round, a bogey-free, nine-under 61. On the 16th he hit an 8-iron to 12ft for birdie, hit a wedge to 6ft for birdie on the next hole, and on the par-5 18th played a 9-iron approach shot to 18ft, and then drained the putt for an eagle to card the lowest round at this event since 2006, one shot off the course record set in 2004 by Davis Love III.
The 21-year-old in what is his first Sony Open appearance and now holds a share of the lead on the PGA Tour for the first time. Thomas gave no hint of the drama to come, opening his round with six consecutive pars. “I wasn’t getting anything going, tried to stay patient, hit some fairways and got in some spots where I had easier putts and just got on a roll the last 12 holes,” he said.
Thomas joined Kuchar (63) and Simpson (66) at 12-under 128, two strokes ahead of Tim Clark and Troy Merritt.
Englishman Paul Casey, who opened with a 62 to be the joint leader with Simpnson, fell back to joint 8th with an even-par 70.
Sixteen-year-old local Kyle Suppa made the cut, 10 strokes behind after a second successive 69. Suppa, who qualified by winning the Hawaii amateur stroke play, which he did so by six shots, attends Punahou School in Honolulu, where US President Barack Obama was a pupil.
Also making the cut is Jhonattan Vegas, who provided the shot of the day. He was in danger of missing the cut, but then birdied the 15th and holed out from 140 yards for an eagle at the par-4 16th.