Thomas moves into share of the lead

PGA Tour rookie Justin Thomas carded nine-under-par 61 to move into a share of the lead of the Sony Open after Friday’s second round.

He reached a score of 12-under par at the halfway stage in Hawaii alongside fellow Americans Matt Kuchar and Webb Simpson, who carded 63 and 66 at the at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu.

The leading trio is two shots ahead of South African Tim Clark and American Troy Merritt, who shot 65 and 64 respectively.

Thomas’ round finished with a flourish, as he birdied the 16th and 17th, before sinking a 16-foot eagle putt on the final hole.

“I’m very excited for the weekend,” Thomas told the Golf Channel after a round which fell just one shot short of the course record 60 held by Davis Love.

“It’s a position I haven’t been in before. I think that comes with the territory, being a rookie.

“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.

Kuchar, the world number 11 going into the tournament, said after his round that accuracy from the tee was a major factor for him during his round.

“I drove it really well and when you drive it well the course becomes much more attackable. It was a much better ball-striking round and I’ve continued two days of really good putting,” he said.

According to Clarke , who won the Canadian Open last July but finished 25th at last week’s Tournament of Champions on the nearby island of Maui, the Waialae is suited to his game.

“I’m standing a little bit taller so I’m getting a bit more width with my swing and everything seems to be coming off the middle of the club,” he said.

Further down the field, 16-year-old local Kyle Suppa made the cut after carding his second 69 of the week.

Suppa is the Hawaii amateur stroke play champion.