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One day after shooting a 59, Justin Thomas fired a six-under 64 during Friday’s second round to maintain his lead in the Sony Open at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu.

Thomas made history Friday, as an eagle on the par-five 18th gave him the lowest opening 36-hole score in PGA Tour history, as seen in this video courtesy of the PGA Tour’s official Twitter account:

With an overall score of 17 under, Thomas leads Gary Woodland by five strokes entering the weekend, as seen in the following look at the top of the leaderboard, via PGA.com:

Thomas’ second round got off to an unassuming start, as he played the first six holes at one under, but there were nearly fireworks on the par-three seventh.

The 23-year-old narrowly missed an ace and instead had to settle for a tap-in birdie, via the PGA Tour:

Following a bogey on the eighth, Thomas went on a run of four consecutive birdies, including this sequence on No. 12, via the PGA Tour:

Despite the fact that Thomas carded three bogeys, the mistakes were far outweighed by the myriad remarkable shots he made Friday.

Near the top of the list was this birdie putt on the 15th, which he managed to make from off the green, via the PGA Tour:

Thomas could have limped to the finish line after a bogey on No. 17, but he showed his grit with an eagle on the 18th to end the second round on an ideal high note.

Another of Friday’s most impressive rounds came courtesy of Woodland, as he shot a six-under 64 for the second consecutive day due largely to his dominance off the tee.

At one point, Woodland held a streak of five straight birdies from No. 6 through No. 10, as he consistently put himself in great positions with dynamite drives, according to TaylorMade Golf:

The streak stopped with a par on the 11th, but he jumped back on the birdie train on No. 12 and followed that up with one of the day’s best drives on the 13th, via the PGA Tour:

While nobody was able to match the 59 that Thomas carded Thursday, two golfers came close with second rounds of nine under 61.

Former Sony Open, Masters and U.S. Open champion Zach Johnson was chief among them, as his 61 pushed him to a 10-under on the tournament, which is good for a tie for third.

Johnson tallied seven birdies and one eagle, which occurred on No. 18 when he impressively sunk a shot from the bunker, via the PGA Tour:

Joining Johnson in the 61 club was Bryce Molder, who needed to play his final three holes at three under par to reach the elusive 59 mark.

Although he was unable to do so, Molder secured the 61 with a birdie on the 18th. As pointed out by Sean Martin of PGATour.com, the 37-year-old Arkansas native is no stranger to playing great rounds under pressure:

Molder struggled in the first round by finishing two over, which leaves him with plenty of work to do with regard to chasing down Thomas over the weekend.

Johnson wasn’t the only big name to make some noise in the second round, as former U.S. Open winner and reigning Olympic gold medalist Justin Rose played his way into a third-place tie with a six-under 64.

The Englishman carded only a single bogey and was pleased with his performance after entering the clubhouse:

Jordan Spieth also continued his rise up the leader board with a three-under 67 highlighted by some nifty iron play, such as this approach on No. 12, which led to a birdie, via the PGA Tour:

Spieth couldn’t find much of a rhythm on the front nine with two birdies and two bogeys, but he got better as the day went along and played the back nine at three under, including a birdie on No. 18 to end the day.

Thomas remains very much in the driver’s seat entering the third round, but with so many spectacular performances from other golfers Friday, his lead appears far from safe.

The potential for historically low rounds is present, which puts plenty of pressure on Thomas’ shoulders to continue his stellar play.

One mediocre round could be enough to knock him or anyone else out of contention since Waialae is playing quite easily, as it traditionally does.

Thomas is coming off a win last week in the SBS Tournament of Champions, though, and with that type of momentum on his side, it will be difficult to chase him down—even for established veterans such as Johnson and Rose.

Post-Round Reaction

Following another historic day for Thomas, the leader felt good about etching his name in the record books with an all-time best 36-hole score, according to Brentley Romine of Golfweek.com: “It’s cool. Anytime you can get your name in the record books is awesome. … I’d love that [123] a couple more times in my career.”

Rose is among Thomas’ closest competitors, and while he has a lot of ground to make up, he believes it could be difficult to Thomas to continue his current pace, per the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com): “Someone has to go out and chase him. … You definitely need the mindset when you’re that far ahead to keep the accelerator down. But it’s hard to keep that sort of momentum going, for sure.”

Spieth, who played alongside Thomas Friday, admitted that his counterpart’s dominance was somewhat discouraging, according to Romine:

I think it added to my frustration on the greens when the game’s looking so easy to him. I felt like I was hitting the ball in the same locations as he was the last two days as far as proximity to the hole and birdie chances. Just being that outdone on the greens is just something that’s a little abnormal to me.

Spieth did manage to close out his second round with a birdie to remain within striking distance of Thomas, but he must cut down the gap significantly in the third round to have a realistic shot at the title.

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.



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