Justin Thomas takes two-shot lead into weekend of CJ Cup in Korea


Justin Thomas vaulted into a two-shot lead at the halfway stage of the CJ Cup in Korea after firing a superb nine-under 63 in the next round.
Thomas managed to construct holing his birdie putt of the day to climb under par two before Korean-born New Zealander Danny Lee along with first-round leader Byeong Hun An and birdied the first four holes.
Jordan Spieth improved his prospects of a first win since the Open in 2017, for a series of mistakes contributed to a 75 that left him 11 strokes off the speed and out the top 50, but defending winner Brooks Koepka went in another direction.
There were no such problems the winner on Jeju Island in 2017 for world No 5 Thomas, as he adopted his own flyer with another profit at the eighth and three in five holes after the flip.
Thomas kept the errors in bay and also atoned for his bogey-six in the 18th on Thursday having a good birdie to shut a 63 he described aseffortless.
That was, I would say, complete one of the better rounds Ive played in a little while, he said. It arrived really easy. Like all the putts I made werent anything mad I felt.
The putt on 10 was likely the toughest one I had, however for the large part, I had them in the right areas for where they had been pretty easy putts or at least closer to the hole. I never really had to worry a lot out there, that is undoubtedly a bonus.
An slept about the overnight lead and started two with a nervy bogey at the 10th, however the home galleries were soon cheering because he recovered with a birdie at the 12th and subsequently made four in a row by the 17th, lifting him to 12 under with seven holes – and two par-fives – to playwith.
But the prior BMW PGA champion struggled over the final third of his rounded and dropped his second shot of the tournament in the sixth before parring in to get a 69 to stay at 11 under, a dent later matched by Lee later he shot a small gloss off his 66 with a bogey at the final.
Four birdies in six holes from the 12th raised Lee, who was playing with Thomas and Phil Mickelson, to 12 underneath, but he grabbed a leash heavy from within 100 yards at the final and came up short of the green, a error that led to a closing six.
I had a 95-yard third chance, it was back, and I had been trying to hit on my 60-degree wedge a little too hard and struck behind it a little bit, explained Lee. Got short-sided and I did not make the down and up. But besides that, it was a really positive
Spieth, still following his first triumph since lifting the Claret Jug at Royal Birkdale, recovered from a bogey at the first with four birdies on the back nine and, after another blot at 11, he birdied five of their final seven holes to return a 65 which pushed him under and Emiliano Grillo (66).
As he added a strong 68 after a pair of 69s behind together with fascinating young gift Viktor Hovland tyrrell Hatton directs the challenge.
But Koepka continued to struggle for form and made only two birdies from five bogeys in a 75 that renders him outside the top-50 of the field heading to the weekend.
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