Thomas (63) surges to take lead into weekend at CJ Cup

Carson Williams

Justin Thomas took a solid opening-round 68 and built on it Friday at the CJ Cup with a bogey-free, 9-under 63 to take a two-shot lead over Danny Lee into the weekend in South Korea. Here's how things played out:

Leaderboard: Justin Thomas (-13), Danny Lee (-11), Ben An (-11), Emiliano Grillo (-9), Jordan Spieth (-9), Cameron Smith (-8), Kyoung-Hoon Lee (-8), Ryan Moore (-8)

What it means: Thomas won this event back in 2017 in a playoff over Marc Leishman, and while there is still two rounds left, he's in position to contend yet again at a course that fits him well. However, no 36-hole leader has gone on to win in the brief history of the CJ Cup. But after the first two days, Thomas is showing he has what it takes to break that trend.

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Round of the day: The No. 5-ranked Thomas began his day with fireworks, carding four straight birdies out of the gate, and kept it rolling all day. Thomas had an eagle putt on 18 for 62 that would have tied the course record, but couldn't get it to drop. Still, Thomas will head into the weekend with a two-shot cushion with no sign of slowing down.

CJ Cup: Full-field scores | Full coverage

Best of the rest: It was almost Lee until his lone bogey of the day at the 18th left him with a second-round, 6-under 66. But Spieth closed strong with two straight birdies to sign for a stellar 7-under 65 that has him lurking just four back of his buddy Thomas. Spieth arrived to South Korea well-rested and ready to break the dry spell and, through two rounds, has put himself in position to do just that.

Biggest disappointment: After opening with a 3-under 69 on Thursday, Brooks Koepka gave it all back Friday with a 3-over 75. For the second time this season, Brooks is looking up the leaderboard at younger-brother Chase, who carded rounds of 70-72 and sits at 2 under for the week.

Shot of the day:

Quote of the day: "Overall one of the better rounds I've played in a while." -Thomas






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