Thomas ups Sony Open lead to 7 shots

Justin Thomas posted his highest score of the Sony Open in Hawaii and still increased his lead.

The 23-year-old Thomas, who has won two of his last three tournaments, shot a bogey-free 5-under-par 65 and built a seven-stroke lead over Zach Johnson heading to the final round at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Maui, Hawaii.

“I didn’t hit the ball as well as I did the first two days, but it still was a good day to shoot 5-under without my best stuff,” said Thomas, who won the SBS Tournament of Champions last week and the CIMB Classic in November.

“I have a big lead like I did last week and I just have to get some rest tonight and to out there tomorrow and put up another good round.”

Thomas, who set a PGA Tour record with a 36-hole total of 133 after scores of 59 and 64, tied the record of 188 for 54 holes set by Steve Stricker in the 2010 John Deere Classic.

Johnson, the 2007 Masters and the 2015 Open Championship who also won the 2009 Sony Open, also had a bogey-free 65 to take solo second.

Olympic gold medalist Justin Rose of England birdied four of the last six holes and was eight shots behind in a tie for third with Gary Woodland, who totaled 68, and Hudson Swafford, who carded a 66.

Kevin Kisner collected birdies on six of the last eight holes barely missed a nine-foot eagle putt on No. 18, settling for a 60 that left him nine down in a tie for sixth with Jamie Lovemark of USC and Rancho Santa Fe, who had a 65, and Russell Knox of Scotland, who came in at 66.

“Can’t be that upset,” said Kisner, who thought the putt for 59 was going in, but it burned the edge of the cup instead.

Jordan Spieth, the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 5 in the world, was another shot down in ninth after a 66, No. 6 Hideki Matsuyama of Japan was 12 behind in a tie for 16th, and defending champion Fabian Gomez of Argentina had a 71 and was tied for 66th.

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