Justin Thomas seizes Zozo lead, SA’s Dylan Frittelli in the hunt

American Justin Thomas, looking for his third PGA title of the 12 months, fired a seven-under par 65 to seize a one-stroke lead after Friday’s second spherical of the Zozo Championship.

The 2017 PGA Championship winner birdied seven of the primary 12 holes in a bogey-free spherical to face on 14-under 130 after 36 holes at Sherwood Nation Membership.

“Bought off to a sizzling begin at present and type of coasted coming in,” Thomas stated. “If you’re getting the ball in play off the tee there are such a lot of scoring golf equipment. You possibly can assault it if you’re actually enjoying effectively.”

South Africa’s Dylan Frittelli and American Lanto Griffin every closed with a bogey to accept 65 and sharing second on 131 with Individuals Patrick Cantlay and Scottie Scheffler sharing fourth on 132 after 65s.

A pack on 133 included Bubba Watson and Patrick Reed, who every shot 63, and fellow American Richy Werenski, who set a course document with a 61.

He made six birdies on each the back and front 9 towards a lone bogey on the par-Four sixth to interrupt the outdated mark of 62 set by Tiger Woods.

Defending Zozo champion Woods, who received final 12 months in Japan earlier than the occasion was moved to suburban Los Angeles as a result of Covid-19 pandemic, opened with a 76 however bounced again with a 66, matching his greatest since final 12 months’s Zozo.

“I hit the ball so significantly better,” Woods stated. “At the moment was much more sharp and much more crisp and clear.”

Woods birdied 4 of the primary six holes and two of the final three however nonetheless shared 66th in a subject of 77. He had 4 birdies and a par on the par-5 holes after going Three-over on them Thursday.

“Yesterday was not excellent,” Woods stated. “I actually did not swing the membership that poorly. I used to be only a fraction off and I received out of place a pair occasions. It simply snowballed right into a excessive quantity. Was by no means actually in a position to get any type of momentum going.

“At the moment was totally different. Bought off to a significantly better begin and saved rolling.”

Woods, who will defend his 15th main title at subsequent month’s Masters, says he feels significantly better than he did eventually month’s US Open, when he missed the minimize and battled a sore again.

“I’m shifting quite a bit higher,” Woods stated. “Having 4 weeks off was good. Coaching classes have been good so the whole lot has type of rotated.”

Thomas, who started on the again 9, tapped in for birdie on the par-5 11th to start out of run of 4 consecutive birdies that included a putt from simply inside 17 toes on the par-Three 12th and simply outdoors 17 toes on the par-Four 14th.

He added birdies on the par-5 16th, par-Four first and par-Three third however closed with six pars, together with a 15-foot rescue effort on the par-Three eighth.

“That was nice,” Thomas stated. “I hit a pleasant bunker shot. That was huge. If you end up bogey-free that late in a spherical, that is at all times good.”

Thomas has received 4 PGA titles from the seven prior occasions he shot 130 for 36 holes.

“Simply proceed to assault,” Thomas stated. “You possibly can go low. You should have the fuel pedal down if you wish to be round that lead.”

Thanks All Blacks

Frittelli owes a debt to his homeland’s rugby rivals, the New Zealand All Blacks.

“I made a bit of psychological change,” Frittelli stated. “It is a bit of factor I learn in a e-book. It is known as Legacy. It’s got to do with mindset (of) the All Blacks, clearly among the finest groups on this planet, a bit of factor in there that I discovered.”

Griffin birdied six of the primary eight holes on the again 9 however was sad at solely two front-nine birdies.

“It is gettable and it’s worthwhile to preserve the pedal down,” he stated. “You possibly can’t get complacent round right here. You should preserve going.”

Main scores after Friday’s second spherical of the PGA Zozo Championship at Sherwood Nation Membership (par-72, USA except famous):

130 – Justin Thomas 65-65

131 – Dylan Frittelli (RSA) 66-65, Lanto Griffin 66-65

132 – Patrick Cantlay 67-65, Scottie Scheffler 67-65

133 – Abraham Ancer (MEX) 67-66, Harris English 66-67, Bubba Watson 70-63, Tyrrell Hatton (ENG) 65-68, Patrick Reed 70-63, Tony Finau 69-64, Kevin Kisner 66-67, Richy Werenski 72-61

134 – Ryan Palmer 69-65, Matthew Fitzpatrick (ENG) 69-65, Satoshi Kodaira (JPN) 68-66, Webb Simpson 69-65, Brian Harman 66-68, Jason Kokrak 69-65, Sebastian Munoz (COL) 64-70, Justin Rose (ENG) 67-67

135 – Kevin Na 70-65, Viktor Hovland (NOR) 71-64, Jim Herman 70-65, Jon Rahm (ESP) 68-67, Alex Noren (SWE) 67-68

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