Friday, 17 November, 2017

Gavin Green slips, Luke List steals limelight at CJ Cup

Justin Thomas How Foo Yeen Getty Images Justin Thomas during the 2017 CIMB Classic at TPC Kuala Lumpur
Lucia Summers | 20 October, 2017, 16:43

It may be the start of a new season for Justin Thomas, but he is simply carrying on from where he left off as he shoots a 9 under par 63 to take the lead at the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in South Korea.

Marc Leishman and Patrick Reed, on six under, formed a risky chasing pack, with European Ryder Cup star Thomas Pieters one shot further back.

"It was a weird day", said the 23-year-old FedExCup champion, who has been in sizzling form since winning his first Major in August and who was recently voted PGA Tour Player of the Year for 2017 by his peers.

Thomas started his round on the back nine with bogey at the 10th but made amends with eagles on the 12th and 18th holes, both par 5s, around four straight birdies from Nos.

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His seven birdies and a bogey round put him in a five-way tie for second with American trio of Chez Reavie, Scott Brown and Patrick Reed and Australian Marc Leish-man, all winners on the US PGA Tour. A two over par round of 74 contained five bogeys to leave the American two shots back from the lead on seven under par. "That was pretty much most of my round".

"On the last nine holes, I felt like, I had a really good opportunity to shoot something really, really low so that was a little bit of a bummer", he said. "It doesn't matter where you are, and I know that it is very cliche and easier said than done, but you just have to take advantage of the rest and time you have off the course". Kiwi Lydia Ko and Azahara Munoz of Spain were among five players to open with 70s.

World number nine Jason Day finished strongly, with birdies on four of his final seven holes seeing him shoot a four-under 68 to be tied for 12th.

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