Moore, Thomas set pace at Kapalua

KAPALUA (Hawaii) • Ryan Moore and Justin Thomas inspired one another in a low-scoring pairing, as they moved one stroke clear of a tightly bunched leader board at the halfway point of the PGA Tour's Tournament of Champions.

The two American golfers fired matching six-under 67s at the Kapalua Resort on the island of Maui to post totals of 134 in the PGA Tour's opening event of the year.

Overnight leader Jimmy Walker carded a 70 to sit one shot back on Friday, level with fellow American Patrick Reed, who shot a best-of-the-day 65 that was built on a consummate driving display.

Jason Dufner was by himself at 136 after back-to-back 68s and Hideki Matsuyama of Japan was another stroke back after a 68.

Australia's world No. 1 Jason Day was tied for 11th at 139 after posting a 69, as was American Dustin Johnson following a second-round 70.

Defending champion Jordan Spieth piled up nine birdies, along with a double-bogey at the eighth and a triple at the 17th, en route to a 69 that left him joint 19th in the elite 32-man, winners-only field.

Moore, a five-time winner on the PGA Tour, very nearly holed out with his third from 80 yards at the par-five last before tapping in for a birdie to snatch the outright lead.

Moments later, 23-year-old Thomas rolled in a seven-footer to join him at 12 under. "We had a good time out there," he told Golf Channel. "We were kind of feeding off each other a little bit."

Moore finished with a flourish, recording four birdies in his last five holes. "I just made putts, hit a couple of nice wedges that were tap-ins which was nice, but I got the putter rolling on the back side," said the 34-year-old.

Reed, who beat Walker in a play-off to win the title at Kapalua two years ago, reached every green in regulation for the first time in his PGA Tour career and birdied four of the last five holes to set the early clubhouse lead.

"I swung within myself so I could have control and that just led me to having a lot of shorter putts on the holes," said Reed.

"The most impressive thing for me today was the driver.

"I could hit it anywhere I wanted to and when I feel like I have confidence in hitting my driver straight, then it just leads to the rest of the bag."

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 08, 2017, with the headline 'Moore, Thomas set pace at Kapalua'. Print Edition | Subscribe