Justin Thomas had a 6-under 66 on Friday to take a two-stroke lead halfway through the CIMB Classic, staying within striking distance of the tournament record he set in winning the title here last year. Thomas, who won his first PGA Tour title here last year in a tournament record 26 under, wasn't entirely happy with his iron shots and wedges in the second round but remains hopeful of producing some very low scores on the weekend at the TPC Kuala Lumpur.
Minjee Lee birdied the final three holes for a 7-under 65 and a two-stroke lead Thursday in the Blue Bay LPGA , playing in perfect conditions two days after Typhoon Sarika hit the resort. Lee hit a long flop shot to a foot from a difficult angle on the par-5 18th on Jian Lake's Blue Bay course, back in top shape after a large cleanup effort. The 20-year-old Australian was delayed traveling from the event that ended Sunday in South Korea and finally got to the resort Wednesday, limiting her to nine holes of practice.
(Reuters) - Tiger Woods says he still believes he will surpass the record 18 major titles won by Jack Nicklaus, even though the former world number one has been sidelined from competition for more than a year due to a chronic back injury. Now aged 40, Woods is in the twilight of his golfing career and has been stalled on 14 major victories since his remarkable triumph at the 2008 U.S. Open but he expressed confidence about his playing future in a Public Broadcasting Service interview. According to an excerpt of an interview with television talk show host Charlie Rose, which will be aired in full later on Thursday, when asked if he believed he would end up with more than 18 major titles, Woods replied: "Correct".
Scottish golfer Marc Warren birdied the first six holes in shooting an 8-under 63 and taking the Portugal Masters lead on Thursday. Padraig Harrington was tied for 12th after carding a 5-under 66, the same score as Paul Lawrie.
Justin Thomas began his title defense with an 8-under 64 at the CIMB Classic on Thursday, making nine birdies and a bogey to move into a three-way tie with Keegan Bradley and Derek Fathauer for the first-round lead. Thomas, who won his first PGA Tour title here last year in a tournament-record total 26-under-par 262, said he felt at ease in the opening round of the PGA Tour-sanctioned event. ''If there's such a thing as an easy 8-under, it was,'' Thomas said.
Justin Thomas enjoyed a welcome return to Kuala Lumpur on Thursday when the American kicked off the defense of his CIMB Classic title by surging into a share of the lead at the $7 million co-sanctioned event. Thomas, who claimed his one and only PGA Tour title at the TPC Kuala Lumpur course last year when he edged out Adam Scott by a stroke, tallied nine birdies and a lone bogey in his first round this time to sign for an eight-under-par 64. If there's any such thing as an easy eight under, that was it," Thomas said in a post-round interview.
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