Thomas In Sight Of Becoming First Player Since Woods To Successfully Defend PGA

St. Louis, Missouri …

Defending champion, Justin Thomas returned to Bellerive to birdie three of his closing five holes and remain well in sight of becoming the first player since Tiger Woods to succesfully defend his PGA Championship title.

Thomas, who had been playing alongside Woods for the opening two rounds, officially signed for a second round five-under par 65 that presented last week’s WGC – Bridgestone Invitational champion with a share of ninth place and only four shots behind compatriot Gary Woodland heading to round three of the storm-affected event.

Thomas, Woods and Rory McIlroy resumed their second round at 7am from the par-5 eighth hole and with all three walking off with a birdie ‘4’ but with Thomas dropping a shot a the ninth.

Justin Thomas and now in contention to become the first player since Tiger Woods in 2007 to retain the PGA Rodman Wanamker Trophy (Photo @PGAofAmerica)

However the 25-year old Thomas made up for the bogey with birdies at 11, 14 and 15 before knocking-in a 10-footer for birdie at the par-5 17th.

“The biggest — I mean, I was fortunate to where I played well this morning, so I’d like to — you know, it’s a good thing to keep going hopefully,” he said.

“The main thing is, in this heat, just staying — keeping the energy levels high. So just got to make sure you’re eating a lot, drinking a lot of water, and just staying as rested as possible out there.

“I’m now heading back to the hotel and shower and change. I feel like I just played 27 holes, and I only played 11. So, yeah, anything I can do to feel like it’s a fresh start to the day, I’m going to do so. Going to start my routine as soon as I get the tee times.

“I’m in a good position. I’m in a lot better position than I was when I came out here this morning, which is great. I accomplished what I needed to do.

“There’s a lot of golf left on a very gettable golf course. But at the same time, it can show its teeth if you’re not driving it well. If I continue to drive it well and get that putter rolling like I did this morning, then I feel confident.”

Woods was the last player to retain the famed Rodman Wanamaker trophy in winning the championship for a respective third and fourth occasion in 2006 and 2007.


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