Thomas scares 59, finishes with 61 and CIMB lead

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Justin Thomas was 11 under through 15 holes Friday, but couldn't close out a 59. He 'settled' for 61 and the Round 2 CIMB Classic lead. Here's how things played out at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Leaderboard: Thomas (-15), Brendan Steele (-14), Spencer Levin (-13), Hideki Matsuyama (-13), Scott Piercy (-13)

What it means: Thomas is once again in position for his maiden PGA Tour title. He had seven top-10 finishes and over $2.2 million in earnings last season, but no wins. Aside from Thomas and Levin, every player at 10 under or better has a Tour title to his credit.

Round of the day: Thomas’ 61. Needing to play his final three holes – including two short par 4s and a par 5 – in 2 under to shoot 59, Thomas finished with a trio of pars. But nine birdies, one eagle and a career-tying performance ain’t bad.

Best of the rest: Steele and Brian Harman both shot 63. Steele accomplished his via seven birdies and an eagle. Harman had 10 birdies and a bogey. Harman is in a group at 11 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Piercy. Coming off an opening 62, the overnight leader birdied four of his first six holes on Friday, and five of his first 10. And then he stalled. Piercy carded his first bogey of the event on his 29th hole and then added another shortly thereafter. He played his final eight holes of the day in 2 over and slid back into the pack.

Main storyline heading into Round 2: How does Thomas follow up this performance? This is the second time he has shot 61 on Tour, first doing so in Round 2 of last season’s Sony Open. He finished that event with back-to-back, even-par 70s and tied for sixth.

Shot of the day: On the par-4 12th, Thomas was in the right rough with water guarding a front-tucked pin. No worries. He played his approach shot deftly to a few feet and made his third consecutive birdie to start the back nine. Click here to check out highlights from Thomas’ round.