Published: Sat, September 23, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Stanley leads Tour Championship

Stanley leads Tour Championship

Reigning PGA Championship victor Justin Thomas eagled the par-five 18 for a 66 on Friday, leaving him tied with England s Paul Casey and Webb Simpson at the halfway point of the Tour Championship.

In addition to who might win the FedEx Cup, one of the more intriguing storylines entering the Tour Championship was the player of the year race.

"I've had a very good season to this point but you see some of the other, Justin and Jordan, or Dustin Johnson and Hideki Matsuyama aren't even mentioned today but they've had awesome seasons".

A second round 67 at the Tour Championship meant he was tied for top spot on seven under par, alongside newly-crowned USPGA Champion Justin Thomas and former US Open champ Webb Simpson. He finished sixth in the tournament past year.

"I'm definitely way more thankful to be here than I was the four years in a row I came here [2011-14], and it's because it's hard to get here", he said.

Tied for fourth at 6-under 134 is Patrick Reed, England's Justin Rose (66), Gary Woodland (67) and Spain's Jon Rahm (67).

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Casey's round was derailed with consecutive bogeys at 12 and 13, but he gathered himself and made a birdie at No. 16.

"I played well really, really well today and that up-and-down birdie kind of makes me feel as though it was a good day's work", he said. He bogeyed the first hole, the first of four bogeys on his card, but finished his round with a birdie.

"I felt like I hit it good, had a lot of opportunities, didn t make any putts", Johnson said.

He said: "All I all, it's a pretty exciting time - hectic, but exciting".

First-round leader Kyle Stanley set the tone for a frustrating day by lipping out a par putt at the first hole en route to a 73 that left him four shots behind.

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