4 players to watch on the weekend at the Sony Open

Justin Thomas is the leader after 36-holes at the Sony Open, and he’s made history along the way.

Thomas is five shots clear of Gary Woodland and seven ahead of third place, shared by Justin Rose, Zach Johnson, and Hudson Swafford.

Last week’s winner looks to be in complete control, but it’s only the halfway point and here are four players worth keeping an eye on heading into moving day.

Justin Rose (-10)

Justin Rose is playing some very consistent golf in his first event of 2017. Rose has made 13 birdies and just two bogeys in his last 30 holes. The seven-time PGA winner is looking comfortable on the greens after he made an adjustment in the offseason. On Friday, he recorded just 27 putts in his round, if he can hit a few more fairways this weekend – he’s found just 15-of-28 through two rounds – he’ll be tough to shake.

Zach Johnson (-10)

Johnson had no wins in 2016 after switching club manufacturers last January, and his best finish was a fifth place showing at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. The two-time major winner was spot on in Friday’s second round, carding a 9-under-par 61 to move into the top 5. With length not being an issue thanks to firm fairways, Johnson won’t be at a disadvantage off the tee, and when he’s playing well he’s one of the game’s best putters.

Charles Howell III (-9)

Howell hasn’t won since the 2007 Nissan Open, but he’s come really close at the Sony Open. The two-time PGA winner is again playing solid this week at Waialae Country Club with rounds of 65 and 66. Howell has been average with his ball-striking, but is rolling the ball well with just 1.600 putts per green in regulation. He also has a great track record here at the Hawaiian Open, posting six top-10 finishes in the last 10 years, and is 59-under-par the last five years at the event. Eventually he’s going to go from bridesmaid to bride in Honalulu.

Gary Woodland (-12)

Gary Woodland is playing in his first event after a four week break and looks to be in mid-season form after carding back-to-back rounds of 64. Woodland has made just one bogey this week and it came on his opening hole Friday. Other than that blemish, it’s been tidy golf, making 13 birdies. A big reason for his success through two rounds is the fact he’s giving himself chances to make birdie putts, missing just three greens in 36 holes. Woodland has won twice on Tour and said after the round he feels confident in his game.

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