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January 14, 2017

Justin Thomas

Honolulu, Hawaii

Q. 5-under, 65, not so sure you had your best stuff but that was a master class of play?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, I really didn't hit my irons as well as I felt I could have, should have today. I would take a lot more out of rounds like today than I have like on other days, where I not have my best stuff and shoot 5-under is awesome.

Q. The putt on the last, a little fist pump. That was a meaningful one?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, it was. Any time you can build a lead or get close to the lead is a big putt. The putt on 18, one of the easiest holes on the course. I just kind of screwed up that second shot and left it in a perfect shot, and sometimes those straight putts are the hardest when you're under a little bit of pressure like that.

Q. Talk about the mind-set, because you get out, make a few pars and ease your way into the round; a save on 7. Was there a strategy to the round?
JUSTIN THOMAS: No, same as every day. Just try to hit fairways and greens and make a lot of birdies. I didn't get off to a great start in terms of making birdies today, but I did what I need to do. Just kept making pars and staying patient and then yeah, that putt on 7 was huge for me.

Q. How is the energy level?
JUSTIN THOMAS: It's good. I'm a little tired and hungry right now but I'm sure I'll be good come the start tomorrow.

Q. You keep adding to the PGA TOUR record books, tying Steve Stricker for low 54-hole number, 188. As you look back, what were the keys?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Just patience. I didn't hit my irons as well I felt like today as I did the first two days. I had a lot of scoring opportunities and scoring clubs. I just hit really poor iron shots, 25, 30 feet. But it was great, I felt like I managed my day really well, and to shoot 5-under not having my best stuff was great.

Q. You birdied three of your final five holes. Do you feel like you've built some momentum in that closing stretch for tomorrow?
JUSTIN THOMAS: Yeah, absolutely. And I hit a great putt even on 15, too, that didn't go in. And then 17, I had, felt like it was a pretty good swing. It just didn't move. I hit a lot of quality shots coming down the stretch when I could have been a little fatigued or lose focus a little bit. It was getting a little slow out there. It was easy to lose focus. But I just tried to stay in it.

Q. Last week, your first 54-hole lead, and you converted that into a victory. Tonight you're going to bed with a seven-shot lead. Give me your comfort level heading into tomorrow right now.
JUSTIN THOMAS: It's fine right now. Played with a big lead today and felt like I handled it pretty well. Just getting some rest tonight and just going out and treating tomorrow like another round of golf, just because it is.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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