In the back-nine, he corrected his mistakes and played flawlessly. He may well be the favorite, and the Matsuyama-Thomas pair should be a fun one.
Jason Day, the 2015 victor and third player in the final threesome, suffers a quadruple-bogey eight to stumble in with a 77 to tumble back to even par for the tournament.
Then came the meltdown on 18 the third of Quail Hollow's brutal "Green Mile" stretch of finishing holes. He was one shot behind along with Hideki Matsuyama, who had 73.
"It feels easy until you smack one in the water and then it seems hard again".
Rickie Fowler said other than the 18th hole at Sawgrass, he can't think of a more hard finishing hole in golf. He made a 10 on that hole, later explaining his actions during his walk to the parking lot by saying "it shows you care, that's all". Golf clap for them and the 41 golfers who escaped with a par. He missed the green at the 494-yard par 4 and hit two poor chips before three-putting from 11 feet to drop well off the pace.
If the answer is no you need to take a long, hard look at yourself.
For some players, the hole is borderline unfair. He said he's hitting the ball extremely well during practice - on the range and the greens.
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Webb Simpson, who is a member at Quail Hollow, said there is very small margin for error. He was 4 over through 13 holes but birdied three straight on 14-16 to get back in the thick of things.
The 33-year-old Kisner attacked the par-five holes in second-round action, carding an eagle on the seventh and birdies on the 10th and 15th.
He hit arguably the worst tee shot ever to finish before the horn sounded. "It's a hard hole for everybody".
Day added: "As soon as he teed off, we all kind of flushed it down 18".
"It's hard because you can't leave it under the hole as the greens are firm", Thomas said.
Kisner played in the same group as Day, who got into trouble when he tried to snap-hook his second shot around a tree but slipped on the pine straw, sending the ball behind a bush. He had to take a penalty stroke but was still in trouble. At 18, he bounced an approach off a stone bridge that saved him from another splash but sent him into deep rough and a bogey.
"I like to think that I'm mature now and I can manage an under-par round when I don't have my best stuff, " Thomas said. I have a week to work on it and see if I can get it dialed in.