THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — With one good break and two good putts, Justin Thomas felt a lot better about his spherical of 5-under 67 on Saturday that gave him a one-shot lead over Jon Rahm within the Zozo Championship at Sherwood Nation Membership.
Thomas, who trailed by as many as two pictures on the again 9, hit driver on the par-5 sixteenth that clanged off a sycamore tree and dropped into the tough as a substitute of the creek. He holed a 10-foot birdie putt to tie for the lead, after which adopted with a 30-foot birdie putt up the slope on the par-3 seventeenth.
Rahm completed some two hours earlier with a 63, which he figured at the least would get him near the lead and almost stored him on the prime till Thomas completed robust.
Lanto Griffin was main the Nos. 2 and three gamers on the earth till making two bogeys over the past 4 holes, one within the water on the par-3 fifteenth, the opposite by going rough-to-rough on the closing gap.
Thomas was at 19-under 197 in one other week of low scoring on the PGA Tour, at the least for many gamers. It was one other grind for Tiger Woods, the Zozo Championship winner final yr in Japan, who might solely handle a 71. That led to what figures to be the best illustration of the unusual instances introduced on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Woods will probably be enjoying the ultimate spherical with Phil Mickelson, the highest two points of interest in golf, and there gained’t be any followers on the course to look at them.
Mickelson opened with seven birdies in eight holes, however performed the remainder of the way in which in 2 over for a 67.
Thomas goes for his third victory this yr. Rahm can return to No. 1 on the earth. Griffin, who gained his first PGA Tour title final yr in Houston, is equally intriguing. He opened with 4 straight birdies to take the lead, and he stayed there till the tip of the spherical. He went to 19 underneath with a 15-foot birdie on the 14th gap – two away from Thomas at that time – till his tee shot took on the flag on the best aspect of the inexperienced on the fifteenth and drifted too far proper and into the hazard.
As a substitute of going to the drop zone, he went to a unique set of tees that allowed for a full swing and higher management, dropped that wedge into 20 toes and made the putt to flee with bogey.
Thomas was enjoying effectively sufficient, even when he had little to indicate for it after opening with two birdies. In bother off the tee on the par-5 thirteenth, he selected to drop on the cement cart path and hit a tough draw – with out damaging his membership – again into the golf green. However then he didn’t take benefit, hitting a mediocre wedge to the perimeter to arrange par.
And after Griffin holed his birdie putt on the 14th, Thomas missed badly from simply inside him.
Nevertheless it modified rapidly for Thomas with these two birdies on the sixteenth and seventeenth, and he was proper again the place he began the day.
Patrick Cantlay didn’t get a lot out of his spherical both, however he stored bogeys off his card for the third straight day. He was three pictures behind, together with Sebastian Munoz and Ryan Palmer, who every had 66.
Webb Simpson (67) and Bubba Watson (68) have been amongst these 4 pictures behind.
LPGA: Ally McDonald held onto the lead within the LPGA Drive On Championship-Lake Reynolds Oconee, capturing a 3-under 69 in Greensboro, Georgia, to take a one-stroke benefit into the ultimate spherical.
Winless on the LPGA Tour, the 27-year-old from Mississippi had a 13-under 203 complete on the Nice Waters Course. Bianca Pagdanganan of the Philippines was second after a 69.
EUROPEAN TOUR: Englishmen Laurie Canter and Ross McGowan share a three-shot lead getting into the ultimate spherical of the Italian Open in Brescia, Italy.
Canter, who’s on the lookout for a wire-to-wire victory and a primary European Tour title, shot a 3-under 69 within the third spherical.
McGowan, who has had only one top-10 end over the past 4 seasons, carded a 67.