Thomas makes late run

Justin Thomas playing his tee shot on the 17th hole in the third round. He has four wins among 10 top-10 finishes this season.
Justin Thomas playing his tee shot on the 17th hole in the third round. He has four wins among 10 top-10 finishes this season.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

PGA C'ship holder shrugs off bad spell to bid for spot in Tour's penultimate event

NORTON (Massachusetts) • Justin Thomas roared back into the PGA Tour play-off picture with a sizzling 63 on Sunday to grab a share of the lead after the third round of the Dell Championship.

The American golfer, who tied for sixth last week in the first tournament of this season's FedExCup play-offs, is the co-leader with Australia's Marc Leishman at 12-under 201 heading into the final round of the tournament at the TPC Boston course.

England's Paul Casey is alone in third after shooting a four-under 67, while world No. 2 Jordan Spieth shot a 66 and is tied with Grayson Murray (67) and Canada's Adam Hadwin (68) for fourth at 203.

Despite a recent streak of three straight missed cuts, the 24-year-old Thomas is in the thick of the FedExCup race after his bogey-free round on Sunday.

The reigning PGA Championship winner has 10 finishes in the top 10 this season, including four victories.

His play-off campaign got a huge shot in the arm on Sunday, when he drained eight birdies with all coming on par-fours on a rainy day at the par-71, 7,342-yard course.

"I'm extremely pleased," Thomas said. "It was a great day. I just felt I had total control of my game. I drove it beautifully. I hit my irons really well, and my short game was good if I needed it."

The top 70 players on the play-off points list after this event advance to the BMW Championship, set for Sept 14-17 at Conway Farms Golf Club in Illinois.

Then the top 30 players following the BMW Championship will qualify for the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, beginning on Sept 21.

A points reset will take place before the Tour Championship, giving all players in the field a mathematical opportunity to win the Tour title.

Leishman fired a bogey-free 65 to grab a share of the 54-hole lead with Thomas.

He rolled in six birdies on the day and has played his past 28 holes bogey-free. He never previously held a lead or a co-lead heading into the final round of a PGA Tour event.

Casey, who has been flying under the radar late in the season, finished strongly, making birdies on three of his final six holes.

Jon Rahm, of Spain, who carried a two-shot advantage into Sunday, fired a third-round 71 and is tied for seventh at 204 along with opening-round leader and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson (66).

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 05, 2017, with the headline 'Thomas makes late run'. Print Edition | Subscribe