Sun, Oct 22, 2017 - Page 10 News List

Thomas recovers to secure a share of the CJ Cup lead

Reuters, SEOUL

Justin Thomas yesterday refused to be thrown off his game by a double-bogey midway through the third round of the US$9.25 million CJ Cup in South Korea, carding a battling 70 to set the pace with Scott Brown at the Nine Bridges Golf Club on Jeju Island.

FedEx Cup champion Thomas coped much better with the blustery conditions and undulating greens than he did on Friday, when he posted a two-over 74, and is to go into the final round of the PGA Tour’s maiden regular-season event in South Korea full of confidence.

After hitting just more than 50 percent of the fairways on Friday, Thomas, who won his first major at the PGA Championship in August, was solid with the driver in the third round, hitting 11 of 14 fairways and carding birdies at all four par-fives.

Despite dropping two shots at the eighth and another at the 10, Thomas hit back quickly each time, picking up strokes at the ninth, 11th and 12th holes.

With gusty conditions expected for today’s final round, Thomas said keeping it tight was key.

“It’s going to be tough, but everyone has to play in it,” he said in a televised interview. “Really try to make as many pars as possible.”

Brown, whose only win on the PGA Tour came at the 2013 Puerto Rico Open, let his concentration slip after the turn with two straight bogeys on 10 and 11, but found his rhythm again down the closing stretch to grab birdies at the 15th and 18th.

Anirban Lahiri (69) and Marc Leishman (71) are tied for third on seven-under, with home hope Kim Whee three shots behind the leaders after a 72. Kim was joined in fifth place by Cameron Smith (73) and 2009 US Open champion Lucas Glover (74).

Another South Korean, An Byeong-hun, carded a day’s best, a 67, to move into contention on five-under on a difficult day when only five of the 77 players out on the course shot below 70.

Joint overnight leader Luke List dropped back to eighth with a four-over 76. while bogeys at 16 and 17 ruined the scorecard of Jason Day, who was cruising along at three-under for the day before he hit trouble. Day shot a 71 and is six shots back on three under.

Taiwan’s Pan Chung-tseng carded a 74 to move up to a share of 56th on seven-over 223.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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