Mon, 21 Sep 2020

World No. 1 Thomas facing steep climb at PGA Championship

Field Level Media
09 Aug 2020, 08:40 GMT+10

World No. 1 Justin Thomas is facing an uphill battle at the PGA Championship.

Thomas will need to enjoy a stellar final round in San Francisco to move into contention after carding a 2-under 68 in Saturday's third round. His three-round total of 1-under 209 leaves him well behind the leaders.

And Thomas felt he missed a lot of good opportunities during his third trip around TPC Harding Park to sabotage his chances of winning his second major.

He was 5 under through seven holes on Saturday due to five birdies, including four straight on Nos. 4 through 7.

But he bogeyed Nos. 8 and 9 as his round went downward. He also had bogeys on 16 and 18 to end up with six birdies and four bogeys.

"That was really disappointing to finish the way I did today," Thomas told ESPN after his round. "I felt like being 5-under after 7, I could have shot 62 and watch those guys play. It's a bummer and I potentially cost myself a chance to win this thing."

Thomas' only birdie on the back nine came at No. 10. He shot par on the following five holes before the late-round struggles.

"There's a lot of hard holes out here, but I still had some birdie holes in front me and I clearly didn't take advantage of them," said Thomas, who won the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow.

Thomas' round was over well before second-round leader Haotong Li even teed off.

Among other early Saturday finishers, Patrick Cantlay and England's Ian Poulter each shot 4-under 66 and have 3-under 207 totals.

Cantlay carded four birdies, including on 16 and 18. Poulter had seven birdies and three bogeys and recovered from a tough start in which he bogeyed each of the first two holes.

Phil Mickelson shot even-par 70 and is 1 over after his three rounds, while Tiger Woods is 2 over after recording his second straight 2-over 72.

"Just like yesterday, I didn't make any of the putts to get momentum going and to get the round started," Woods told CBS. "I fell behind and had to fight back."

Jordan Spieth struggled with a 6-over 76. He is well off the pace at 7-over 217.

--Field Level Media

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