Thomas keeps clean card, lead
Former Chico State star Harkins sits in top 10 at Korn Ferry Tour event
DUBLIN, OHIO » Justin Thomas kept another clean card at Muirfield Village and had a 6-under 66 to turn a three-shot deficit into a two-shot lead Saturday in the Workday Charity Open.
Thomas first had to run off a string of birdies to stay within range of Collin Morikawa. And when Morikawa began to fade with three bogeys in a four-hole stretch around the turn, Thomas converted on the par 5s and played wisely on the short par-4 14th for another birdie to hold off Viktor Hovland.
The final group is a glimpse of golf’s next generation.
Thomas is the proven star, already a major champion and former world No. 1 at age 27 as he goes after his third victory this season and the 13th victory of his career.
Hovland and Morikawa had just left college at this time last year.
Hovland, the former U.S. Amateur champion from Norway, had eight birdies in his round of 66 and was two shots behind. Morikawa had to birdie the 18th for a 72.
Thomas figures it won’t be the first time they all play together.
“It’ll be fun to hang with those guys tomorrow, but at the end of the day I’m worried about myself and trying to win a golf tournament and have a good round,” he said.
Thomas was at 16-under 200. The final round will start early because of heavy storms in the forecast Sunday afternoon, with threesomes starting on both tees.
Morikawa had the lead for 31 straight holes.
KORN FERRY TOUR » Former Chico State standout Brandon Harkins shot his second straight 5-under 67 and sits tied for ninth place at 13-under 203 in the Challenge at the Canyons in San Antonio.
Harkins is six shots off the lead held by David Lipsky.
Another former Chico State Wildcat, Alistair Docherty, opened his tourney with a 71 and added a 70 on Friday to miss the cut on the number.
Justin Thomas reacts to missing his birdie putt on the 18th green during the third round of the Workday Charity Open on Saturday in Dublin, Ohio.