Thomas keeps clean card, lead

For­mer Chico State star Harkins sits in top 10 at Korn Ferry Tour event

Enterprise-Record (Chico) - - SPORTS -

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.

DARRON CUM­MINGS — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

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.

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