Thomas makes an ace, takes the lead in Mexico
Justin Thomas made a hole-inone and surged into the lead with a 5-under-par 66 on a Saturday of high entertainment in the Mexico Championship in Mexico City.
Thomas hit a 6-iron from 239 yards that one-hopped into the cup on the par-3 13th. He added a pair of birdies that gave him a one-stroke lead over Dustin Johnson, with Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy right behind.
Such a world-class leader board should have been enough to delight the crowd at Chapultepec Golf Club. There was so much more. Johnson, in his debut at No. 1 in the world, was tied for the lead when his second shot on the 16th got stuck in a tree. He walked back to the original spot and hit the next one to 15 feet, and the ball fell out of the tree as he was walking to the green. He made the putt to salvage a bogey and shot a 66.
Mickelson didn’t hit a fairway on the back nine until the 16th hole and at one point took as many drops as he had birdies. Lefty managed to make three straight birdies until closing with a bogey for a wild round of 68.
He was two strokes behind, along with McIlroy, who didn’t make a birdie over his last seven holes and shot a 70.
At nearly 7,800 feet of elevation, the final round figures to be up in the thin air. That might even include Jordan Spieth, who set the course record with an 8-under 63 and was among a dozen players within five shots of the lead.
It starts with Thomas, the 23year-old who already has three victories in this PGA Tour wraparound season, two of them at the start of the year in Hawaii. He was hanging around the leaders when he made his hole-in-one on the 13th.
LPGA TOUR: Michelle Wie shot a 5-under 67 to lead the HSBC Women’s Champions tournament by two strokes after the third round in Singapore.
The American followed up rounds of 66 and 69 to reach 14-under 202 and lead an LPGA event after 54 holes for the first time since she won the 2014 U.S. Open.
Top-ranked Lydia Ko birdied the last hole for a 67 to end the day in a three-way tie for second. She was joined by last year’s British Open champion Ariya Jutanugarn (69) and the big-hitting Park Sung-Hyun (68).
Rio Olympic gold medalist Inbee Park shot a 71 to finish three shots behind Wie and tied with the defending champion Ha Na Jang (68).
EUROPEAN TOUR: Alexander Bjork and Scott Jamieson will fight it out again as they retained a share of the lead heading toward the final round of the Tshwane Open.
The second-round co-leaders were still top of the leader board after 54 holes, both moving to 13-under 200 at Pretoria Country Club in the South African capital.
Bjork and Jamieson carded 68s and birdied their last hole to open a one-stroke lead over Jorge Campillo and Dean Burmester.