NAPA, Calif. — Justin Thomas continued up the leaderboard Saturday on the Fortinet Championship with a 7-under 65 that matched the perfect rating of the day and moved the previous No. 1 participant inside two photographs of chief Sahith Theegala.
Theegala, searching for his first PGA Tour victory, had 4 birdies on the again 9, then holed a 9-footer for par on No. 18 for a 67 and a 17-under 199 complete.
Cam Davis birdied his final 4 holes for a 65 to hitch Thomas and S.H. Kim (69) at 15 underneath. Kim had shared the lead with Theegala heading into the third spherical at Silverado Resort, however needed to scramble after consecutive bogeys on the again 9.
Thomas had 5 birdies and holed out of a bunker for eagle on the par-5 fifteenth.
A member of the U.S. Ryder Cup staff, Thomas says his sport nonetheless is not as sharp as he’d desire, however is inspired that he is scoring and in rivalry on the first cease on the FedEx Fall schedule.
“I simply felt like I used to be not very sharp right this moment by way of my precise golf sport,” Thomas stated. “Felt like I had a handful of wedges that I ought to have hit nearer, a pair putts that I really feel like I may have hit a little bit bit higher, and I shot 7 underneath. To me, being in rivalry with I really feel just like the golf that I’ve had this week is extra encouraging than something.”
With a big throng of followers following him across the course, Theegala was erratic off the tee and was additionally compelled to do quite a lot of scrambling. He was 1 underneath for the day via 11 holes then made back-to-back birdies on Nos. 12 and 13 to maneuver right into a tie with Kuchar and Thomas. He took the lead alone with birdies on the par-5 fifteenth and par-3 seventeenth.
“I actually stayed affected person initially of the spherical,” Theegala stated. “The massive key for me is simply attempt to preserve it within the fairway, which I have never achieved an amazing job the final three days and I really feel like I am simply scrambling. I really feel like if I am within the fairway, it is nearly seems like a bonus.”
Two-time defending champion Max Homa (70) was tied for eleventh at 10 underneath.
Kuchar drew probably the most consideration following his finest spherical of the event. The 45-year-old had 4 birdies on the again 9 together with a chip-in out of the quick tough on No. 17. Kuchar closed his day with an extended putt for par on No. 18, drawing loud cheers and chants of “Kuch! Kuch!” from the gang.
Kuchar had his finest day of the event off the tee, hitting eight of 14 fairways which led to him attending to the greens for simpler putts.
“This course is taking part in agency and quick, and when it is that method stopping the ball on the inexperienced making an attempt to get a ball to cease near the opening, it is robust,” Kuchar stated. “For probably the most half it requires you round right here to be within the fairway and attempt to be aggressive. I discovered quite a lot of fairways right this moment.”