ZOZO Championship 2020: Justin Thomas Holds 1-Stroke Lead After Round 3

ZOZO Championship 2020: Justin Thomas Holds 1-Stroke Lead After Round 3

Justin Thomas hits from the second tee during the third round of the Zozo Championship golf tournament Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Thousand Oaks, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Justin Thomas remains atop the leaderboard at the 2020 ZOZO Championship with a 54-hole score of 19 under par.

Thomas followed up his consecutive rounds of 65 with a five-under 67 on Saturday.

Jon Rahm vaulted up 20 spots with a 63, tied with Russell Henley for the lowest score of the day. He’s alone in second place at 18 under overall.

Thomas has little margin for error with 14 players sitting at 14 under or better.

Here’s the top of the leaderboard following the third round of the ZOZO Championship:

1. Justin Thomas (-19)

2. Jon Rahm (-18)

3. Lanto Griffin (-17)

T4. Sebastian Munoz (-16)

T4. Ryan Palmer (-16)

T4. Patrick Cantlay (-16)

Full leaderboard at PGATour.com

Thomas had his most erratic round of the tournament as he was moving into the lead. The 27-year-old only hit 69.2 percent of fairways, but he made up for it with an excellent short game. He gained 1.82 strokes putting Saturday.

This 27-foot putt on No. 17 gave Thomas the lead:

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Finding another gear. 📈

@JustinThomas34 for the lead!

#QuickHits https://t.co/pkT3zffyfq

Looking ahead to his hopes for leaving Sherwood Country Club with a win, Thomas has converted 54-hole leads into victories eight times in his career thus far:

Justin Ray @JustinRayGolf

Justin Thomas leads by 1 entering the final round of the @PGATOUR Zozo Championship.

Thomas is 8-for-13 converting 54-hole leads/co-leads into wins on the PGA Tour.

Most 54-hole leads on PGA Tour since 2015:
DJ, 15
JT, 14
Spieth, 13
Day, 10

Rahm will be hoping to make this the sixth time that Thomas doesn’t win after leading entering the final round. He put together back-to-back rounds under par for the first time since the Tour Championship.

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

✅ Bogey-free
✅ 13/13 Fairways
✅ Tied for the lead

It was that kind of day for @JonRahmpga. 👏 https://t.co/e3H3iMooan

PGA TOUR Communications @PGATOURComms

Jon Rahm cards a 9-under 63 in round three @zozochamp, his fifth score of 63 or better in his PGA TOUR career.

Saturday marked Rahm’s best single-round score since the third round of the WGC-Mexico Championship in February. His last tournament win was at the Memorial in July.

Lanto Griffin looked like he was going to at least end Saturday tied for the lead. The California native opened the third round with four consecutive birdies. He added two more birdies on Nos. 10 and 14, but his tee shot on the par-three 15th landed in the water in front of the green.

Griffin hit his second bogey of the day on No. 18. He put himself in a bad spot when his first two shots landed in the rough, causing him to take a drop. The 32-year-old did salvage bogey to close it out, but it did put a damper on what was an otherwise strong round.

Moving further down the leaderboard, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are going to end the tournament playing in the same group. Both players are at three under heading into the final round.

Justin Ray @JustinRayGolf

Most rounds grouped with Tiger on PGA Tour:
Els, 38
Mickelson, 38 (including tomorrow)
Vijay Singh, 32
Mark O’Meara, 27
Furyk, 26

Mickelson got to three under with a 67 on Saturday. It was his first time breaking par this weekend. Woods followed up his 66 in the second round with a one-under 71.

The final group of Thomas, Rahm and Griffin will tee off at 2:50 p.m. ET on Sunday.

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