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Thomas and Rahm poised for Sunday shootout at Zozo Championship

World number three Thomas and world number two Rahm are locked in battle at the top.

Thomas finished birdie-birdie-par to take the lead.
Thomas finished birdie-birdie-par to take the lead.
Image: Marcio Jose Sanchez

WORLD NUMBER THREE Justin Thomas birdied two of the last three holes to overtake leader Jon Rahm after Saturday’s third round of the US PGA Zozo Championship.

Thomas fired a five-under par 67 to move to 19-under at Sherwood Country Club and edge ahead of Spain’s Rahm, who is on 18-under after his Saturday 63, with Lanto Griffin a further shot back in third.

“I can’t exactly go out and try to protect a lead,” Thomas said. “I’ve got to go out and build it. I need to play my game. I can’t do anything about everyone else.”

Thomas, the 2017 PGA Championship winner, is chasing his 14th career tour title and his third of the year after the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii in January and the WGC St. Jude Invitational in August.

“I’ve been here a couple times and I have been successful,” Thomas said. “I’ll be able to draw on those past experiences tomorrow.”

Standing in his way will be Rahm, who will overtake absent Dustin Johnson for world number one with a solo second-place finish or better.

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“The course is gettable and lucky for me I started on fire,” Rahm said. “I was able to make a few putts and I was able to keep it going.”

“Somebody is going to come out tomorrow and shoot low,” Rahm said. “They have nothing to lose. I’m going to come out and try to do the same thing tomorrow.”

Rory McIlroy is 10 shots off the lead and tied for 36th after he finished with a disappointing double bogey at the last to drop back to nine-under.

© – AFP, 2020

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