Thomas staying focused ahead of Illinois finish

Updated: 23/06/2024


Justin Thomas insists he has already put his course record performance behind him as he now focuses on title success.

World number 10 Justin Thomas (2/15 – Outright Winner) says he is not letting himself get carried away after opening up a six-shot lead at the BMW Championship courtesy of a new course record on Saturday.

Japanese ace Hideki Matsuyama had set a new course record on Friday after firing a brilliant nine-under-par 63 but that mark only stood for 24 hours as Thomas ripped up the Medinah venue on day three of the tournament.

The 26-year-old American, who has been absent from the winners’ circle since August last year, made eight birdies, two eagles and one bogey in a sensational 11-under-par 61 to move onto -21, six strokes clear of compatriots Tony Finau (16/1) and Patrick Cantlay (10/1).

Sunday will mark the 10th time Thomas, who only needed 22 putts during his third round, has held or shared the 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour – he has converted six of nine such leads into victories.

Victory in Illinois would also move the US star from 15th in the FedEx Cup standings to first, meaning he will start the season-ending Tour Championship at East Lake next week with a two-stroke advantage on -10.

Although in a dominant position heading into the final 18 holes, Thomas insists he still has a job to do and won’t be taking his eye off the ball.

“I felt good about my game for a while,” he was quoted as saying by “You don’t know when something like this is going to happen, a round like this. We’ve all been talking the last couple of weeks that I’m due to have one and it’s nice when it happens.

“At the end of the day, this round was great and awesome, but it’s over with and I need to go focus on tomorrow.”

Slovakian Rory Sabbatini (50/1) occupies fourth position on -14, seven shots off the pace, while Spaniard Jon Rahm (33/1) holds sole possession of fifth on -13.

If Thomas manages to post a score of 65 or better on Sunday, he would break Australian Marc Leishman’s 72-hole BMW Championship record, which currently stands at 261.

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