Justin Thomas In Contention At The Players Championship
Justin Thomas will head into the final round of the Players Championship sitting just three strokes behind the leader, Lee Westwood, and will be in contention for the win when he tees off at 12:40 CT on Sunday afternoon.
After shooting a sluggish -2 total through the first two rounds, Thomas barely made the cut for the weekend. On Saturday, also known as “moving day” in golf, Thomas started out hot with birdies on each of his first four holes. After pin-seeking the first four holes, Thomas pulled his second shot way left at the par four 5th hole. Thomas was then able to salvage a bogey at the 5th, and after an easy par at the 6th, Thomas was able to get his rhythm back with a chip-in birdie at the 7th.
Thomas would start off hot on the back nine with birdies on 10 and 11 and would continue his historic day with pars on the following four holes, which the rest of the field seemed to struggle with.
Now -6 on the day, Thomas walked up to the par five 16th hole hoping for an eagle to inch a little closer to the (then) lead. Thomas roped his tee shot 303 yards right into the middle of the fairway which set up his second shot perfectly. With a 6-iron in hand, Thomas pinned a shot from about 204 yards out to just seven inches from the hole. An easy tap-in eagle gave Thomas sole possession of the lead at the time at -10 for the tournament.
At the 2013 Players Championship, Martin Kaymer tied the course record when he shot a final-round -9. On the 18th green, Thomas had about a 30ft birdie putt to tie the course record. Thomas just rimmed out the putt to tap-in for par and finished -8 on the day and -10 for the tournament.
Later in the day, Lee Westwood would regain the lead at -13 with Bryson DeChambeau not far behind at -11. The Alabama alumn still has work to do if he wants to hoist a trophy on Sunday night but after Saturday’s historic round, Thomas has as good a chance as anybody to win at the historic TPC Sawgrass this year.
Thomas has really struggled this year, especially after the passing of his grandfather just moments before he tee’d off at the Waste Management Open a few weeks back. This would be the biggest win for Thomas since 2017 when he hoisted the Wanamaker Trophy at the PGA Championship.