Kuala Lumpur – Justin Thomas birdied the final two holes to finish with a 5-under 67 at the CIMB Classic on Saturday and a share of the lead with American compatriot Brendan Steele at the PGA Tour’s Malaysian event.
Second-round leader Thomas had an eventful round of eight birdies and three bogeys at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club to reach 20-under 196, level with Steele, who had a bogey-free 66.
They were a shot clear of last year’s runner-up Kevin Na, who had the equal-best round of the day with a 64.
With only four strokes separating the top nine players, including former No 1 Adam Scott, and the course offering plenty of opportunities to pick up strokes, a close finish looms on Sunday.
Leading third-round scores in the $7 million CIMB Classic at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club on Saturday:
196 – Justin Thomas (USA) 68-61-67, Brendan Steele (USA) 67-63-66
197 – Kevin Na (USA) 67-66-64
199 – James Hahn (USA) 70-65-64, Brian Harman (USA) 70-63-66, Hideki Matsuyama (JPN) 65-66-68, Spencer Levin (USA) 67-64-68
200 – Adam Scott (AUS) 68-66-66, Scott Piercy (USA) 62-69-69
202 – David Lingmerth (SWE) 73-65-64, Patrick Reed (USA) 68-68-66, Ryan Moore (USA) 67-69-66, Stewart Cink (USA) 68-64-70
203 – Cameron Triangle (USA) 70-68-65, Alex Cejka (GER) 66-71-66
204 – Tony Finau (USA) 71-67-66, Anirban Lahiri (IND) 70-67-67, Jim Herman (USA) 70-66-68, Jason Gore (USA) 66-68-70
205 – Charles Howell III (USA) 66-72-67, Paul Peterson (USA) 70-67-68