Golf

Thomas leads by two but wary of Matsuyama

Justin Thomas shot a six-under 67 yesterday morning (Singapore time) to seize sole possession of the lead at the US PGA Tournament of Champions.

Thomas was at 18-under 201 after firing his third straight 67 heading into this morning's final round at the Plantation Course in Kapalua, Hawaii.

The 23-year-old American had a two-shot lead over the hottest player in the game, Japan's Hideki Matsuyama (66), who is seeking his fifth win in his last six tournaments worldwide.

Asked what it is going to take to win this morning, Thomas said: "I am not sure. That is the thing, you don't know what everyone else is going to do.

"So saying that, I just need to go out and keep doing what I am doing. It is nice to be able to put yourself in an opportunity in the first event of the year."

Second-round co-leader Ryan Moore was tied for third at 14-under with fellow Americans Jimmy Walker and William McGirt.

World No. 1 Jason Day of Australia has his work cut out for him as he was tied for 13th at 10-under following a three-under 70.

Matsuyama, who briefly held the lead in the second round, birdied all four par-fives yesterday morning.

His eight total birdies included five in a seven-hole stretch starting at the par-five ninth.

HOT FORM

"Hideki is the hottest golfer in the world right now. I am glad he had some time off or I wouldn't like my chances going into tomorrow," said Thomas.

"But he is playing great so it is going to be a great test."

Defending champion Jordan Spieth fired a three-under 70 to sit in 19th place alone at 211, 10 strokes back of Thomas.

Spieth said he has seen big improvements in Thomas' game.

"As a young player on Tour, you have to manage the golf course better than you had to before. He has also learned how to close tournaments out and win," he said. - AFP

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