Justin Thomas has been a model of efficiency and consistency through three days of the 2020 Workday Charity Open. He leads at 15 under after 54 holes of bogey-free golf in which he has carved up Muirfield Village in pretty much every way possible.
Thomas has probably the best all-around game on the PGA Tour, and all of it was on display on Saturday when he shot a 6-under 66 to take over Collin Morikawa’s two-day lead and take control of a tournament that could turn out to be the 13th victory of his career. Let’s take a closer look at his round and what’s in store for Sunday as J.T. leads the pack into Round 4.
1. Justin Thomas (-16) — J.T. bent a shot into the par-5 15th hole on Saturday from 253 yards out that looked like it was going off the property based on how it came off the club. Instead, he had a 43-foot eagle putt. His ability to shape shots is astounding, and when you combine it with the rest of his tools, it’s easy to see why he’s one of the three best players in the world. Thomas went on to make birdie on that 15th hole, one of the 16 he’s made so far this week. And as unbeatable as Morikawa looked on the first two days, J.T. just kept his head down, kept doing his thing and let Morikawa come back to him. He reeled him, and now he leads him by three and Viktor Hovland by two. That’s problematic for the youngsters.
2. Viktor Hovland (-14) — For the second straight day, Hovland had an eagle putt at the par-4 14th. He drove the green in Round 3 with a 3-wood (it was a driver in Round 2) and made an easy birdie, one of eight on the day for him. The scary part here is that he hasn’t putted it at all yet. Hovland is crushing — as he normally does — from tee to green (he’s probably a top-three driver of the ball in the world), and the short game looks much improved. I’m thrilled to see what we get from him on Sunday, especially with J.T. in the same group and so much at stake.
3. Collin Morikawa (-13) — Tough day for Morikawa, tough day for me. I declared the tournament over multiple times on Friday when Morikawa was absolutely destroying the field, but he backed up a little bit on Saturday in Round 3. Through 44 holes he’d gained nearly 15 strokes on the field — a ridiculous number — but the trouble started at the par-4 9th hole where he missed a 4-foot putt and made his first bogey of the day. Two more followed over the next three holes as J.T. lapped him. Morikawa uncharacteristically struggled with his iron play, which likely won’t happen two days in a row. The important part is that he played his way into the final group on Sunday morning alongside Thomas and Hovland.
5. Sam Burns and T5. Ian Poulter, Rory Sabbatini (-10) — Poulter is first in the field this week in putting, which is probably unsustainable in the long term, but it’s given him a great 54-hole start to the week and put him in position for another nice finish. He’ll need something sizzling to catch Thomas, Morikawa or Hovland, but it’s still been a really impressive showing so far.
T8. Gary Woodland (-9) — Woodland switched drivers this week, and it’s working. He’s third in driving and in the top 10 on the leaderboard. His game is so perfectly suited for a place like Muirfield Village given his ability to hit so many different types of shots. I love watching him work the ball, and when the putter is hot like it was in the second and third rounds (top 10 on both days), he’ll almost always be on the leaderboard.
T8. Rickie Fowler, Chase Seiffert, Hideki Matsuyama, MJ Daffue (-9) — Fowler has gotten three strokes better every day. Even on Thursday, 3 under on Friday and 6 under on Saturday. Throw in his 69-67 on the weekend at the Detroit Golf Club last week, and all of a sudden his game is pointed in the right direction. Even more encouraging is the fact that he’s in the top 15 from tee to green this week in a field that’s better than last week’s field at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. He’s too far back to win, but he should be locked in for the Memorial next weekend.
CBS Sports was with you the entire way updating this story with the latest scores, updates and highlights from the Workday Charity Open below. Check out the live scores at the top of this story or a more detailed leaderboard.
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