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After three days of action at the Fortinet Championship, Sahith Theegala has a two-shot lead at the top of the leaderboard. The American moved away from the rest of the pack on Saturday and now has an excellent chance of winning his first-ever PGA Tour event.
It has been a low-scoring affair at the Silverado Resort in California so far and there are still plenty of twists and turns to come on Sunday. Justin Thomas, a surprise inclusion in USA’s Ryder Cup team, has repaid the faith shown in him by Zach Johnson by playing well this week and could even win the tournament.
Fortinet Championship leaderboard
|Position||Name||Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Round 4||Total||Thru|
|1||Sahith Theegala (USA)||68||64||67||-17||F|
|T2||Cam Davis (AUS)||68||68||65||-15||F|
|T2||Justin Thomas (USA)||69||67||65||-15||F|
|T2||S.H. Kim (KOR)||65||67||69||-15||F|
|T5||Matt Kuchar (USA)||70||67||65||-14||F|
|T5||Eric Cole (USA)||68||66||68||-14||F|
|7||Callum Tarren (ENG)||68||69||67||-12||F|
|T8||Peter Malnati (USA)||71||68||66||-11||F|
Fortinet Championship third round highlights
Sahith Theegala edges closer to victory
After an impressive round of 64 on day two of the Fortinet Championship, Sahith Theegala followed it up with a 67 which has given him the outright lead in California. Going into Saturday, the 25-year-old only had a share of the lead with S.H Kim but he held his nerve better than his South Korean opponent on moving day at the championship.
Theegala’s round of 67 properly kicked into gear on the back nine after a disciplined front nine saw him find eight pars and one birdie. After the turn, though, Theegala was much more aggressive and shot four birdies in six holes from 12-17. His task will now be to keep or extend his lead on Sunday, but as someone who is yet to taste victory on the tour this will be easier said than done.
Solo leader Sahith Theegala! pic.twitter.com/bRJXJfHs4h
— GOLF.com (@GOLF_com) September 16, 2023
Justin Thomas continues to improve
Although Zach Johnson missed the cut this weekend at the Fortinet Championship, he will consider this a very successful week given the form of Justin Thomas over the first three days of action. Thomas has been in a slump recently but that didn’t stop Johnson from selecting him for his Ryder Cup team and that vote of confidence has clearly done the two-time major champion the world of good.
He has gotten progressively better over each day in California and his 65 on Saturday was as low as anyone in the field managed. Thomas found five birdies and an eagle on the par-five 15th and has moved into a tie for second on the leaderboard. He will play in the penultimate group on Sunday and the buzz of being back in contention for a win will do him the world of good ahead of the Ryder Cup in two weeks.
🚨Justin Thomas fires -7, 65 with his game looking ready for Rome 👀 pic.twitter.com/dMgpXYTazo
— NUCLR GOLF (@NUCLRGOLF) September 17, 2023
Callum Tarren climbs into contention
There isn’t much European interest in the event this week, mainly due to the fact that several European Ryder Cup players are competing at the BMW PGA Championship in London on the DP World Tour. Tarren is one Englishman who is playing in California, however, and the 32-year-old is giving a good account of himself.
Tarren was never really in consideration for the European Ryder Cup team but his performance this week has been impressive. He has been consistent throughout, carding 68, 69, and 67 over his three rounds. On Saturday, he didn’t drop a single shot over his 18 holes and found five birdies. He is five shots adrift of Theegala as things stand but a top-ten finish would represent a good week.
Max Homa fades away
Alongside Justin Thomas, Max Homa is the other member of the American Ryder Cup team to be playing this week in California. After two rounds, Homa was very much in with a shot of winning the tournament but a disappointing third round has all but ended those hopes.
Homa, who won this event last year, was all over the place on Saturday despite a lightning start. He opened up with five birdies over the opening seven holes but then bogeyed four further holes from there on out. He is currently on -10 and will purely be looking to put on a show in California on Saturday before the serious business of the Ryder Cup begins.
Fortinet Championship updated odds
- Sahith Theegala – 6/4
- Justin Thomas – 7/2
- Cameron Davis – 4/1
- S.H. Kim – 8/1
- Eric Cole – 10/1
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