On Saturday Justin Thomas shot his third straight round of 67 at Kapalua to lead the Tournament of Champions by two strokes.
The young American drove the green on the par-four 14th and then boxed the 12-foot putt for an eagle two. He then birdied the 18th to sign for six under par 67 on the par-73 island track.
Thomas has made two bogeys in 54 holes this week and finished the third round at 18 under par, two strokes ahead of Hideki Matsuyama.
‘If I’m near Hideki in the tournament, that’s usually a pretty good thing on Sunday,’ said Thomas. ‘He’s obviously a tremendous player…the fact he’s won four of his last five. But there’s a lot of great players out there. I just need to go take care of my job.’
Matsuyama had rounds of 69, 68, 66 at Kapalua this week to make Sunday in the pairing. The Japanese wunderkind made waves at the end of 2016 and has picked up on the same note in Hawaii.
He remained conscious of the job at hand.
‘Justin doesn’t have any weaknesses at all in his game,’ said Matsuyama. ‘He hits it long, has a marvelous short game, putts well, hits the ball well. We’ve got to go low tomorrow to be able to catch him.’