Jacksonville Sports Day

DeChambeau, Thomas Look to Catch Westwood at the 2021 Players Championship

PONTE VEDRA BEACH – Justin Thomas shined in the third round of the Players Championship on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass.

He shot 8-under-par 64—the best score of the tournament—to move up up the leaderboard and into contention to win his first Players.

His rounds of 71-71-64 have him at 10 under and on the first page of the leaderboard, three shots out of the lead set by Lee Westwood. Westwood recorded a 68 on Saturday to open a two-stroke lead on Bryson DeChambeau going into Sunday’s final round.

“Westy is a fierce competitor and I look forward to the challenge, again, with him,” said DeChambeau. “His driving is impeccable; his iron play is impeccable, and he makes putts when he needs to. Fortunately for me last week I was able to get the job done and I think tomorrow is going to be an incredible battle.”

Thomas’s 64 was the round of the day. The former US PGA champion was dropped by Ralph Lauren after using a homophobic slur mid-round in Hawaii at the start of 2021, and the recent death of his grandfather possibly affecting his mindset.

“I have definitely been better,” he said earlier in the week. “But at the same time, it’s a good opportunity for me to try to grow and learn and get stronger because of it. I think it’s kind of put a lot of things in perspective, and unfortunately for my golf, it’s taken a toll on that a little bit.”

Thomas started with birdies at his first four and capped his round on No. 16 when he hit a 204-yard shot to 7 inches. He closed 3-4 and had two putts at tying the course record of 63.

“I’ve had definitely my fair share of lows this season and a lot of stuff going on mentally that I felt like I’ve never had to deal with and maybe taking things for granted or just not enjoying the game,” he said. “Being irritable, being frustrated, emotional on the golf course is not good for me.”

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