Justin Thomas fired a two-under-par 70 in windy conditions to share the lead with fellow American Scott Brown after the third round of the CJ Cup on Saturday in Jeju, South Korea.
Thomas offset a lone double bogey and a bogey with five birdies to reach the clubhouse at nine-under 207.
“I know for a fact I played better today than I did on Thursday when I shot a nine under,” Thomas said. “It’s just so hard out there. I’ve never played in a place where the wind swirls as much as it does here.”
Brown had back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 10 and 11 but recovered with two birdies on the back nine for a 71.
“It was playing tough today,” Brown said. “Just kind of grounded it out, not a lot of birdies to be made. I just made some clutch up-and-downs to kind of keep the round going.”
Anirban Lahiri of India moved into a share of third place with Australian Marc Leishman (71) after a 69 that included four birdies and a bogey.
Whee Kim (70) was the highest placed of the 16 South Korean players in the field, tied for fifth after a 72.
Overnight leader Luke List struggled with the conditions and fell into a tie for eighth place after a 76. List had three bogeys on the front nine and a pair of double bogeys on the back nine.
Jason Day also struggled with the wind, carding a 71 to be tied for 16th at three-under 213.
Ji takes six-shot lead at Taiwan Championship
Eun-Hee Ji carded a three-under 69 to open up a six-stroke lead after the third round of the Taiwan Championship in Taipei. Ji, who shared the overnight lead with Jenny Shin, recovered from a bogey on the par-four 5th with four birdies for a total of 10-under 206.
Lydia Ko carded seven birdies against a bogey and a double bogey for a 68 and is tied for second with Shin at four-under 212. Shin had three bogeys on her way to a 75.
Cristie Kerr shot a 70 and was tied for fourth in a group that included Brittany Altomare (75).
Langer matches course record at Champions event
Bernhard Langer matched the course record with a nine-under 63 to take a three-stroke lead in the Dominion Energy Charity Classic, the first event in the PGA Tour Champions’ Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs.
Seeking an unprecedented fifth Schwab Cup and fourth in a row, the 60-year-old Langer leads the season standings and has a tour-high five victories this season. Langer had nine birdies in his second straight bogey-free round to reach 14-under 130 on The Country Club of Virginia’s James River Course in Richmond.
Vijay Singh was second after a 63 of his own. Joe Durant (67) was 10 under, and Michael Allen (64) and Scott Verplank (66) were 9 under.
The event is the first of three in the playoffs. The playoff field will be cut to 54 for the PowerShares QQQ Championship next week in Thousand Oaks, California, and the top 36 will advance to the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Phoenix.
Garcia has one-stroke lead in Spain
Tournament host Sergio Garcia will take a one-shot lead into the final round of the Andalucia Valderrama Masters after shooting a three-under 68. The Spaniard had six birdies and three bogeys to reach eight under for the tournament, just ahead of English golfer Daniel Brooks, who shot a seven-under 64 for the best round of the week.
Garcia is trying to win his second title at Real Club Valderrama. He won the Andalucia Masters at this venue in 2011. On Friday, he was awarded an honorary lifetime membership by the European Tour in recognition of his U.S. Masters win in April.
Joost Luiten of the Netherlands, who led after the second round, shot an even-par 71 and was two shots behind Garcia. Scott Jamieson of Scotland (71) and Jamie Donaldson of Wales (68) were three shots off the lead heading into Sunday’s final round in Sotogrande, Spain.