Justin Thomas grabs share of CIMB Classic lead with Brendan Steele

Justin Thomas produced a tidy up-and-down from the back of the 18th green for birdie.

Reuters| Updated: Nov 01, 2015, 08:54 AM IST
Justin Thomas grabs share of CIMB Classic lead with Brendan Steele

Kuala Lumpur: American Justin Thomas produced a tidy up-and-down from the back of the 18th green for birdie to ensure he went in to Sunday`s (October 31) final round of the CIMB Classic tied for the lead with compatriot Brendan Steele.

Overnight leader Thomas, who flirted with a rare 59 before signing for an 11-under-par second round of 61, was again among the birdies on another day of low scores at the Kuala Lumpur Country Club, where preferred lies have been in use.

The 22-year-old seemed to lose momentum with bogey fives at the 12 and 16th but finished with two birdies in his third round of five-under-par 67 to sit on 20-under for the $7 million co-sanctioned Asian Tour event, the third of the new PGA Tour season.

Thomas is looking for his first win on the American circuit, while Steele has won just once, at the 2011 Texas Open, and blew a great opportunity two weeks ago when he shot a closing 76 after holding the third round lead at the Frys.com Open.

South Korean-born American Kevin Na has good memories of Malaysia after winning his first Asian Tour event in the country in 2002 and the 32-year-old put himself in position to notch another after a blistering 64 on Saturday.

That nine birdie effort left Na, who has finished second or tied in the opening two events of the campaign, one back of Thomas and Steele on 19-under.

Japan`s Hideki Matsuyama fired a 68 on Saturday to sit tied fourth on 17-under alongside American trio James Hahn (64), Brian Harman (66) and Spencer Levin (68), with former world number one Adam Scott (66) a further shot back on 16-under.