3 things you should know after Round 3 at the Workday Charity Open
The leader hasn’t made a bogey. The leader has made 16 birdies. Golf is difficult, but understanding why the leader is leading is not. Here are three things you should know after the third round of the Workday Charity Open, the first of back-to-back events at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio.
Justin Thomas leads
Of course, 16 birdies and zero bogeys is easier written than done. Justin Thomas has managed to make it look easier, too.
Four birdies and no bogeys during the first round. Six birdies and no bogeys during the second round. Six birdies and no bogeys during Saturday’s third round.
Thomas’ birdie on 11, on an 18-foot putt, gave him a one-stroke lead. He built his advantage with birdies on 14 and 15, and he finished with a 6-under 66 for a two-shot lead over Viktor Hovland and a three-shot lead over Collin Morikawa.
Thomas was asked after the round the last time he was bogey free.
“Last time I was bogey-free? No, I’ve done that many times,” Thomas said. “But I’ve never won the tournament. I’d rather win the tournament than go bogey-free.”
Several are close to the lead
Where Thomas has been steady, Hovland has been unsteady. Over three rounds, he’s made eight bogeys. He’s also made 20 birdies and an eagle, including eight on Saturday to sit two strokes behind Thomas.
Morikawa, the second-round leader, shot an ever-par 72. Sam Burns and Kevin Streelman are five shots behind Thomas, and Ian Poulter and Rory Sabbatini are six strokes back.
Morikawa falls out of the lead
Bogeys on 9 and 10 cost Morikawa, the first- and second-round leader.
On 9, he took three shots from within 16 feet for bogey – he chipped to within 4 feet, then two-putted from there. On 10, he sliced his tee shot into the trees, was able to get within pitching distance on his second shot, but could not get up and down.
Morikawa did drop a 15-footer for birdie on the 18th for his 72.
“It was really up and down,” he said. “I put myself in spots you couldn’t put yourself in. … Couldn’t really figure out wind directions, how much to adjust. But whole new day tomorrow and kind of glad I fought it out through even par and got myself three back, so that can change really quickly tomorrow.”