Schauffele, Thomas on top again at Sentry Tournament of Champions
By now we’ve become accustomed to seeing Xander Schauffele and Justin Thomas dominate at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. Each young stud has won at Kapaula in recent years.
But this year, it’s both of them. Schauffele and Thomas are duking it out on the newly revamped Plantation Course, multiple shots clear of the field thru 54 holes.
Schauffele is out front for the second straight day after a 2-under 71. Even par thru 13 holes Saturday, Schauffele had lost the lead to Thomas, to began the day hot. Thomas stormed to the top of the leaderboard with five birdies on his front nine to turn in 31. He closed softly, though, shooting over par on the back nine to finish at 10 under for the week. He’s one back of Schauffele and will play alongside him Sunday.
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These two have tussled in the past, most notably at the 2017 Tour Championship, where Schauffele beat Thomas by one despite a Sunday charge from Thomas at East Lake. He won the large consolation prize called the FedEx Cup.
As former champions at the Sentry, both players were among the favorites to win this week, and both excelled at the Presidents Cup in Australia last month. Playing against a limited field of contestants, the focus has been on them most of the week. A hefty group is right behind them.
Gary Woodland is alone at 8 under par, but SEVEN different players are 7 under thus far, including three young players playing the event for the first time: Joaquin Niemann, Matthew Wolff and Collin Morikawa. On a course that has seen plenty of wind and plenty of rain, and which is playing more difficult than it has in recent years, all of them are in contention for the final round.
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