May 17 - 23, 2021 The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort
PGA Championship - Round Three

The World No. 1 birdied six of the first 10 holes, but finished the round just 2-under

Justin Thomas shot 59 in front of Jordan Spieth at the Sony Open three years ago.

He looked like he was going to post something special again in a pairing with his boyhood pal Saturday at the PGA Championship, but the world No. 1 ended the day frustrated he couldn’t keep his blistering start going.

Thomas birdied five of the first seven holes at TPC Harding Park, including four in a row, beginning at the fourth, but he walked off the 18th green raking his hands through his hair in exasperation.

“That was really disappointing to finish the way I did today,” Thomas said. “I felt like being 5 under through seven holes I could have shot 62 or 63 and just kind of posted and watched the guys play.

“It’s a bummer. I potentially cost myself a chance to win this thing today, but who knows what will happen.”

Despite birdies at six of the first 10 holes, Thomas signed for just a 2-under-par 68, a good score given the stiffening crosswinds on the back nine, but not what he wanted after that start.

At 1 under overall, Thomas was seven shots behind the leader as he walked to scoring, with Haotong Li still more than two hours from teeing off, and with Thomas knowing tough conditions could make his 68 look a lot better at day’s end than it did when he posted his score.

Thomas, 27, winner of the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow, knows how to go low in majors. He shot a record-tying 63 in the third round of the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills.

He was asked what scoring conditions the leaders could expect Saturday afternoon.

“I hope it blows like crazy for that finish I had,” he said. “I need all the help I can get.”

How tough was TPC Harding Park playing?

Spieth shot 76. He arrived looking to give himself a chance at completing the career Grand Slam at just 27, but he never got it going after bogeys at the first two holes.

“This isn’t a course where you can kind of keep your foot on the gas and shoot 9, 10 under par, but I also had the opportunity,” Thomas said.

Thomas began the day tied for 60th, but he moved within four shots of the lead with that hot start, into a tie for 16th before cooling off.

Thomas hurt himself with his finishes on the front and back nines. He bogeyed the eighth and ninth holes, and then bogeyed two of the last three holes.

"I let a really good round go, and really had a great opportunity to put myself in a good position going into tomorrow," Thomas said. "I just didn't capitalize on the back nine.”

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