Thomas and Steele set for PGA Tour shootout in Malaysia

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 31, 2015 4:24 AM

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - 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 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 mixed eight birdies with three bogeys in his third round of five-under 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.

The 32-year-old Californian Steele was again solid on Saturday, firing a bogey free six-under 66. He hasn't dropped a shot since Thursday.

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.

(Writing by Patrick Johnston in Singapore; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)