Justin Thomas erupts, cards 11-under to surge ahead Saturday at BMW Championship

Ryan YoungYahoo Sports Contributor
Justin Thomas carded eight birdies and two eagles on Saturday to capture the lead at the BMW Championship. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Justin Thomas carded eight birdies and two eagles on Saturday to capture the lead at the BMW Championship. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Justin Thomas took full advantage of Moving Day at the Medinah Country Club and pushed himself miles ahead of the rest of the field with 18 holes to go in the penultimate PGA Tour event of the season.

Thomas fired an 11-under 61 on Saturday at the BMW Championship, thanks to eight birdies and a pair of eagles on the back nine. He now leads the field by six strokes.

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Thomas got his day started outside of Chicago with five consecutive birdies en route to a 31 on his front side. Then, after an eagle on No. 10 and a chip-in birdie on No. 14, Thomas holed out on No. 16 from the middle of the fairway for a second eagle.

Thomas followed up that eagle with another birdie on No. 17.

A par on No. 18 sealed the 30 on the back nine to secure his third-round 61, tying the lowest 18-hole score ever recorded at the course. It also marked Thomas’ fourth-career 61 or better on Tour, his first since the 2015 season.

Thomas, 26, is still searching for his first win on Tour this season, one that has been shortened due to a lingering wrist injury. He got off to a great start, recording four top-10 finishes before March, though fell off after The Masters. Thomas didn’t play in a single event in May, and then missed two of his next four cuts after returning from the wrist injury in June.

Now, after top-15 finishes in his past three events, Thomas is peaking at the right time.

“It was pretty easy to feel sorry for myself, but I knew that I was going to come back and if I did everything and got healthy then I could play some good golf the rest of the year,” Thomas said. “We’ve put in a lot of work to do so.”

Thomas entered the BMW Championship at No. 15 in the FedExCup standings, though is now projected to lead the field entering next week’s Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta.

Despite his massive lead, Thomas isn’t changing his mindset one bit.

“You can’t try to hang on … I can’t worry about what other guys are doing. I do understand that guys are going to be able to go low, but I just need to go out and play my game and play how we’ve been playing the last couple of days and the last couple weeks and try to shoot another good round.”

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