ATLANTA – Justin Thomas tied a career-high by making three putts from outside 25 feet on Sunday.
That’s the good news. Now the bad.
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He’s five shots back of 54-hole leader Dustin Johnson. Xander Schauffele shares second with Thomas.
Thomas shot 66 on Sunday thanks to that trio of long putts and a chip-in for eagle on the par-5 sixth hole. Schauffele shot 67. They both lost ground to Johnson.
He shot 64, matching the low round of the week, to pull away from the field. It appears that he’s on the verge of winning his first FedExCup.
Thomas is trying to join Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy as the only two-time winners of the FedExCup. This is Schauffele’s fourth season on TOUR. He’s on pace for his third top-3 finish in the FedExCup.
Thomas won the FedExCup in 2017, the same year Schauffele won the TOUR Championship and finished third in the standings to win the PGA TOUR’s Rookie of the Year Award. Schauffele was runner-up to McIlroy in last year’ FedExCup race.
Through the first two rounds of this year’s TOUR Championship, Thomas was last in the field in Strokes Gained: Putting. He missed all five of his attempts from 5-7 feet in the first two rounds. Thomas has won three times this season despite ranking 114th in Strokes Gained: Putting.
“I didn’t feel as bad as I guess my stats were showing,” he said Sunday. “I was awfully optimistic for being last in the field by a mile. That’s for sure. I don’t know why.”
Thomas also is optimistic that Johnson can be caught, even after his impressive play Sunday.
“DJ is clearly playing well. It wasn’t easy today. It’s still East Lake. But anything can happen around this course,” he said. “You can shoot 63 or 64 and you can shoot 73 or 74 very easily. I just need to hope that tomorrow is my 63 or 64.”