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Matsuyama tracking PGA Tour win, Thomas in Hawaii

Final Round — PGA TOUR — SBS Tournament of Champions – Kapalua Resort Plantation Course – Hawaii — 

Justin Thomas (18-under) holds a two-shot advantage against Hideki Matsuyama through 54 holes at the PGA Tour’s SBS Tournament of Champions.

With rounds of 67-67-67, Thomas enters the final round in great position and confidence with a win last fall at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia. The problem? His closest challenge is Matsuyama, who is the hottest player in the world, coming with four victories in his last six worldwide starts and now sits at No. 6 in the Official World Golf Rankings.

Matsuyama was the betting favorite coming into Hawaii at just 5-to-1, according to Golfodds.com. The site listed Thomas at 15-1. Mats carded a 66 Saturday in round three and has improved his score each day in Hawaii. The rising star from Japan was also T-3 here in Hawaii in 2015 finishing just a shot back.

While the focus will be Matsuyama and Thomas (22nd in the world rankings), look for Jimmy Walker and Ryan Moore to have a chance to impact the day. Walker, who led after round one, has Top 10s here in his appearances, while Moore made a late run in the fall season. Both were 25-1 picks on the betting circuit to start the week.

Hideki Matsuyama current official PGA TOUR headshot
(Photo by: Chris Condon/PGA TOUR) *** Local Caption *** Hideki Matsuyama

Look for Matsuyama’s swagger to edge out a victory and perhaps displace Jordan Spieth in the Top 5 of the world rankings.

Other Golf News:

  • Dustin Johnson, 3rd in the world rankings, is T-8 in Hawaii through three rounds. He won at Kapalua in 2013.
  • Strong showings through three rounds in Hawaii for Americans Patrick Reed and Jason Dufner. Both are in the Top 10 with 18 holes to play. Reed, 8th in the world rankings, won the title in 2015 and was second last season to Spieth.
  • The biggest payout available on the betting side might be William McGirt. At T-3 and 14-under, he is four back but crazier things have happened in golf. He opened the week at 80-1.
  • The PGA Tour hosts its first full-field event of 2017 next week at the Sony Open in Honolulu, Hawaii.