Golf

St. Xavier graduate Justin Thomas in hunt at PGA's Travelers

Justin Thomas, a St. Xavier graduate who just finished up his sophomore season with national champion Alabama, shot his second straight 66 and is four shots off the lead at 6-under par after three rounds at the Travelers Championship on Saturday in Cromwell, Conn. Thomas birdied four straight holes — 12 through 15 after posting two birdies and two bogeys on the front nine.

"It's no different than any other tournament, I'm just trying to go out there and make as many birdies as I can," Thomas told The Hartford Courant. "Any time you shoot 4-under it's awesome."

Bubba Watson made three bogeys in his last six holes to help create a three-way tie for the lead. Watson, Graham DeLaet, who tied for the low round of the day with a 65, and Charley Hoffman were all at 10-under par heading into Sunday's final round at the TPC of River Highlands. Watson shot an even-par 70.

Justin Rose, less than a week after his U.S. Open victory, is 7-under par and in a tie for seventh place after a second straight 68.

Thomas told The Hartford Courant he is considering turning pro before his junior season.

"Eventually, yeah," Thomas said. "But the Walker Cup is in September and that's a huge goal of mine, that's my main goal for now so until then, I don't really know yet."

Thomas told the newspaper that he welcomes the competition of PGA Tour events.

"Just the depth of players is a lot better," Thomas said. "It's still a golf tournament, that's the thing. A lot of people, like my friends at home, think, and it is a huge deal, it's the best in the world. But at the end of the day it's still a tournament. I still got to make birdies to be up on the top of the leader board and if I don't I'm going to be on the bottom."

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