(Photo credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports)
Sahith Theegala carded a 5-under-par 67 on Saturday to maintain his spot atop the leaderboard after three rounds of the Fortinet Championship in Napa, Calif.
That round met with Theegala's approval, even with a pair of golfers hot on his heels and some admitted trouble keeping it on the fairway.
"It went well," Theegala said. "I really stayed patient at the start of the round. The big key for me is just try to keep it in the fairway, which I haven't done a great job last three days and I feel like I'm just scrambling my butt off a little bit, which feels like a good thing because I feel like if I'm in the fairway, it almost feels like a bonus."
Theegala turned in a clean card, posting five birdies in his final 11 holes. The birdie to kick things off, on Hole 8, stood out to the California native.
"To make birdie on 8 was big just to see one kind of drop and reassure that, yeah, I am putting well and hitting my lines; the speed feels good," he said.
Theegala sits at 17-under 199, holding a two-stroke lead over three golfers, including Justin Thomas and Cam Davis, who fired matching 65s. South Korean S.H. Kim is also tied for second at 15 under after his 69.
Thomas matched Theegala with a bogey-free round, carding five birdies to go with an eagle on the par-5 15th hole.
That round represented what Thomas felt was a turnaround from a slow start (69 in Round 1), but still not yet what he thinks he's capable of.
"I feel like I didn't play well Thursday," Thomas said. "I just felt like I was not very sharp today in terms of my actual golf game. ... I mean, that's more encouraging than anything. I think that's better than going out there and playing great and, you know, not missing a shot and shooting 7 under or 6 under even. To me, being in contention with I feel like the golf that I've had this week is more encouraging than anything."
Matt Kuchar also shot 65 to climb into a tie for fifth with Eric Cole, who finished with a 68. The pair are three shots off the lead at 14 under.
"Listen, I love playing, love having a chance to compete," Kuchar said. "Being out here at Silverado's a fantastic resort, fantastic golf course. This is one that regardless of where on the schedule it is I'm likely to find myself here."
England's Callum Tarren is alone in seventh place after shooting a 5-under 67, leaving him five shots behind the leader.
Three golfers are tied for eighth, a stroke behind Tarren at 11 under for the tournament: Peter Malnati (6-under 66), France's Martin Trainer (4-under 68), and Robby Shelton (4-under 68).
--Field Level Media