PGA: Davis Thompson pursuing first PGA Tour win at John Deere Classic

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There could be a first-time winner on the PGA Tour this weekend, but isn’t likely to come easy for some of the contenders.

Davis Thompson shot 9-under-par 62 to move into the lead in the John Deere Classic in Saturday’s third round at Silvis, Ill., seeking to secure his first victory on the PGA Tour after recent strong outings.

Thompson goes into Sunday’s final round at 21-under 192 with a two-stroke advantage on Eric Cole, who recorded a 64 with a strong late-round stretch, and England’s Aaron Rai, who posted 66.

Thompson said this is the type of position golfers want with one round to go. This is the first time he leads going to the final round in two years on the PGA Tour.

“There is a lot of losers every week out here,” he said. “You can have great weeks and finish top 10. At the end of the day your goal is to win the golf tournament.”

Thompson, who had bogey-free rounds Thursday and Saturday, might have to maintain the torrid pace at TPC Deere Run, where low scores have become the norm. The 62 matched the lowest round of Thompson’s career.

“It was just my day today,” Thompson said. “Hit a lot of good shots on the back nine and finished the round off well.”

Thompson, 25, is a former University of Georgia golfer seeking his first championship on the PGA Tour. Perhaps he’s due because he tied for second place last week at the Rocket Mortgage Classic and shared ninth place in the U.S. Open.

The tournament winner will take in $1.44 million.

Cole’s back nine included four birdies and an eagle on the par-5 17th hole. He’s also bidding for his first title on the PGA Tour.

Hayden Springer, who had an opening-round 59, was back in the groove after a challenging second round. He shot 66 and shares fourth place at 17 under with Taiwan’s C.T. Pan (68), who was the co-leader with Rai after two rounds. Pan’s only bogey Saturday came on the last hole.

With concerns about storms Sunday, golfers will be placed in threesomes and the Nos. 1 and 10 tees will be used for starting points for the final round.

It’s turning into another strong tournament for amateur Luke Clanton, who posted 67 on Saturday to move to 16 under. Clanton, who birdied No. 18 for the second day in a row, is tied for sixth place with J.J. Spaun (65) and Michael Thorbjornsen (66). Clanton chipped in on No. 15 among his highlights.

“This is unbelievable,” Clanton said. “I’m not going to lie. I’m still a little kid, basically watching these guys play golf. I kind of look up to these dudes.”

Clanton, a 20-year-old Florida State golfer, finished in a 10th-place tie at the Rocket Mortgage Classic shortly after making the cut in last month’s U.S. Open.
Thorbjornsen, 22, is in his third PGA Tour event of the year.

Jordan Spieth (63), the tournament’s 2013 and 2015 winner, had the second-best score Saturday before sitting in a tie for 12th place at 14 under.

“It was just a good solid round,” Spieth said. “No chip-ins, nothing spectacular, no crazy ones here or there.”

Yet the round was encouraging amid a stretch of mostly struggles for Spieth.

“If I can be as solid as I was (Saturday) and maybe catch a couple extra breaks, it would take something extremely flawless to have a chance,” he said.

Spieth, who was among the early groups, moved into a share of the lead by reaching 8 under for the round through 12 holes.

–Field Level Media

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