Justin Thomas takes third round lead as Jon Rahm fires 61

Rory McIlroy’s round of 68 leaves him four strokes off the lead at WGC-Mexico

Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy during the third round of the World Golf Championships - Mexico Championship. Photograph: Rob Carr/Getty Images

Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy during the third round of the World Golf Championships - Mexico Championship. Photograph: Rob Carr/Getty Images

 

Spain’s Jon Rahm fired a career-best 61 — which included a hole-in-one — to charge up the leaderboard at the WGC-Mexico Championship, where Justin Thomas will take a one-shot lead into the final round.

Rahm had started the third round 10 strokes off the lead on one under at Chapultepec Golf Club.

However, a blistering start saw the 25-year-old make birdies on six of the opening seven holes, with a bogey at eight seeing him go into the turn at 30.

The Spaniard built momentum again as he picked up three more shots heading into the final two holes and hole a superb ace on the 158-yard par-three 17th, where his tee-shot took one bounce before finding the hole to cap a remarkable round.

Rahm’s 61 was a course record at Chapultepec, the lowest round of his own European Tour career and the joint-lowest round in the history of the World Golf Championships.

The reigning Race to Dubai Champion, Rahm is four shots off the lead - alongside world number one Rory McIlroy and Bryson DeChambeau, who had been top after the second round.

Jon Rahm shot a third round of 61 in Mexico. Photograph: Rob Carr/Getty
Jon Rahm shot a third round of 61 in Mexico. Photograph: Rob Carr/Getty

McIlroy signed for a three-under 68, making a bogey on the par-five sixth and also the 14th, while DeChambeau — who had led by three at one point — bogeyed three of the final six holes to finish in a level par 71.

Meanwhile British Open champion Shane Lowry remains one under after an even par third round, disrupted by a double bogey on the 16th hole.

“I’ve been hitting really good putts for the better part of a year but they just haven’t gone in,” Rahm told the European Tour’s official website.

“Starting yesterday on my 10th hole they started going in and it carried on today.

“I basically had tap-in, tap-in, tap-in and 10 feet for birdie and I thought ‘today could be a really special day’.

“Then backing it up with a great birdie on six and seven and a great tee shot on eight, which is a difficult tee-shot, I thought it could have been the day it ended up being.”

Rahm added: “I think a lot of us like to talk sometimes about how unlucky we get and I think today was one of those days where I got fortunate.

“I hit the right shots and I got the right bounces and I took advantage of it. There was a couple of holes where I could have gotten a little more unlucky

“I think we all compete and want to win tournaments when everybody is playing their best and if you win one of those stacked fields, it’s a lot of fun and it’s a great accomplishment, so hopefully I’m the one on top tomorrow afternoon.”

Patrick Reed and South African Erik Van Rooyen both carded rounds of 67 to put themselves in contention to also challenge world number four Thomas, who hit a six-under par third round of 65 to sit at 15 under.

Thomas made five birdies on the back nine, only to then drop a bogey at the 18th.

He said : “I’ll just go out and play golf and keep doing what we’re doing. For the most part I feel like I’m playing well.”

English duo Tyrrell Hatton and Paul Casey are tied for seventh at 10 under after both carding rounds of 66, while Chez Reavie made a hole-in-one on the 167-yard par-three third.

Third round scores and totals in the World Golf Championships — Mexico Championship (USA unless stated, par 71):

198 Justin Thomas 67 66 65

199 Erik Van Rooyen (Rsa) 70 62 67, Patrick Reed 69 63 67

202 Rory McIlroy (Irl) 65 69 68, Jon Rahm (Spa) 72 69 61, Bryson DeChambeau 68 63 71

203 Paul Casey (Eng) 69 68 66, Tyrrell Hatton (Eng) 69 68 66

204 Kevin Na 71 68 65, Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn) 69 64 71, Gary Woodland 70 69 65

207 Abraham Ancer (Mex) 70 70 67, Billy Horschel 68 71 68

208 Benjamin Hebert (Fra) 73 70 65

209 Zach Murray (Aus) 71 69 69, Carlos Ortiz (Mex) 75 68 66, Justin Harding (Rsa) 71 71 67, Matt Kuchar 75 67 67, Tommy Fleetwood (Eng) 70 69 70, Sebastian Munoz (Col) 71 66 72, Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Spa) 71 71 67, Kevin Kisner 73 69 67, Lee Westwood (Eng) 69 70 70

210 Scottie Scheffler 73 70 67, Xander Schauffele 72 72 66, Adam Scott (Aus) 74 68 68, Bubba Watson 67 72 71, Zander Lombard (Rsa) 73 68 69, Corey Conners (Can) 68 70 72

211 Danny Willett (Eng) 73 68 70, Sungjae Im (Kor) 69 72 70, Lanto Griffin 72 69 70, Chez Reavie 71 73 67

212 Marc Leishman (Aus) 74 70 68, Shane Lowry (Irl) 72 69 71, Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng) 72 70 70

213 Shaun Norris (Rsa) 75 68 70, Ryan Fox (Nzl) 72 68 73, Branden Grace (Rsa) 71 71 71, Matthias Schwab (Aut) 71 68 74

214 Dustin Johnson 76 71 67, Shugo Imahira (Jpn) 74 70 70, Brendon Todd 72 71 71, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa) 72 72 70, Robert Macintyre (Sco) 76 68 70, Collin Morikawa 72 70 72, Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 70 76 68

215 Cameron Smith (Aus) 73 73 69, Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa) 68 71 76, Brandt Snedeker 76 69 70, Pablo Larrazabal (Spa) 71 74 70

216 Jason Kokrak 73 70 73, Sergio Garcia (Spa) 74 72 70, Byeong-Hun An (Kor) 75 69 72

217 Francesco Molinari (Ita) 72 74 71, Victor Perez (Fra) 81 70 66, Charles Howell III 75 74 68, Jordan Spieth 74 73 70

218 Kurt Kitayama 76 70 72

219 Jazz Janewattananond (Tha) 73 73 73, Lucas Herbert (Aus) 75 70 74 Webb Simpson 72 73 74

220 Lucas Glover 71 73 76, Jorge Campillo (Spa) 77 74 69

221 Mike Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 76 73 72

222 Matt Wallace (Eng) 74 77 71, Scott Hend (Aus) 72 75 75

224 Marcus Kinhult (Swe) 75 74 75, Sung Kang (Kor) 76 76 72

225 Ryo Ishikawa (Jpn) 80 72 73, Graeme McDowell (Irl) 76 74 75

227 Tae Hee Lee (Kor) 80 73 74

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.