2019 Genesis Open leaderboard, takeaways: Justin Thomas is feeling it entering final day

After three days of play at the 2019 Genesis Open, golfers have completed about two and a half rounds, but we have a man to beat in Justin Thomas. After starting 66-65, Thomas made eagle at his first hole in Round 3 late in the day on Saturday as play was paused while he and his group were on the third hole. They'll all come back to clean up the third round and try to somehow get Round 4 in on Sunday for what should be a fabulous finish.

Let's take a look at what transpired on Saturday at Riviera Country Club.

First place -- Justin Thomas (-13): When he's feeling it, it's a revelation. The way he played the first hole, a par 5, late in the day was astonishing. A low 3-wood missile 325 yards, iron shot to 10 feet and eagle putt for three and the outright lead at 13 under. It was almost too easy. Thomas has all the shots and, more importantly, a nice little lead over his chasers as he heads into the final 34 holes of play on Sunday.

Last place -- Cody Gribble (+4): It was not a great end of the day for Gribble, who was playing with Tiger Woods. Big Cat clipped him by 10 strokes in the seven holes they completed.

Other contenders -- Adam Scott (-12), Patrick Rodgers (-11), J.B. Holmes (-11), Rory McIlroy (-8): There's a pretty great group of players just behind Thomas and a ton of golf left to play. Because it's Saturday evening it feels like Thomas's lead and the way he's playing will mean victory, but nearly half of this golf tournament has yet to unfold. With players like McIlroy within five, anything can happen.

What did Tiger Woods do? Big Cat ended with a three to guarantee himself a made cut early in the day in his second round, and then he opened with five more to start Round 3. The best of which came at the par-5 11th hole where Woods made eagle. He's not truly in it yet -- mostly because Thomas is galloping -- but he's also got the easier side of the course coming on Sunday morning to try and make up ground on the leaders.

Who had a great day? McIlroy made four birdies in his final six holes of Round 2 to open the day and another one in his first three holes of Round 3. He's played his last 21 holes in 9 under and is starting to flirt with a run to get into a possible showdown with Thomas late on Sunday afternoon.

Who had a lousy day? Jordan Spieth's Saturday did not end well. He missed a couple of short putts over the three holes he played that did not even touch the hole. He's 75th in strokes gained putting in Round 3 (our of 76) but 12th in the field on the week in strokes gained from tee to green. He needs to rectify what he's doing on the greens early and often on Sunday to climb all the way back from 7 under to make a dent in J.T.'s lead. 

Stat of the day: Sure, why not.

Shot of the day: Since we already talked about Big Cat's 5-wood from 253 yards at the 11th, let's go with Phil Mickelson's absurd putt at the 10th for an eagle two.

Quote of the day: "I'll get up at 2 or 3 [a.m.] and start the process." That's what Tiger Woods told CBS Sports' Dottie Pepper about his 6:45 a.m. tee time on Sunday. Seems excessive but I guess whatever it takes to make five straight threes to start a round.

What to watch on Day 4: Does Thomas run away and hide? My gut says no considering how many horses he has behind him, but he has a look that says the tournament is already over and the trophy is already back in Jupiter. There's still golf left to play, sure, but I've seen J.T. star in this movie before, and I'm not sure anybody else has any chance.

CBS Sports was with you the entire way updating this story with the latest scores, analysis and highlights from the Genesis Open, particularly while Woods was on the course. If you are unable to view the updates below, please click here.

Thanks for stopping by.

CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories