Thomas, Steele tied for lead at CIMB Classic


Scoring conditions remained ideal in steamy Malaysia for the CIMB Classic, and the low scores followed as a result. Here's how things stand heading into the final round in Kuala Lumpur, where Justin Thomas and Brendan Steele share the lead:

Leaderboard: Thomas (-20), Steele (-20), Kevin Na (-19), Hideki Matsuyama (-17), James Hahn (-17), Spencer Levin (-17), Brian Harman (-17), Adam Scott (-16)

What it means: Thomas began the day with a one-shot lead, but Steele briefly grabbed the top spot with a stronger start to his third round. Trailing by two shots with two holes to go, Thomas finished birdie-birdie to grab a share of the lead as he looks for his breakthrough win.

Round of the day: Na started quickly with five birdies across his first seven holes en route to an 8-under 64. After runner-up finishes each of the last two weeks, including a playoff loss at the Open, he is again in position to contend heading into the final round.

Best of the rest: Hahn hasn't been heard from much since his surprising win at the Northern Trust Open, but he is now just three shots back after a third-round 64. Hahn birdied seven of his first 10 holes, including four in a row on Nos. 2-5.

Biggest disappointment: Scott Piercy held the early lead after an opening 62, but he hasn't been able to follow it up in the subsequent two rounds. Piercy holed out for eagle on No. 14 and was only two shots back with one hole to go, but a costly double bogey dropped him to 16 under. After back-to-back rounds of 3-under 69 he now trails by four.

Main storyline heading into Sunday: A shootout looms in Asia, but the player to watch is Thomas. After failing to capitalize on several chances to win during his rookie year, the 22-year-old barely missed out on the Tour Championship. He opened the new season with a T-3 finish in Napa, and now has a chance to continue the youth movement that has taken the Tour by storm this month.

Shot of the day: Na failed to reach the green in regulation on the par-5 10th, but his pitch shot from an uphill lie in the rough hit the hole on the fly and dropped for a slam-dunk birdie. 

Quote of the day: "This is what I plan on doing and this is what my expectations [are] every event I play in." - Thomas