Justin Thomas contending in Scotland; Jhonattan Vegas out front in Illinois

July 12, 2019

A stellar third round from Jhonattan Vegas pushed him into the lead after 36 holes at the John Deere Classic in Illinois.

Vegas made nine birdies and no bogeys Friday at TPC Deere Run to grab a one-shot lead over Andrew Landry and a three-shot lead over the rest of the field. The relatively weak field boasts Harold Varner, Daniel Berger, Russell Henley and Kyle Stanley in contention, all within four shots of Vegas, who sits at 13 under.

Meanwhile, across the pond, players are somehow going even lower at the Scottish Open than in the classically low-scoring midwest Tour event. Three Euro Tour pros — Lee Slattery, Erik Van Rooyen and Bernd Wiesberger — are tied for the lead at the Renaissance Club at 14 under. Henrik Stenson is two shots back and Justin Thomas is three back at 11 under.

Thomas has made 14 birdies in his Scottish Open debut, a welcome sign from fans who missed Thomas at the year’s second major earlier this year as he rehabbed an injury. Thomas has never competed well in Scotland during his professional career, but this week might signal a change of course overseas for the American.

As for his long-hitting counterpart, Rory McIlroy fired a second straight 67 to sit six shots back of the lead.

“I feel like I’ve played the way I’ve wanted to play the last couple days,” McIlroy said after the second round. “You know, if I think back on the last two rounds, yes, maybe I could have squeezed another couple of shots out of both of them, been 12-under, something, but the guys at the top of the leaderboard are obviously playing very good golf.

“I’ve played well and I’ve done what I’ve wanted to do. Obviously there is low scores out there, and you know, hopefully I can shoot a couple of those over the weekend.”