CIMB Classic: Key Takeaways from Round Three

The third round of the CIMB Classic is in the books, here are some key takeaways heading into the final round.

Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

The third round of the CIMB Classic wrapped up last night in Malaysia and now we are just 18-holes away from crowning the second champion of the 2016-17 PGA Tour season.

Although the prospect of PGA Tour events on the other side of the world always takes some getting used to, the CIMB Classic has delivered an intriguing tournament so far, with no shortage of low scores.

Before the final round gets underway, let’s take a look at a few takeaways from round three.

Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Anirban Lahiri Looking For First PGA Tour Win

After round three, Anirban Lahiri sits in first place at the CIMB Classic with a four stroke cushion over defending champion Justin Thomas. He is in prime position to capture his first PGA Tour win this week. The 29-year-old, Indian professional golfer is no stranger to wins on the Asian Tour and European Tour but a win on the PGA Tour has been elusive so far.

He rose to the top of the leader board at the CIMB Classic as a result of three stellar rounds. In the first round, he collected eight birdies on his way to six-under 66. Keeping the heat on, Lahiri went out in the second round and added eight more birdies to again score a six-under 66.

The third round proved to be even better for him as this time he knocked in nine birdies to shoot a seven-under 65 to take him into sole possession of the lead. He has just 18-holes between him and his first win on the PGA Tour.

Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Thomas In Position To Repeat

Last year, Justin Thomas won the CIMB Classic, this year he’s in position to do it again. His hot start trend continued last week at the Safeway Open with a top-10 finish. This week, at the CIMB Classic he’s once again in position for the win. He currently sits in a tie for second with Russell Knox. They are both at 15-under for the tournament, four strokes back from leader, Anirban Lahiri.

Thomas has been playing great golf so far this year and put together two low scoring rounds at TPC Kuala Lumpur. His tournament started off hot as posted an eight-under 64 in the first round to pull into a tie atop the leaderboard with Keegan Bradley.

After 36-holes, Thomas could again be found at the top of the leaderboard. A six-under 66 helped him maintain his spot on top. However, this time, he held the outright lead.  He cooled off in the third round with a one-under 71 that led to his current second position standing. Will he reclaim the top spot to repeat?

Mandatory Credit: Eric Sucar-USA TODAY Sports

Scott Hend Shoots Course Low In Round Three

Low scoring has been the reality this week at the CIMB Classic as one look at the leaderboard can confirm that. In the third round, there was one player who shot the lowest score and his name was Scott Hend. His nine-under 63 was the lowest of the day among the field.

Hend started his round on the back nine and it sure was a fast one. He knocked in birdies on 10, 11, 12, and 13 to start off with a four birdie streak. After three pars, Hend birdied 17 and 18 before making the turn.

By the end of his first nine holes, he was already six-under. In his second nine, the courses front nine, he added three more birdies to complete his bogey free nine-under course low for the day.

Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

CIMB Third Round Leaderboard

1. Anirban Lahiri (-19)

T2. Russell Knox (-15)

T2. Justin Thomas (-15)

T4. Derek Fathauer (-14)

T4. James Hahn (-14)

T4. Hideki Matsuyama (-14)

7. Scott Piercy (-13)

8. Keegan Bradley (-12)

T9. Tyrone Van Aswegen (-11)

T9. Adam Scott (-11)

T9. Emiliano Grillo (-11)

T9. Ryo Ishikawa (-11)

T9. Rafa Cabrera Bello (-11)

T9. Zac Blair (-11)

T9. Brendan Steele (-11)

T9. Marc Leishman (-11)

Check back with us tomorrow for the final roundup of the week’s action in Malaysia.

This article originally appeared on