Honda Classic 2018: Luke List Holds 1-Stroke Lead After Round 3

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 24, 2018

Luke List watches his shot from the 17th tee during the first round of the Honda Classic golf tournament Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

Luke List maintained his lead at the 2018 Honda Classic on Saturday after shooting a four-under 66 at PGA National Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

List is seven-under for the tournament, which gives him a one-shot lead over Justin Thomas and Webb Simpson.

Thomas and Alex Noren tied for the best round of the day with a five-under 65. Noren is three strokes off the pace in sixth place at four under.

Tiger Woods continued his solid play in the tournament as well with a one-under 69, which leaves him seven strokes behind List in a tie for 11th.

A bogey on the par-three 17th dropped List into a tie for first, but he rebounded with a birdie on the par-five 18th, and he will enter the final round as the golfer to beat.

He will have his hands full when it comes to holding off Thomas, however, as the 2017 PGA Tour Player of the Year found his stride after a disappointing 72 in the second round.

Thomas carded six birdies Saturday, including this impressive tee shot and putt combination on No. 17, courtesy of the PGA Tour:

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Thomas is joined in second by Simpson, who carded a solid four-under 66 in the third round.

Per Justin Ray of GolfChannel.com, recent history suggests one of List, Thomas or Simpson will prevail on Sunday:

Some other strong contenders are lurking just a shot or two behind, though, and that includes England's Tommy Fleetwood.

He is two shots off the lead at five under, and his three-under 67 on Saturday was aided by a pair of eagles.

One of them came at the conclusion of his round on No. 18 thanks to a booming approach shot:

Fleetwood also had one double-bogey and one bogey in the round, which suggests he will be something of a wild card in the final round.

The same can be said for Jamie Lovemark, who is tied with Fleetwood at five under.

Lovemark entered the third round tied atop the leaderboard with List, but his two-under 68 wasn't enough to keep him in that spot.

He enjoyed some big moments throughout the round, though, including this chip-in for birdie on No. 12, which temporarily gave him the solo lead:

After seemingly playing his way out of contention with a five-over 75 in the second round, Noren bounced back with a five-under 65 on Saturday.

He had five birdies and one eagle in the round with the eagle coming after a bomb of a second shot on the par-five 18th:

Besides those in and around the lead, the biggest story of the day related to Woods, who shot his first under-par round of the tournament with a 69.

As seen in this montage of approach shots, Tiger's iron play was top-notch throughout the round:

He struggled a bit down the stretch with bogeys on the 15th and 17th holes, but the 14-time major champion went out on a high note.

After a fantastic chip, Woods converted a short birdie putt on No. 18 to enter the clubhouse at even par for the event:

According to Ray, it was a banner round for Woods after a few years of struggles and frustration due to injuries:

Tiger would need to pull off something monumental Sunday in order to push his way into contention, but he seems to be picking up steam now that he has played in tournaments in consecutive weeks.

Although Woods will likely be battling for a top-10 finish, the fight for the win promises to be an entertaining affair Sunday because of the amount of golfers who are firmly in the mix.

Thomas and Simpson are major champions, but the 33-year-old List is coming into his own, and he appears ready to score the first win of his PGA Tour career.