Xander Schauffele (Getty)&#zero13;
Washington, June 14, 2020 (AFP) -Xander Schauffele closed with a birdie to hearth a four-under par 66 and seize a one-stroke lead after Saturday’s third spherical of the Charles Schwab Downside, the primary PGA Tour occasion because of the coronavirus shutdown.
The 26-year-old American stood on 13-under par 197 after 54 holes at Colonial Nation Membership in Fort Price, Texas, with 5 rivals deadlocked behind him on 198.
South Africa’s Branden Grace and Of us Gary Woodland, Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa and Jordan Spieth have been one adrift with Of us Daniel Berger and Harold Varner on 199.
“All of us, all folks, it is like six guys are tied for the lead,” acknowledged world quantity 12 Schauffele, who’s bidding for his fifth PGA Tour title nonetheless first since January 2019.
“Birdies are essential nonetheless bogeys are unhealthy. It is actually distinctive due to all people is so bunched.”
World main Rory McIlroy of Northern Eire shot 69 to affix a pack on 200 that included England’s Justin Rose, Mexico’s Abraham Ancer, Canadian Corey Conners and Of us Patrick Reed and Bryson DeChambeau.
The event marks the return of the US golf season after a 91-day layoff since early March because of the coronavirus pandemic and is being carried out with out spectators.
“It actually was quiet out correct proper right here,” acknowledged Schauffele. “I would like followers.”
Schauffele has made 16 birdies and solely three bogeys by means of the primary three rounds.
“I used to be collaborating in very successfully at residence. I used to be making a ton of birdies,” Schauffele acknowledged. “I do not see why it ought to change out correct proper right here.”
Schauffele, who shared second behind Tiger Woods ultimately yr’s Masters, credited his sturdy begin from the extended break to collaborating in observe rounds with Charley Hoffman and Phil Mickelson by way of the layoff.
“It knocked off numerous the rust that was there all via quarantine,” he acknowledged. “I’ve to attribute it to that.”
Schauffele opened with a tap-in birdie nonetheless missed the inexperienced and a six-foot putt to bogey the par-Three fourth. He answered with one totally different birdie on the par-Four seventh and tap-in birdies at 10 and the par-5 11th.
A 17-foot birdie putt on the 15th was wasted when he missed the inexperienced on the par-Three 16th and made bogey, nonetheless his closing birdie gave him a nostril forward of the pack coming into the final word spherical.
– ‘Type of a bizarre day’ –
Thomas furthermore fired a 66 irrespective of struggling a wide range of the day to discover a rhythm.
“It was type of a bizarre day,” he acknowledged. “I undoubtedly did not have my greatest stuff. Hit numerous my greatest drives that bounced into the highly effective.
“I wasn’t fairly sharp satisfactory to get every issue going with my approaches and putts so I am glad to get to four-under.”
Woodland and Grace furthermore shot 66s with Morikawa firing a 67 and Spieth a 68.
“Happy with my sport now and the simplest approach I carried out,” Woodland acknowledged. “The important issue spherical correct proper right here is put it inside the green and keep transferring ahead.”
Varner, trying to alter into solely the eighth African-American winner on the PGA Tour, led after 36 holes nonetheless fell two as soon as extra with a third-round 70.
McIlroy, a top-five finisher in his earlier seven occasions worldwide, opened with a tap-in birdie nonetheless made bogeys at seven and eight. Birdies on the 11th and a 23-foot birdie putt at 14 solely left him on 69 and three as soon as extra.
Rose had six birdies nonetheless a double bogey on the par-Four fifth and bogeys at 16 and 18 furthermore put him three footage off the tempo.
“It has been a blended bag for me. It has been thrilling,” Rose acknowledged. “In with an opportunity tomorrow. Going to wish to assault. It is a unimaginable leaderboard.”
197 – Xander Schauffele 65-66-66
198 – Gary Woodland 65-67-66, Justin Thomas 64-68-66, Branden Grace (RSA) 66-66-66, Collin Morikawa 64-67-67, Jordan Spieth 65-65-68
199 – Daniel Berger 65-67-67, Harold Varner 63-66-70
200 – Patrick Reed 68-69-63, Abraham Ancer (MEX) 64-70-66, Corey Conners (CAN) 66-67-67, Justin Rose (ENG) 63-69-68, Rory McIlroy (NIR) 68-63-69, Bryson DeChambeau 65-65-70
201 – JT Poston 68-66-67