Scheffler moves to sole lead after Charles Schwab Challenge third round

By Sports Desk May 28, 2022

Scottie Scheffler leads the Charles Schwab Challenge by two strokes coming into the final round, shooting a two-under 68 in Saturday's third round.

The world number one sits at 11-under coming into the final 18 holes at Colonial, after facing tricky conditions with intense heat and heavy wind gusts.

After posting bogey-free rounds on Thursday and Friday, Scheffler almost made it three rounds in a row but three-putted the par-four 17th for bogey.

He bounced right back with a long birdie putt on the 18th to close out the round on two-under, leading Brendon Todd and Scott Stallings on nine-under.

After missing the cut last weekend at the US PGA Championship, his first cut since his season start in October, the Masters champion could win his fifth PGA Tour title on Sunday.

Those five wins would come from a phenomenal 10 starts, after taking out the Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale in February, and would emulate Tom Watson's 1980 feat of five wins before the start of June.

Harold Varner III is in the running for his maiden PGA Tour victory, sitting a further stroke back from Todd and Stallings on eight-under after three rounds, also shooting a two-under 68 on Saturday.

John Huh, Cam Davis, Chris Kirk and Patrick Reed share a four-way tie for fourth on seven-under.

Also shooting a third-round score of 68 was Mito Pereira, finishing strong with three birdies over the closing five holes, including a long 15-metre putt to secure a birdie on the 18th.

Pereira is coming off his dramatic collapse on the final hole at the PGA Championship last weekend, missing the playoff between Justin Thomas and Will Zalatoris.

Both Thomas and Zalatoris have gone on from that performance at Southern Hills to miss the cut this weekend in Fort Worth.

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    Scheffler returned to Hilton Head on Monday morning holding a five-stroke lead with three holes to play after a storm halted proceedings on Sunday.

    The world number one dropped a shot at the last to finish 19 under par, three shots ahead of fellow American Sahith Theegala, with Patrick Cantlay and Wyndham Clark another stroke back.

    Scheffler is the first player to win a PGA Tour event the week after claiming the Green Jacket since Bernhard Langer in 1985 and the first to win four times in five starts on the US-based circuit since Tiger Woods in 2007-08.

    Each of Scheffler’s last seven wins have come with at least eight of the world’s top 10 in the field and he is the third player in the last 30 years – after Woods and Vijay Singh – to win or finish runner-up in five consecutive starts on the PGA Tour.

    “I was able to go home for a couple days and celebrate,” Scheffler said.

    “I didn’t really put much thought into it. I had committed to playing the tournament here, it was part of the plan, so we stuck to the plan.

    “I talked about it at the beginning of the week – I didn’t show up here just to have some sort of ceremony and have people tell me congratulations. I came here with a purpose, got off to a slow start but after that played some really nice golf.

    “I do have fairly high expectations for myself and when I show up at tournaments, I try to do my best.

    “I’ve talked a lot about kind of the preparation and what it takes for me to show up on a first tee ready to go, and I feel like I’ve been putting in the work and been playing some good golf, and it’s nice to be seeing some results for that with wins.

    “On the course, I think the last month or so I’ve been as good mentally as I have in a long time and I think that’s why I am seeing some of the results.

    “This week could be a good example of starting off and looking at the leaderboard on Thursday and everybody is just making birdie after birdie and I’m sitting there over par and I’ve had a shank on the day.

    “I just did my best to stay patient and wait until I got hot.

    “Had a nice finish to the round on Thursday and then had a really solid Friday where I felt like I played better than I scored, and then I had Saturday where I just played some really good golf.”

    Rory McIlroy carded a final-round 74 to slip into a tie for 33rd.

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    The US Open champion and world number one continued his great form at Hilton Head in South Carolina on the fourth day of the tournament, hitting an eagle and two birdies across 15 holes.

    A storm stopped play for two and a half hours with darkness forcing a finish on Monday.

    Fellow American Wyndham Clark had a strong day through his 18 holes, moving into second place with eight birdies and an eagle, but two bogeys and a double bogey stopped him from further encroaching on Scheffler’s lead.

    Clark is tied with American’s Patrick Cantlay and J T Poston, who have one hole left to play and Sahith Theegala, who has three holes left to play.

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    Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy carded a second straight round of 68 to be tied for 12th place on 10 under.

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