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Golf | Schauffele pulls ahead

Birdieman: Xander Schauffele has made 16 birdies and only three bogeys through the first three rounds.

Birdieman: Xander Schauffele has made 16 birdies and only three bogeys through the first three rounds.   | Photo Credit: TOM PENNINGTON

Five players are one stroke behind him

Xander Schauffele closed with a birdie for a four-under 66 and a one-stroke lead after Saturday's third round of the Charles Schwab Challenge. The 26-year-old American stood at 13-under 197 after 54 holes, with five rivals deadlocked behind him on 198.

South Africa's Branden Grace and Americans Gary Woodland, Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, Jordan Spieth were second, with Americans Daniel Berger and Harold Varner one adrift on 199.

“All of us, everyone, it's like six guys are tied for the lead,” said World No. 12 Schauffele, who is bidding for his fifth PGA Tour title but first since January 2019.

World No. 1 Rory McIlroy shot 69 to join a pack on 200 that included Justin Rose, Abraham Ancer, Corey Conners and Patrick Reed and Bryson DeChambeau.

Schauffele has made 16 birdies and only three bogeys through the first three rounds. Schauffele, who shared second behind Tiger Woods at last year's Masters, credited his strong start from the long break to playing practice rounds with Charley Hoffman and Phil Mickelson during the lay-off.

Thomas also fired a 66 despite struggling much of the day to find his rhythm. Woodland and Grace also shot 66s with Morikawa firing a 67 and Spieth a 68. Varner, trying to become only the eighth African-American winner on the PGA Tour, led after 36 holes but fell two back with a third-round 70.

McIlroy, a top-five finisher in his past seven events worldwide, opened with a tap-in birdie but made bogeys on the seventh and eighth. Birdies on the 11th and a 23-foot birdie putt on the 14th only left him on 69 and three back.

Rose had six birdies but a double bogey on the par-4 fifth and bogeys on the 16th and 18th also put him three shots off the pace.

Top scores: 197 - Xander Schauffele (65-66-66); 198 - Gary Woodland (65-67-66), Justin Thomas (64-68-66), Branden Grace (66-66-66), Collin Morikawa (64-67-67), Jordan Spieth (65-65-68); 199 - Daniel Berger (65-67-67), Harold Varner (63-66-70).

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 8:53:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/golf-schauffele-pulls-ahead/article31828111.ece

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