The quiet of Colonial made Xander Schauffele really feel as if he had been again house in San Diego enjoying together with his mates. On this case, his buddies occur to be a number of the greatest stars in golf.
Schauffele made a 12-foot birdie putt on the 18th gap Saturday to interrupt out of a six-way share of the lead with a 4-under 66, giving him one-shot lead over an All-Star solid going right into a remaining spherical of the Charles Schwab Problem.
Jordan Spieth took solely 10 putts on the entrance 9 and had the lead till he did not hit the 15th inexperienced from 81 yards away, resulting in bogey. He had a 68 and was in a chasing pack that featured Justin Thomas, U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland, Collin Morikawa and Branden Grace.
The PGA Tour returned after three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it did not take lengthy to point out its fan base simply what it was lacking.
WATCH | Schauffele enters Sunday with 1 shot lead:
Fourteen gamers had been separated by three photographs, together with Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Patrick Reed, who made the minimize with one shot to spare and shot 63 to offer him an opportunity.
Canadian Corey Conners can also be within the combine heading into the ultimate spherical.
The Listowel, Ont., native fired a second straight 67 that put him 10-under and three photographs off the lead. The 28-year-old Conners had 5 birdies and two bogeys in his spherical and is bunched up in a tie for ninth.
WATCH | Conners rolls in a 15-foot birdie putt:
1st of 5 tournaments with no followers
Golf followers needs to be in for a deal with — in entrance of the TV, anyway.
Colonial is the primary of 5 tournaments within the return to golf that does not permit spectators. Gamers have had three days to regulate to the shortage of sound. Sunday is totally different, everybody attempting to generate their very own momentum with out the vitality usually delivered from exterior the ropes.
Schauffele was at 13-under 197.
Woodland birdied his final two holes for a 66 and can play together with his Presidents Cup teammate within the remaining group.
Proper behind will likely be Thomas, the previous PGA champion and world No. 1, who went 11 holes with out making a birdie in good scoring situation till two over the ultimate 5 holes in a 66 that put him proper within the combine. He performed alongside Grace, who additionally had a 66.
Spieth handed a giant check.
Caught in a hunch, he had 5 tournaments final season when he began with two rounds within the 60s and was left behind when he could not break par on Saturday.
There have been a number of anxious moments for him, reminiscent of an iron off the fifth tee that might have completed on the follow vary if not for a fence in place for the event. He received up-and-down from wanting the inexperienced to flee with birdie. His subsequent tee shot was proper and banged off a cart — one the loudest sounds of the day — leaving him blocked by a tree. He punched it low right into a again bunker and saved par.
However he did not make a birdie over the ultimate 9 holes, and the 15th price him when his lob wedge got here up brief.
Canadian Adam Hadwin at 6-under
Regardless of. He was one off the lead, and his tie for second is his greatest 54-hole place because the Colonial final 12 months. He shot 72 within the remaining spherical and tied for eighth.
Harold Varner III, nonetheless on the lookout for his first PGA Tour victory, began with a one-shot lead and birdied the opening gap. That was his final birdie. Varner could not get putts to fall, together with two birdie possibilities inside eight toes towards the top. He needed to accept a 70, however was nonetheless solely two photographs behind.
Adam Hadwin of Abbotsford, B.C., shot a 2-over 68 and is 6-under.
Wanting up at Schauffele isn’t the problem. It is trying round at everybody else. McIlroy and Bryson DeChambeau, had been among the many gamers who went into Sunday with a sensible likelihood.
The sphere was the strongest Colonial has seen, not shocking as a result of so many gamers caught at house for the final three months had been anticipating competitors. And this week has made clear that so a lot of them got here to play.