Na takes two-stroke lead entering final round at Charles Schwab

Kevin Na cooled off a bit after shooting a scorching 62 on Friday, but he still shot 1-under 69 on Saturday to claim a two-stroke lead through three rounds of the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas.
Na sits at 9-under 201 for the tournament at Colonial Country Club, ahead of a cluster of five players at 7 under.
That group comprises first-round leader Tony Finau (who shot 71), local favorite Jordan Spieth (68), two-time runner-up Jim Furyk (68), Taiwan’s C.T. Pan (68) and Canada’s Mackenzie Hughes (65).
Hughes’ 65 tied for the second-best round of the day behind Charley Hoffman, who shot 63 to jump into a tie for seventh with Austin Cook at 6 under. Three more players are at 5 under, including second-round leader Jonas Blixt of Sweden, who stumbled to a 74.
Na began his day Saturday as if his Friday round never ended, birdieing Nos. 1 and 2 after hitting both approach shots inside of six feet. But he cooled off from there, parring eight straight holes before double-bogeying the 633-yard par-5 11th with two misplayed sand shots, the first of which came as a fan’s cell phone went off during his swing.
He responded by sinking an 18-foot birdie putt at the par-3 13th, then parred out his round.
“Over the years, I’ve had some good rounds (at Colonial), and it’s a golf course you don’t have to overpower,” Na told Golfweek afterward. “You have to keep it in play. From fairway in, I’m a pretty good player, so I think it plays right into my game.”
Na, who finished fourth at the Charles Schwab Challenge in 2018, last held a 54-hole lead at the same event in 2015, but he shot 2 over in the final round and finished tied for 10th.
Finau had a quiet day, and his birdie at the second was his only one of the round. He bogeyed No. 5 and the 18th — after his drive found the water — missing a chance to hold second place alone.
Spieth also had a late bogey, at No. 17, which spoiled a previously bogey-free round in which he continued his masterful putting. He drained putts of 29, 21 and 37 feet for his three birdies, all on the front nine. The Dallas native already has set a personal best for total distance of made putts (434 feet, four inches) in any PGA Tour appearance, with 18 holes still to play.
Still seeking his first win since The Open Championship in July 2017, Spieth is focused on being a bit sharper off the tee in his final round.
“I do need to find more [fairways], especially from 12 in,” he told the Golf Channel. “I didn’t hit a fairway from 12 in today, and so you’re just not going to have any birdie looks if that’s the case. Certainly, closing tomorrow, it’d be nice to be playing out of the short grass.”
Furyk, who was runner-up to Tom Watson in 1998 and lost in a three-way playoff to Rory Sabbatini in 2007, was bogey-free with two birdies in his round. At 49, he has a chance to become the oldest winner of the tournament.
Pan was bogey-free and 4 under on the day through 16 holes, but his drives at Nos. 17 and 18 found the rough, leading to back-to-back bogeys.
Hughes had a terrific round, making five birdies — including one at the 18th — and no bogeys to earn a spot in the final pairing.
Hoffman also went bogey-free, tallying four birdies on the front and three on the back, including one at 18.
Defending champion Justin Rose of England shot 74 to fall into a tie for 66th at 5 over.
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)

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