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Mar 30, 2024 9:54 pm

Scottie Scheffler among five sharing Houston Open lead

Scottie Scheffler

World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler is among five players tied for the lead after the third round Saturday of the Texas Children’s Houston Open.

Scheffler shot a 4-under-par 66 at Memorial Park Golf Course for 9-under 201 going into Sunday’s final round. He is joined atop the leaderboard by England’s David Skinns, who shot a bogey-free 65 in his debut at the event, Germany’s Stephan Jaeger (66), Argentina’s Alejandro Tosti (68) and Belgium’s Thomas Detry (67).

Reigning champion Tony Finau, who led after two rounds, shot 2-over 72 on Saturday to fall into a tie for ninth at 7 under. He had tied the tournament scoring record for the second time with an 8-under 62 on Friday.

Scheffler carded eight birdies in an adventurous round marred by two bogeys and a double bogey on the par-3 15th hole when his tee shot landed in the water and he took a penalty stroke.

He recovered with birdies on Nos. 17 and 18.

“Feel like I played better than my score,” Scheffler said afterward. “I had a few shots I didn’t really get rewarded for, and somewhat punished for some pretty good shots. But overall, yeah, it was nice to finish with those two birdies. Hit a really good shot into 16, good shot into 17.

Still, Scheffler’s 66 was the FedExCup leader’s 31st consecutive round at par or better that dates back to an even-par 70 in the final round of the 2023 Tour Championship.

Skinns posted three birdies on the front nine and two on the back, in succession on Nos. 12 and 13.

“I like this golf course a lot, I think that’s pretty clear, it suits me,” Skinns said. “There’s some space off the tee, but you’ve got to be pretty smart around the greens. There’s some pins you just can’t look at, and I did a good job of that today, stayed away from a few pins.”

Jaeger moved three spots into a share of the lead thanks in part to birdies on his second and third holes. He had six birdies for the round and survived back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 13 and 14. It’s the third time he has been tied for the lead as he pursues his first tour win.

“Yeah, third time, but I played solid. Putter bailed me out a couple times again. I drove it much better today,” Jaeger said. “The golf course, if you hit fairways and you hit in the right spots on the greens, you can make some birdies. The weather was a little better today, not as windy, but you still got to hit it from the right angles and stuff.”

Tosti survived a double-bogey on the second hole and a bogey on No. 15. He had five birdies. Detry had four birdies and one bogey, with all of those but one of the birdies coming on the front nine.

Five co-leaders after 54 holes is the most in a PGA Tour event since six players shared the lead after the third round of the 2009 Texas Children’s Houston Open (Paul Casey, Fred Couples, Colt Knost, Ryan Moore, Geoff Ogilvy, Bo Van Pelt).

Nick Dunlap, Taylor Moore and Akshay Bhatia were tied for sixth at 8-under. Dunlap shot 63, the best round of the day, while Moore and Bhatia fired 67s.

–Field Level Media

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