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The Hindu
The Hindu
Ashwin Achal

Hero World Challenge | Scheffler gets ahead of the pack after an impressive third round

A brilliant seven-under 65 third round took Scottie Scheffler to the top of the leaderboard in the Hero World Challenge here on Saturday. Scheffler, who finished second here in the last two editions, returned two eagles and four birdies but ended with a bogey.

Scheffler is three shots ahead of Matt Fitzpatrick, whose last eight holes had one par alongside an eagle, four birdies, a bogey and a double bogey.

Justin Thomas (68) lies third, while Jordan Spieth, Tony Finau, Jason Day and Collin Morikawa (68) are six shots behind the leader.

Tiger Woods made a one-under 71, and is tied-16th alongside two-time defending champion Viktor Hovland. “It’s whether or not the body can do it. I’m very pleasantly surprised at how I’ve recovered every day,” Woods said.

“I’m very excited at how I have felt physically. Knocking off some rust. We can always knock off rust at home, but it’s so different come game time. As the week progresses, my feel for pin high gets better and better each and every day,” Woods said.

The consistent Scheffler, who has 17 top-10 finishes in 23 starts coming into this week, said, “It is nice to see some putts go in. These greens can be tough to putt at times, but I’m rolling it good.”

Scheffler surged ahead with an eagle on the third and four birdies on sixth, seventh, ninth and 12th. A long putt eagle on the 15th pushed his lead to four strokes, until he dropped a shot on the last hole.

England’s Matt Fitzpatrick signed for a 65 to climb up the leaderboard.

Top scores (third round): 200: Scottie Scheffler (69, 66, 65); 203: Matt Fitzpatrick (70, 68, 65); 205: Justin Thomas (70, 67, 68); 206: Jason Day (71, 69, 66), Jordan Spieth (68, 67, 71), Tony Finau (67, 71, 68), Collin Morikawa (69, 69, 68).

(The writer is in Nassau on invitation from Hero MotoCorp).

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