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Classification of the 2022 Travelers Championship: Xander Schauffele pushes back Patrick Cantlay to retain the lead in the 3rd round

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He was challenged, he was threatened, and at one point even tied, but after Round 3 of the Travelers Championship on Saturday, Xander Schauffele barely maintained his lead over the rest of the field. On Sunday, he will go for his first win in an individual PGA Tour event since January 2019.

To put that into perspective, the last time Schauffele won on the PGA Tour, Collin Morikawa — who now has six PGA Tour and DP World Tour wins — was in California and still eight events away from turning pro.

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Schauffele leads by one over Patrick Cantlay, who he teamed up with for his last PGA Tour victory – a team win at the Zurich Classic earlier this season. Cantlay shot the day’s inning on Saturday and turned a five-shot deficit early in the third set into a one-shot difference going into the final.

Here’s a look at how their third rounds went and what to expect on Sunday.

The leader

1. Alexandre Schauele (-17): Even as late as Saturday’s final hole, it looked like Schauffele could lose his lead. When he started he was five over Cantlay and four over a few early Chargers, and Schauffele started strong enough to hold onto that lead. However, he stalled midway through his round, playing the first six holes of the second nine-for-1.

He bounced back with birdies on No. 16 and No. 17 – the latter of which nearly knocked over the pin – as well as a clutch putt at the latter to maintain his narrow margin. All in all, it was a great day for Schauffele considering how many shots he absorbed from other contenders. Whether he can do this for two consecutive days will determine the outcome of that tournament.

Also consider this: According to Data Golf, Schauffele has entered the final round of a tournament leading or tied seven times since the fall of 2015. In those seven showings, he has won strokes against the expected. from him in just two of them and won two of seven. That’s something to remember as he plays the tee shot on Sunday afternoon.

Data Golf

Other suitors

2. Patrick Canlay (-16)

3. Sahith Theegala (-14)

4. Kevin Kisner (-13)

T5. Martin Laird, KH Lee (-12)

Cantlay is obviously the biggest contender in this group, and his 63 on Saturday was as easy as the 63. He was a zero putter (meaning he didn’t win or lose strokes on the ground ) and he led the field in shots gained on the approach, as well as from tee to green.

Cantlay is not the best story of this group, however. That would be Theegala, who played at the Phoenix Open earlier this year and cried after missing a playoff between, coincidentally, Cantlay and Scottie Scheffler, who went on to win. He’s played terrific golf for most of the year with no missed cuts since The Players in March and a recent top 10 finish at Memorial. A win here for him would be a fabulous crowning achievement for a great rookie season (he would also become the second rookie to win on the Tour this year).

An amateur disputes

Amateur Michael Thorbjornsen – who is a 20-year-old rising junior at Stanford – shot 77-69 last week at Brookline to miss the USA Cup, but he bounced back this week and is T7 after three rounds, six behind Schauele. He probably doesn’t get the chance to descend to the top of that chart and become the first amateur in three decades to win a PGA Tour event, but the whole experience has been a delight for him and a joy to watch.

“I think one thing that might help is winning or finishing second or third, I don’t get paid anyway so it’s just another tournament for me,” Thorbjornsen said. “It’s just one more round of golf, trying again to do the same thing I did today. Focus on my swing, as well as making sure I hit certain positions and I guess I don’t really have any regrets tomorrow.”

He is paired with Webb Simpson in the final round.

Travel with friends

Cantlay and Schauffele are known to be fast friends and holiday buddies. I don’t know if it helps or hurts them on Sunday when it comes to winning this golf tournament – ​​they both think it helps – but it will definitely be a talking point throughout. If the momentum goes in the right direction, hopefully we’ll see more shots like we did on the No.17 on Saturday.

“It will be fun,” Schauffele said. “I was looking forward to playing with Pat in a final round. We’re not paired up very often in regular tournaments, only in team ones, so we have a certain level of comfort playing with each other. and hopefully it pays off and hopefully we can get a lot of birdies.”

“I think it probably helps that I play with him because I know his game very well,” he added. “I can kind of punch him, if need be. It’s going to be a lot of fun tomorrow. I was looking forward to chatting with Pat not on a Tuesday.”

“It’s good to be with Xander,” Cantlay said. “Actually, we haven’t played much together in tournaments, maybe only three times in the last three or four years. So it will be good to go back with him. I hope both of them play some very good golf.”

Updated odds and picks

Here’s a look at the updated odds with 18 holes to play, via Caesars Sportsbook.

  • Xander Schauele: +110
  • Patrick Cantlay: +130
  • Sahith Theegala: 11-1
  • Kevin Kisner: 20-1
  • KH Lee: 30-1
  • Scottie Scheffler: 50-1
  • Webb Simpson: 50-1
  • Martin Laird: 50-1

Give me Scheffler at 50-1 here. He has seven backs but quite capable of shooting a 61 or 62 on this golf course, which could definitely be enough. I don’t like Schauffele at +110, and if I had to pick one of the guys at the top I’d go with Cantlay at a slightly longer number, although Schauffele is a bit underrated when playing from from this position. I could also talk to Theegala, who is third in the field in strokes gained from tee to green (Scheffler is fourth).

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