Schauffele Birdies 18 to Take the Lead at the Charles Schwab Challenge

By Diamond Dave

It was moving day at the Charles Schwab Challenge Saturday, and Xander Schauffele did a lot of moving.

Schauffele carded a 4-under par 66 to vault into the lead at 13-under. Gary Woodland, Justin Thomas and Branden Grace also shot rounds of 66 to move to 12-under, one behind Schauffele. Colin Morikawa and Jordan Soieth joined the group at 12-under.

The second-round leader, Harold Varner, carded an even par 70 to stay at 11-under, along with Daniel Berger.

Patrick Reed had the round of the day, shooting a 63 to move to 10-under. There are 5 other golfers at 10-under including some big names, Bryson DeChambeau, Justin, Rose and Rory McIlroy. Abraham Ancer and Corey Connors are also at 10-under.

All in all, there are 14 golfers within three shots of the lead. That’s a lot of fun, fans or no fans.

“I'm into it, and it's a little bit more competitive honestly than I thought it would be,” said Justin Thomas, reported the PGA Tour. “I thought it was going to be very odd. I was hoping that I'd be in this position to where I'd have a good chance to win the tournament and see how I feel, but it is going to be different, especially come those last couple of holes if you have a lead or if you're trying to chase someone down or if you're tied for the lead. “It'll be interesting to see how that adrenaline plays a role.”

Schauffele, a four-time winner on the PGA Tour, sank a birdie on the 18th hole to break out of the pack at 12-under and take the lead for himself. There were no galleries, so no roars from the crowd, which is just fine with Schauffele.

“I’m kind of a quiet guy,” Schauffele said, reported the PGA Tour. “I don’t have like a huge effect on the crowd, I’d say, so not having fans isn’t the craziest thing for me. It just does feel like I’m playing at home with some of my buddies. It’s quiet. You make three birdies in a row, you can kind of give yourself a pat on the back.”

It should be a very exciting Sunday.

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Dave Shields

Biography coming soon!