Los Angeles (AFP)
American Adam Schenk, chasing his first win on the PGA Tour of the United States, birdied three of the last four holes to grab a one-stroke lead after round three of Saturday’s Open Shriners for Kids.
World number 207 Schenk, never better than fourth in 118 career PGA events, birdied just under eight feet in the 18th par 4 to shoot a five-under par 66.
“It was nice to finish with a birdie,” said Schenk. ” Good day. I couldn’t have pulled many shots lower. “
That left him 18-under 195 for 54 holes at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas, good enough for a one-stroke lead over fellow US Open finalist Matthew Wolff last year.
Americans Sam Burns, Chad Ramey and Andrew Putnam shared third place out of 197.
Schenk responded to a bogey at the fifth par-3 with three birdies in a row to close the first nine, then rolled in birdies three feet at 15 and 17 feet at 16 to share the lead, setting the stage for his final clutch swing.
“I’m definitely going to have to drive a lot straighter tomorrow,” said Schenk. “Just try to do the same things I used to do. See what will happen tomorrow, but what a great opportunity. “
Wolff, 22, won his only PGA title at the 2019 3M Open, but liked his chances in a shootout on Sunday.
“I don’t get angry, I don’t step forward,” he said. “The things I’m working on, I know that if I keep working, I’ll be fine. “
Wolff scored for a birdie in the ninth after missing a 15-foot eagle putt, then caught fire on the back nine.
He birdieed eight feet at the 11, tapped for a birdie at the 13th par-5, drove the green to the 15th par-4 and sank a four-foot birdie putt, then slid the 16th par-5. just within seven feet.
At the 18th par-5, Wolff was inches from an eagle chip and birdie and 65.
“It was pretty windy there,” Wolff said. “You never knew if you were going to strike and a gust of wind was going to pick up. It was a little hard to get used to. It made the top nine a little harder to birdies.
“Luckily out of the last nine I turned it on and made a few. “
Burns is aiming for his third PGA title of the year and career after victories at the Valspar Championship in May and the Sanderson Farms Championship last week.
Burns closed the top nine with three birdies. He sank a 15-foot birdie putt at the seventh par-4, dropped his approach to within five feet to set up a birdie at the eighth par-3, and tapped for a birdie at the ninth par-5.
He landed a 13-foot birdie putt in the 11th, but caught a bogey at 16 after finding water on his approach.
Putnam missed a nine-foot birdie putt in the 18th that would have given him a share of the lead and a fourth consecutive birdie to close his turn.
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