Hossler-Clark Stay Ahead in Zurich Classic by One Stroke Over Im-Mitchell

Beau Hossler and Wyndham Clark simply kept their place.

Hossler (pictured right) and Clark (left), who have been at least tied for the lead after all three days, posted a bogey-free, 10-under-par 62 under the four-ball format and will take a one-stroke lead over Sungjae Im of South Korea and Keith Mitchell into the final round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans at TPC Louisiana in Avondale, Ind.

The final round will be contested at alternate-shot.

“It’s going to be a cool environment and a unique experience frankly to have a chance to win a golf tournament with a partner,” said Hossler, from Rancho Santa Margarita in Southern California who lost in a playoff to Ian Poulter of England in the 2018 Houston Open. “So, it will be a nice little Sunday for us.

“Frankly, getting yourself in position to win a golf tournament is difficult, and closing the deal is really hard. The more opportunities you get, the more comfortable you get, and hopefully we can lean on that tomorrow.”

Added Clark, who lost in a playoff to Brian Gay in the 2020 Bermuda Championship: “I hope tomorrow we’re light and loose like we’ve been all three days. If the momentum goes in our direction, I hope we just keep riding it. I just think it lightens the mood. Sometimes when you’re alone, it feels like you’re out on an island. When the momentum gets going bad, when you’re on your own, sometimes it’s tough to turn that. With a teammate, you can kind of feed off each other and really not allow that momentum to get going in the wrong direction.”

Clark and Hossler, who are both winless on the PGA Tour, collected five birdies on each nine including three in a row twice and recorded a score of 26-under-par 190 when Clark sank a seven-foot birdie putt on the last hole. They shot 61 in this format on the first day and a 67 in alternate shot in round two.

Im and Mitchell put up their second straight 62 in four-ball, making birdies on six of their first eight holes after starting on the back nine, and added four more coming home including two on the last three holes. They also had a score of 67 in alternate-shot.

“He was honestly incredible,” Mitchell said of Im. “The front nine was some of the best golf I’ve ever seen played ever, 6-under through eight holes. … It was just fun to be a part of. I could only help him on two holes. I ended up making par on one of them and bogeying, but it just didn’t matter. He was playing so well. I was high-fiving him and watching him roll.”

Vincent Norman of Sweden and Mattias Schwab of Austria had four straight birdies on the back nine in another 62 and are three shots behind in a tie for third with Matthew NeSmith and Taylor Moore, who birdied the first three holes to kick-start a 63, and, Nick Hardy and Davis Riley, who birdied their first five holes in another 63.

Sean O’Hair and Brandon Matthews made six birdies on the front nine in a 64 and are one more down in solo sixth, while eighth-ranked Matthew Fitzpatrick of England and his brother, Alex, who totaled 62 with five straight birdies through the turn and are five behind in a tie for seventh with Harris English and Tom Hoge, who birdied five of the first seven holes and four in a row to start the back nine in a 63, and Martin Trainer of France and Chad Ramey, who had two late birdies for a 65.

Fourth-ranked Collin Morikawa of La Canada Flintridge and Cal, and Xander Schauffele of La Jolla and San Diego State, the defending champions, struggled somewhat in a 66 and are six strokes back in a tie for 10th with Billy Horschel and Sam Burns, who twice made three straight birdies in a 63, and, Troy Merritt and Robert Streb, who birdied five of the first seven hole en route to a 64.

Morikawa and Schauffele set the tournament in four-ball last year by shooting 59.

Charlie Hoffman of Poway hit the shot of the day, making the third hole hole-in-one of his career on the 210-yard, ninth hole. Hoffman and Nick Watney of Davis and Fresno State are tied 21st after a 66 that also included an eagle on the 11th hole.

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