Schauffele Shoots 65, Leads Clark by 1 Stroke in 50th Players Championship

Sixth-ranked Xander Schauffele of La Jolla and San Diego went head-to-head with fifth-ranked Wyndham Clark at the top of the leaderboard, and they will do it all over again.

Schauffele carded a bogey-free, seven-under-par 65 and will take a one-stroke lead over Clark to the final round of the 50th Players Championship on the Champion Course at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

Clark, who took a four-stroke lead into the third round after opening 65-65, will again play in final twosome in the last round.

“When you make 58-footers for birdie, and you get up-and-down on holes like 18 from the front rough, it takes a little bit of stress off certain parts of your game,” said Schauffele, who captured thee 2021 Olympic Gold Medal in Men’s Golf at the 2021 Games in Tokyo. “I think there’s still a few things I’m not super comfortable with. We talk about it all the time. But a steady drip caves a stone and I believe that’s the case, and so that’s what I’m going to do.

“I’m going to go to the range right now and try and clean up some of those missed fairways on the back nine. When you hit a lot of fairways out here, you can get some scoring clubs in your hand, and with the greens being receptive, you can fire at some pins.

“It could be low tomorrow, but for the most part I’m going to try to enjoy myself and stay in my lane.”

Schauffele,, who has won seven times o  the PGA Tour including the 2017 Tour Championship, made four birdies on the front nine and three on back in his 65 and recorded a  54-hole score of 17-under-par 199.

Clark, who opened with 65-65 and also was tied for the lead after the opening round, still was tied for the lead before hitting his tee shot on the famed 17th hole to fall back with his second bogey in a 70.

“As I was over the ball (on No. 17),  I kind of got to the top and I was like: ‘Take a little off,’ and then I just kind of [decelerated] and chunked it,” said Clark, the reigning U.S. Open champion who also won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am last month. “It wasn’t really a lack of focus or anything. It just was honestly a poor swing.”

“It’s unfortunate on a hole that’s so iconic and has a bunch of trouble to have kind of your worst swing of the day. But, yeah, I followed it with a great swing and a great putt to save bogey. I’m in the final group tomorrow, which is huge.

“I’m hoping that’s a huge point in the tournament and we look back after tomorrow and look at that hole and say: ‘Hey, that was maybe the shot and the putt that meant it all.’”

Left-hander Brian Harman shot the round of the day with nine birdies in a 64 and is two shots behind in solo third, while Maverick McNally of Portola Valley and Stanford had five birdies in a second straight 68 and is three down in a tie for fourth with Matt Fitzpatrick of England, who birdied four of the last five holes in another 68.

Top-ranked Scottie Scheffler, the defending Players champion who again was dealing with a neck injury, birdied the last three holes for a 68 and is five back in a tie for sixth with Sahith Theegala of Chino Hills and Pepperdine, who sank a nine-foot eagle putt on the 16th hole and added four birdies in his 67.

Nate Lashley holed out from 24 feet for an eagle on the 12th hole and birdied the last three for a 67 and is six down in solo eighth, while Hideki Matsuyama of Japan, the 2021 Master champion, made three birdies down the stretch in a 68 and is seven strokes behind in a tie for ninth with Taylor Montgomery, who had five birdies on the back nine in another 68, and Taylor Poston, who made three straight birdies through No. 16 in a 69.

Second-ranked Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland had five birdies on the back nine in a 69 and is in a tie for 12th that includes 10th-ranked Ludvig Aberg of Sweden, who had five birdies on the front nine in a 67, while fourth-ranked Viktor Hovland of Norway is tied for 51st following a 71.

Seventh-ranked Patrick Cantlay of Los Alamitos and UCLA struggled to a 73 and is tied for 64th, while eighth-ranked Max Homa of Valencia and Cal stumbled to a 74 and is in a tie for 68th.

For complete results and final-round tee times, visit:   

Related Articles

Stay Connected


Latest Articles