Wyndham Clark is winless as a pro, but you wouldn’t know it.
The 29-year-old Clark posted a brilliant, bogey-free eight-under-par 63 to take a two-stroke lead over fifth-ranked Xander Schauffele of La Jolla and San Diego State heading to the final round of the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, N.C.
“I’d say back then I wasn’t as good of a player as I am now,” said Clark, who has been close to winning a few times, including when he lost to Brian Gay on the first hole of a playoff in the 2020 Bermuda Championship. “I also think, mentally, I was a lot more impatient and fragile out there. I was maybe a little too focused on my score and kind of living and dying on that.
“I’m excited to see how I handle the pressure tomorrow, but I think it’s going to be a fun challenge. Obviously, it’s going to be tough, I’ve got one of the best players in the world right behind me and a bunch of other good players. There’s a lot of pressure and this is a very tough golf course.
“I’m just really looking forward to the challenge tomorrow.”
Clark, who has five top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour this season, collected four birdies on each nine including three in a row twice, and recorded a 54-hole score of 16-under-par 197. He pulled away after there were 11 players tied for the lead at one stage of the third round.
Schauffele, who claimed three of his 10 PGA Tour victories last season but has yet to break through this year despite four top-10 finishes in his last four outings, stayed close by making birdies the last three holes of the front nine before sinking a 27-foot eagle putt on the 15th hole on his way to a 64.
And he was impressed playing alongside Clark, which he will do again in the final round.
“Once these guys out here see someone do it, they just end up doing it,” said Schauffele, won captured the 2020 Olympic Gold Medal in Japan. “Like, when it’s really cold and rainy, you feel like, man, I feel like three-under would be a good score, then someone shoots seven-under and then all of a sudden three-under is like 30th. That’s kind of what happened today.
“So every guy is really good out here. Monkey see, monkey do is definitely a thing that happens out here. I’m really looking forward to playing with Wyndham again tomorrow. It figures to be really a lot of fun. May be best man win.”
Adam Scott of Australia, who counts the 2013 Masters among his 31 professional victories, made two late birdies in 67 and is five shots behind in a tie for third with third-round leader Tyrrell Hatton of England, who made six birdies in a 68, Harris English, who had five birdies in a bogey-free 66, first-round leader Tommy Fleetwood of England, who made his one bogey on the last hole in a 67, and Sungjae Im of South Korea, who birdied four of the first 11 holes in a 68.
Brendon Todd sank a nine-foot eagle putt on the seventh hole to highlight at 65 and is seven down in solo eighth, avoiding a huge tie for ninth.
That deadlock at eight down includes seventh-ranked Max Homa of Valencia and Cal, who totaled 68 with two late birdies; Corey Conners of Canada, who had a 66; Gary Woodland, the 2019 U.S. Open champion, who finished at 67; Michael Kim of Del Mar and Cal, who wound up at 67; Adam Svensson of Canada, who took a quadruple-bogey 8 on the last hole and finished at 70; second round co-leader Nate Lashley, who had a double-bogey 6 on the first hole en route to a 71, and Justin Thomas, winner of the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow, who sank a four-foot eagle putt at No. 7 and had two late birdies in a 70.
Fourth-ranked Patrick Cantlay is tied for 34th after a second straight 71, while sixth-ranked Matt Fitzpatrick of England made three late birdies in a 72 and is tied for 45th, and third-ranked Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland had two late birdies in a 71 and is tied for 50th.
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