Houston Open 2021 results: Scottie Scheffler leads the 54-hole lead for the first time in his PGA Tour career

by | Nov 14, 2021 | PGA

HOUSTON (AP) – Scottie Scheffler, a key figure in the US victory at the Ryder Cup, is now striving for his own trophy at the Houston Open.

Scheffler put in a birdie on the 14th hole from 55 feet, a 10 foot birdie on the next hole and avoided mistakes on the final straight Saturday in Memorial Park with a 1-under 69 and a one-shot lead in the final round.

Scheffler, in his third year on the PGA Tour, has a 54-hole lead for the first time. He tied in the finals at The American Express in 2020 and finished third.

“I’ll just go out there and try to get off to a good start and hopefully take the lead early and stay there,” said Scheffler.

Kevin Tway took the lead until he chipped in the water and bogeyed on par-4 17, then missed a 10-foot par putt at the final hole. He shot 73 and was among the five players who were one shot behind.

Scheffler was at 7 under 203.

Jhonattan Vegas, without a win since the Canadian Open four years ago, had a 68 and will be in the bottom group with Scheffler on Sunday.

One of the most consistent players on the fall part of the PGA Tour schedule, Matthew Wolff hit a 69 and is getting another chance to win for the first time since he retired from golf for two months to sit back earlier this year.

Kramer Hickok had a 70 and was in the group with 204, which also included Martin Trainer, the 36-hole leader who had a hard time at 74.

In the group two strokes behind was Colonial winner Jason Kokrak, who had to play 25 holes on Saturday due to a weather delay early in the week, and he was in full swing.

Kokrak was under at 8 when he returned to play the 12th hole of the second round. He played his last seven holes in 7-over-par and took nine strokes out of the lead. He bounced back with seven birdies on his third round of 66 to return straight to the chase.

Wolff was also at the top of the best list at 8 under until he won the double bogey on the 17th hole when his second shot fell short and was in the water. He took a penalty drop, hit the same bat at 7 feet, and missed the bogey putt.

“I just misjudged the wind,” said Wolff. “Until then, I really don’t know what happened in that hole. Maybe it was just not as good a lie as I thought. “

Either way, he’s in the thick of what a convincing finish with a dozen players should be within three strokes of Scheffler’s lead.

That includes a coach who made a double bogey on the first nine and then dropped consecutive shots on the second nine. But he finished on a 10-foot par that just left him one shot.

Not bad for someone who’s only been playing the weekend for the second time since April.

“I’m definitely better than in the recent past and still today,” said the coach. “I think I took a corner and whatever happens this week happens. But I’m just looking forward to the future, to play well again.”

Scheffler has played well since he left his four years in Texas with a business degree, first on the Korn Ferry Tour and then well enough to qualify for the Masters as a PGA Tour rookie. He was also selected for the Ryder Cup, where he delivered one of the biggest birdie putts late in the fourth session and then defeated Jon Rahm in the singles.

He has also fought in majors. All he lacks is a win, and with so many players in the competition, it doesn’t seem easy.

Scheffler had a chance to win last week and fought for the lead until a bad tee shot at Mayakoba resulted in a double bowey to second nine.

“I feel like I’m playing solid golf at the moment,” said Scheffler. “I hit a decent amount of fairways, a decent amount of greens and start rolling the ball pretty well. There are a couple of days the putts may not have all gone in, but I always seem to hit them right around the corner from Cup at the right speed so that they will eventually fall. “

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