HOUSTON (AFP) — England’s Harry Hall sank clutch putts from about 10 feet on the last two holes to share the lead after Saturday’s third round of the PGA Tour’s Charles Schwab Challenge.
Hall hung tough after back-to-back double bogeys to shoot a two-over par 72 and stand level with American Adam Schenk on 10-under 200 after 54 holes at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas.
Hall, ranked 197th in the world and chasing a first-ever win on the PGA Tour, reached the top with a birdie at 17, and stayed there with a tense par putt at the 18th.
“To be T1 after today is pretty cool, especially after that front nine,” Hall said. “It goes to show how hard the course is, and I did a good job battling it back and getting those two birdies on that back nine.”
Schenk, a 31-year-old seeking his first PGA title, fired a 67 that included back-to-back birdies at the start and a birdie at 18 as well.
‘To be T1 after today is pretty cool, especially after that front nine.’
“We just did a really good job managing everything today,” Schenk said. “It was one of those days where right where we were looking was right where I actually hit it. It doesn’t happen very often, but it’s nice when it does.”
American Harris English missed an eight-foot par putt at the 18th hole and stood third on 201 after a 70. Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo, who fired a 72, and American Justin Suh, who shot 66, shared fourth on 204.
Hall, in only his 26th PGA Tour event, fell from the lead with back-to-back double bogeys at the sixth and seventh holes.
At the sixth, Hall went over the green beyond a cart path, then needed two more to reach the green and two putts to finish.
At seven, Hall went left, needed a penalty drop and missed a 12-foot bogey putt.
Hall, 25, answered with a birdie putt from just inside 12 feet at the 12th.
At 17, Hall dropped his approach just inside 10 feet and sank the birdie putt, but at 18 he missed the green and a poor chip left him just over 10 feet for par. But the Englishman calmly knocked in the putt to keep his share of the lead.
“After two double bogeys, I was still in the tournament,” Hall said. “It left me with some hope. I managed to bring it back a little bit.”
Schenk followed his hot start with a bogey at the fourth but dropped his approach inches from the hole to set up a tap-in birdie at the par-5 11th.
Schenk matched the lead at 10-under with a birdie at the 18th from just outside nine feet, dropping the ball in from the right edge of the hole.
“It was good to see one drop,” said Schenk. “It was a lot of luck making that putt.”
Schenk, ranked 91st, led the Valspar after 54 holes in March and finished second.
English, seeking his fifth PGA title, sank a 40-foot birdie putt at 16 but missed an eight-foot par putt at 18 to stumble back.
“When greens get that firm and things get spicy like that, it makes every golf course really difficult,” English said.
World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler made bogeys on three of the last five holes to shoot 72 and stand on 206.