It was a rocky finish for Scottie Scheffler on Saturday at The American Express – literally.
Tied for the lead on the 18th tee at PGA West’s Stadium Course, Scheffler decided to hit 3-wood but turned it over too much, his ball seemingly destined for a watery grave. However, Scheffler’s ball took a couple of fortunate bounces off the rocks and ended up in the center of the fairway, about 174 yards from the hole and 266 yards from the tee box at the par-4 finishing hole.
“I was just trying to hit a little draw 3-wood and I drew it a lot,” said Scheffler, laughing. “I'm not sure if it would have crossed up there, so it was a great break bouncing off the rocks like that. I guess you take them where you can get them.”
Scheffler closed with par to shoot a bogey-free, 6-under 66 and earn a spot in Sunday’s final threesome alongside fellow co-leader Andrew Landry, who fired a 65 on the nearby Nicklaus Tournament Course to get to 21 under.
After avoiding a dropped shot – or two – at No. 18, Scheffler still has just one score of bogey or worse this week. He double-bogeyed the par-4 18th hole on the Nicklaus Tournament Course on Friday.
“It's a tough course. It's a good track. If you're not on your game, you can really struggle,” Scheffler said. “There's a lot of trouble out there, so you've got to hit a lot of quality shots to keep the ball in play.”
The 23-year-old Texas product, who won twice and finished atop both points lists last season on the Korn Ferry Tour, is 24th in the FedExCup standings as a rookie. He has three top-10s and hadn’t missed a cut in seven starts entering this week.
“I think this is my best chance [to win], being tied for the lead going into the last round,” Scheffler said. “I've gotten off to some good starts, but I haven't been in this position going into the final round; I feel like I've been chasing, so it will be nice to be up there near the lead and it will be a fun day.”