Neither Scotty Scheffler nor Sander Scheffle could cash in as they ran away from the rest of the field ahead of them during Round 3 at the 2022 Tour Championship. Suddenly they lost a field at the top of a field. While that’s bad news for the leaderboard, and how much money they’ll be making on Sunday afternoon, it’s great news for fans hoping for a close finish between the world’s best players.
Round 3 ended early Saturday morning following two inclement weather delays, meaning Scheffler (still in the lead) and Schaeffel will play their final six holes Sunday starting at 9:45 a.m. ET. They will do so as they attempt to complete a round that is currently 1 under, despite the field average of 67 at the end of Saturday’s play. The worst score of the day was 1 over.
Fourteen golfers must finish Sunday morning, making for a long Tour Championship final. Players will be rewarded for their overtime, however, with $58 million on the table and $18 million of that going to the winner after four rounds. With the top of the board stacked, the fight for first prize and a truly life-changing amount (for most players in the field) should be enormous.
Here’s a look at things with a few holes left to play in Round 3 and what could happen in Round 4.
1. Scotty Scheffler (-19 to 12): There is still time for Scheffler to return to even par for the third round when Sunday morning ends, but as it stands now, only Cameron Young (through 16 holes) and Corey Connors (finished) are worse than Scheffler’s par score. . He now loses two strokes on the field, and a cold putter in the 3rd round continues to sicken him. He’ll still win this thing and cap his four-win year with another, but it’s certainly gotten a lot closer than many (including Scheffler) imagined.
Who can capture the leader?
2. Xander Schauffele (-18 to 12): Schauffele is the obvious choice here because he has more holes left, which means he’s also more prone to error. And no one who has played this golf course more than 20 times has ever played it better than Schaeffel. He’s working on the third round, which is going to be another gem, but he’s still making a ton of birdies. The last — and perhaps most obvious — reason Schauffele is more likely to catch Scheffler is that he is the closest to him and may actually be ahead by the time Sunday’s final round begins.
3. Sungjae Im (-16 to 14)
4. Rory McIlroy (-15 to 16): McIlroy dominates East Lake and is worth a look here given his state of not hitting a driver so far this week (he hurt himself big with an opening triple on Thursday). If it clicks on Sunday, he can shoot a 63.
T5. Jon Rahm (-14 to 13)
T5. Patrick Cantley (-14 to 13)
T5. Justin Thomas (-14 to 17): After Saturday’s finish, JD noted that the best players have provided him with some of the help he needs so far, and if they continue to do so, he’ll have a chance to win on Sunday. Otherwise, it will be very difficult for anyone outside the top two or three to claim the $18 million first prize.
Stat(s) of the day.
It provides better context for how close the match is with a day to go than it was on Friday afternoon. Honorable mention: Schaffel birdied the fourth hole on Friday through the third hole on Saturday (18 holes total) in 60 strokes.
A handful of golfers are close to matching or surpassing their career earnings with a lights-out finish on Sunday. Here’s a look at some of the golfers who probably won’t win it all but could take home the $6.5 million runner-up prize or the $5 million third prize. Tour life.
Seb Straka (T5): $7.9 million
Tom Hoge (D10): $11.4 million
JD Boston (15): $10.3 million
2022 Tour Championship updated odds, picks
- Scotty Scheffler: +105
- Xander Schauffele: +200
- Sungjae Im: +900
- Rory McIlroy: +1000
- John Rahm: +2200
- Patrick Cantlay: +3500
- Justin Thomas: +3500
In the end, either Scheffler or Schauffele will win this race, and I thought so since Thursday. However, if you want a good number, consider Thomas 35-1 as he is going to make birdie on the 18th hole after his third round on Sunday morning. Contley, at 35-1, is also interesting in that he leads the field in strokes gained from tee to green this week and has five holes to play in his third round. He’s five back from the lead, and if he’s having one of those days of making everything he sees, he can certainly beat Scheffler and Schaeffel in his final 23 holes.
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