Scottie Scheffler among 8 players tied for top of Charles Schwab Classic standings after 4-under 66

FORT WORTH, Texas — Scottie Scheffler did something last weekend he rarely does, watching a golf tournament at home after missing a cut. The world No. 1 player is back on the course and tied for the top of a crowded leaderboard at Colonial.

Scheffler was among eight players who shot 4-under 66 on Thursday at the Charles Schwab Classic. But he was the only bogey-free in that group, bouncing back from his missed PGA Championship cut.

Cam Davis, Beau Hossler, Chris Kirk, Patrick Reed, Webb Simpson, Nick Taylor and Harold Varner III also shot 66 rounds. Seven others were pulled back.

“The course is playing stronger than in a typical year here. Yeah, I felt like I did a pretty good job managing myself around the golf course,” Scheffler said. “Anytime you’re not doing bogeys, it’s going to be a good lap.”

Those who started in the morning wave – including Scheffler, Reed, Simpson and Varner – started with virtually no wind and cooler conditions. The wind picked up later in their rounds and blew at 20 mph throughout the afternoon.

Defending Colonial champion Jason Kokrak and Jordan Spieth, the 2016 winner who last year became a third runner-up, shot 69.

Many players wore ribbons pinned to their caps to show their support for the community in Uvalde, Texas – about 350 miles south of the course – where 19 students and two teachers were killed in a school shooting. primary on Tuesday.

Reed birdied on all four par-3s at Colonial, including a 64-foot shot from the greenside bunker into the cut on the 237-yard fourth hole. His only bogey came on his last hole, after missing the fairway on the ninth straight hole on a 400-yard dogleg.

In his 11 previous starts over the past four months, Reed has missed four cuts and finished no better than 26th. He slipped to 38th in the world golf rankings – he was ninth at Colonial last year.

“It feels good to get a number out of it,” Reed said of his 66. “Honestly, I feel like there were too many days where I did a lot of things really well. , just the number But the good thing about a season is that it’s a season, you have a lot of time left.

Varner had four bogeys, countering those with six birdies and an eagle on the 634-yard 11th hole, where he had a 330-yard drive and 305-yard approach to the green for a 5-foot putt. It came after a 55-foot birdie chip-in at No. 10 and a 10-foot birdie putt at No. 12, but bogeyed two of the next three holes.

Backed by his 95-yard eagle mark on the par-4 12th, Taylor was 5 under and still had a shot lead until his bogey at No. 18. The world No. 244-ranked player has hit his last drive of the day right, and his second shot ended up on a cart path.

Simpson followed his only bogeys, on the front two par 3s, immediately with birdies. This included a 6½ft birdie putt at No. 9 after his tee shot at No. 8 put him in a deep greenside bunker with only his head and shoulders visible as he exited.

“Other than those two holes, it was really solid,” Simpson said. “There were some good ups and downs, but it’s the type of Colonial that I like where the rough is high and the wind is blowing.”

Hossler took his share of the lead with an eagle 2 from 135 yards out and finished on the ninth hole. He also had another 65-yard eagle on the par-4 sixth. His two eagles came after bogeys on his previous hole.

Scheffler played Thursday with PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas, the world No. 5 player who had a 71.

Thomas won the PGA in a three-hole playoff against Will Zalatoris, who had a 72 opening at Colonial. Zalatoris lives in the Dallas area like Scheffler and Spieth.

Mito Pereira shot an even-par 70 at Colonial, four days after losing the PGA lead and missing the playoffs with Thomas and Zalatoris due to a double bogey on the 72nd hole at Southern Hills.

Scheffler didn’t officially commit to playing at Colonial until after his early departure from the PGA. He watched the rest of the PGA Championship on television after the approximately 300-mile return trip from Tulsa, Oklahoma.

“I usually never watch golf, but it was nice. I relaxed all day Saturday and Sunday, went out and practiced, just put the tournament on my phone and I watched,” Scheffler said. “Will was really close and JT is also a good pal of mine, and my old caddy was a caddy for Mito. … I had a lot of different guys I wanted to watch, and it was fun.”

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