Birdie bumps Schenk into tie with Hall at Colonial

Birdie bumps Schenk into tie with Hall at Colonial

FORT WORTH, Texas — PGA Tour rookie Harry Hall intended to slip on his Vegas Golden Knights jersey while playing Colonial’s par-3 13th hole Saturday. That plan changed after falling out of the lead because of consecutive double bogeys, amid a strong charge from Adam Schenk.

It was only after finishing the third round back in a share of the lead, with Schenk at 10-under 200, that the Englishman, who lives in Las Vegas after playing at UNLV, pulled on the jersey. His favorite NHL team was playing the local Dallas Stars in the Western Conference finals.

“Being 3 over going into the [13th] hole, I didn’t think that would be the best thing to do,” Hall, who was the solo leader after the first and second rounds, said. “Yeah, I’m T1 after the round, so I thought I’d wear it in the interviews.”

Hall’s final putt in a round of 2-over 72 was a 10-foot par at No. 18 after he chipped from the fringe out of an awkward stance that had his heels hanging over the lip of a bunker. That followed a 10-foot birdie at the 383-yard 17th, stealing a bit of the limelight away from Schenk, along the way.

But Schenk — also looking for his first win, but in his 171st PGA Tour event — closed out a 67 with a memorable putt, as well. He dropped one from 16 feet away to complete his card.

“It was a lot of luck making that putt,” he said. “It was a foot and a half of break and extremely fast.”

The 31-year-old Indiana native was the runner-up at the Valspar Championship in mid-March, but has since missed four cuts and tied for 31st at the RBC Heritage. He hit 11 of 14 fairways and 15 of 18 greens while recording only one bogey Saturday.

“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.”

Harris English, who shot a 70 in the final group with Hall, was a stroke back at 9-under 201 after his bogey on 18, when an 8-foot par chance curled just by the cup. That was two holes after he had sole possession of the lead with a 40-foot birdie on the par-3 16th.

Scottie Scheffler, the No. 1 player in the world and the Colonial runner-up last year, bogeyed three of his last five holes for a 72 after opening with consecutive 67s. He was among six players tied for 10th place at 4 under.

Defending champion Sam Burns, who overcame a seven-stroke deficit in the final round last year and beat Scheffler on the first playoff hole, had his second consecutive 70. He is tied for 16th at 3 under, again seven strokes off the lead after three rounds.

The only player to win in back-to-back years was Ben Hogan, who did it twice — 1946 and 1947, the event’s first two years, and again in 1952-53.

It is the first time since 2014 that it is a shared lead going into the final round at Colonial. There was a four-way tie after 54 holes that year, though eventual winner Adam Scott wasn’t part of that quartet.

Hall’s double bogeys came at Nos. 6 and 7, after 14 birdies and only two bogeys in his 41 holes before that.

After his tee shot at the 401-yard sixth hole went into the right rough, Hall’s approach settled behind a temporary concession stand. After several minutes with a rules official, a couple of drops on a cart and a couple of more on a washed-out area of turf, his pitch through a small gap came up short in the rough of the mounded green.

That double bogey took him to 10 under, at the same time Emiliano Grillo missed a 6-foot par putt a hole ahead to drop to the same score — and a share of the lead, instead of having it outright.

Grillo has a double bogey and two bogeys over his last six holes in a round of 72 that left him at 6 under and tied for fourth place with Justin Suh (66).

Hall’s approach at the 420-yard seventh flew out of bounds to the right off the green.

When he got to the 13th hole at 9 under, he was coming off a 12-foot birdie at No. 12. But that had followed a scrambling par on the 626-yard 11th hole when he was in the rough after each of his first two shots on what is the course’s longest hole by 80 yards.

“Yeah, 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.”

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