Darryl Webb Theegala leads on what is only his 24th PGA Tour start.
# Teed Up Nicely
Theegala clings to one-shot lead over Koepka at Phoenix Open
Xander Schauffele, Talor Gooch, Patrick Cantlay and Scottie Scheffler are all two shots back and in the hunt at TPC Scottsdale.

LAST UPDATE | Feb 13th 2022, 9:32 AM

ROOKIE SAHITH THEEGALA closed with a stunning par save on Saturday to take a one-shot lead into the final round of the US PGA Phoenix Open.

The 24-year-old American birdied the 17th and blasted an 87-foot shot from greenside rough at the 18th within inches of the cup for a two-under par 69 to lead on 14-under at TPC Scottsdale.

Four-time major winner Brooks Koepka, the defending champion, closed with a 17-foot par putt to shoot 68 and stand one off the lead with a pack of fellow Americans — Tokyo Olympic champion Xander Schauffele, Talor Gooch, Patrick Cantlay and Scottie Scheffler — two adrift on 201.

World number 318 Theegala, an amateur standout at Pepperdine University making only his 24th PGA start, lost a two-stroke lead with a double bogey at the par-4 second hole after finding a bunker off the tee.

Koepka and Schauffele traded the lead much of the front nine, Schauffele made birdies at the par-5 third and par-4 fourth to grab the lead but Koepka matched him with a 13-foot birdie putt at the fifth and rolled in a 28-foot birdie putt at the sixth, only for Schauffele to equal him with a birdie from just inside five feet to deadlock them at the top on 13-under.

Schauffele was alone in front after Koepka made bogey at the par-3 seventh and both birdied the par-4 eighth, but Theegala sank his third birdie putt in four holes from four feet at the ninth to close within a stroke at the turn.

Schauffele found water off the 11th tee and made a double bogey while Theegala hooked his tee shot way left and made bogey, dropping them level for the lead with Koepka and Cantlay on 12-under.

Cantlay reached the green in two at the par-5 13th and two-putted from 26 feet for birdie but Schauffele, Koepka and Theegala followed with birdies at 13 to match him at the top at 13-under.

Schauffele found water at the par-5 15th and made bogey to stumble back and at the par-3 16th stadium hole, with thousands of screaming spectators surrounding the layout, Koepka lipped out a five-foot par putt to a chorus of boos.

Cantlay drove into the water at 17 but rescued par with a nine-foot putt while Koepka drove the 17th green and tapped in for birdie to reclaim a share of the lead.

Moments later, Theegala rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt at 17 to seize the outright lead, then hung on with his par save at 18.

– © AFP 2022

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