Here is a recap of the third round of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas:
LEADING: Beau Hossler is 18 holes from his first PGA Tour win.
The former junior and University of Texas phenom fired a beautiful bogey-free 5-under 66, the round of the day, on Saturday to grab the co-lead in Las Vegas. Hossler birdied Nos. 2, 7 and 9 to go out in 32 and then finished strong with birdies at 15 and 18. The final putt at the last was a 30-footer that dropped.
At the time, Hossler was in at 9 under overall and one shot back. But J.J. Spaun would bogey 17 to drop from 10 under to 9 and give Hossler a share of the 54-hole lead.
Hossler, 22, first shined when he took the lead during the second round of the 2012 U.S. Open – when he was still in high school. He then blitzed college golf at Texas, earning the Haskins Award presented by Stifel in his junior (and final) season. Surgery for a torn labrum, necessary after acquiring an injury at the 2016 NCAA Championship, kept him out of pro golf action the summer following his junior season. He announced that July he was turning pro, but he could not get back into action until that fall.
Hossler entered 2017 with no status on even the Web.com Tour. But he Monday qualified into a June event on that circuit and finished runner-up. He finished runner-up in another event a month later and would gain full status on the Web.com Tour circuit. He did so late in the year, which meant entry into just 14 events on the season, but he placed 23rd on the money list to earn his 2017-18 PGA Tour card.
This is Hossler’s third start of the Tour season, with a best of T-10 at the Sanderson Farms Championship. That marks his career best on the PGA Tour at the moment, but now the phenom is in line for his first PGA Tour win at age 22.
Spaun is also looking for his first PGA Tour win. The 27-year-old was the 36-hole leader, and he struggled to a 73 Saturday, but it was enough to keep him on top. Spaun rolled in a 10-footer for par at the last to avoid a bogey-bogey finish and falling out of the lead.
Spaun won a Mackenzie Tour event in 2015 and captured a Web.com Tour victory in 2016 on his way to a third-place finish on the circuit’s money list. His 2016-17 rookie season on the PGA Tour was a 29-event campaign that included three top 10s and saw him place 97th in FedEx Cup points. His best career result on the PGA Tour is a tie for fourth at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, but he’s one more good day away from improving on that and possibly earning his first PGA Tour win.
CHASING: Tony Finau is the closest pursuer, as he’s solo third at 6 under. Chesson Hadley is tied for fourth at 5 under after a third-round 69. He was T-100 when Thursday was over. Patrick Cantlay is also 5 under after a Saturday 70.
SHOT OF THE DAY: What a way to finish off a bogey-free 66 to eventually grab a piece of the lead, Beau!
QUOTABLE: To come…
SHORT SHOTS: Charley Hoffman, who is donating all his winnings this week to Vegas shooting victims, is tied for 10th at 3 under. … Kelly Kraft had the lead at 11 under early in Round 3, but he played his final 16 holes in 9 over for an 8-over 79. He plummets from second to a tie for 18th at 2 under. … A.J. McInerney, who survived the Vegas shooting, shoots a second straight 70 to sit at 2 under. He’s T-18 in his PGA Tour debut. … Ernie Els also is T-18 at 2 under. … Past champion Webb Simpson is tied for 29th at 1 under after a third-round 69. … Sam Burns is T-48 at 1 over. … Bubba Watson, who has moved on from the Volvik golf ball, is also tied for 48th. … Defending champion Rod Pampling is tied for 55th at 2 over.