Xander Schauffele will carry a one-shot lead into the final round of the Charles Schwab Challenge. On a day that saw ideal scoring conditions at Colonial Country Club, the 26-year old stands at 13 under par, one shot ahead of Branden Grace, 2016 Colonial champion Jordan Spieth, rookie Collin Morikawa, reigning U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland and Justin Thomas.
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Schauffele capped his round, which featured six birdies and two bogeys, with an 11-foot birdie putt on the 18th that broke a six-way tie for the lead. He spoke about not having any spectators at the tournament.
"I don't have like a huge effect on the crowd I'd say, so not having fans isn't the craziest thing. It just does feel like I'm playing at home with some of my buddies. It's quiet.
"You make three birdies in a row, you can kind of give yourself a pat on the back. That's about it."
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With the lowest career scoring average at Colonial in the last 37 years, Spieth is the player likeliest to catch Schauffele after a third round 68.
"Today was a day where I look at the last couple years and say that would have potentially been a 2 or 3 over (round) and taken me all the way out of the tournament and I like the progression I've been able to make.
"I feel comfortable that I can go into tomorrow and shoot a good score. If it happens, it happens and if it doesn't, it doesn't. But I learned a bit about what was going on when I really felt kind of the nerves kick in today, and hopefully compensate for that tomorrow and hit some better shots."
Among those two back are Harold Varner III, who led after the first two rounds and Patrick Reed and Rory Mcilroy leading the group at 10 under.
"It's what I needed to do today", Reed said referring to his 63 that put him in contention. "I think that was the biggest thing. Coming into today, I just felt like I did a lot of things solid the first two days, but I made a lot of careless mistakes.
"I was trying to clean that up today. I felt like I did a good job on that and just gave myself a chance with the putter."