McKinney, Texas (AP) — Sebastián Muñoz will be the “other” local man in the final clutch of the final lap of the Byron Nelson.
It’s cool of the Colombian now calling the Dallas area home and at least sharing the lead after all three rounds.
Muñoz shot a 6-under 66 on Saturday and was 21 under, knocking out his hometown favorite Jordan Spieth, who is still looking for a breakthrough in the final round event as a 16-year-old high school student. . 2010. Spieth shot a 64.
Joaquin Niemann becomes the third player in the final group on Sunday, only one more shot back in third after a 65. James Hahn almost matched Muñoz’s opening round 60 at TPC Craig Ranch, shooting 61 to jump 34 places to a tie. fourth place with Justin Tomas (64).
Spieth is a year younger than Muñoz at age 28, but has three majors among 13 career wins after starring at the University of Texas. Muñoz, who played near North Texas in college, is 2 1/2 years away from his lone PGA Tour win.
“Except winning in Bogota, Colombia, I have never been the favorite of any other place,” said Muñoz. “So it’s a familiar place. Jordan is of course the golden boy here, so everyone’s favourite. I’m good friends with him, so tomorrow will be a lot of fun.”
Spieth never went more than two holes without a birdie for a bogey at 15. He has had lower rounds and was previously close to victory in a tournament he is eager to win after such a remarkable PGA Tour debut as an amateur 12 years ago .
By the way, he and others in the top 30 in the world playing this week are gearing up for the PGA Championship next week at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
“So if I have a chance to win this event, it’s the best chance I’ve ever had going into Sunday,” Spieth said. “I did a good job of not putting too much pressure on myself, I just wanted to get into the fight and of course see what needs to be honed for next week. But there is no better preparation for a major than winning the week before. “
Speith was ninth in the first year at TPC Craig Ranch last season, his best finish in Nelson.
Muñoz made a 39-foot birdie putt on the par-4 second hole and sank a long bunker shot on the short par-4 sixth.
Playing with another Texan in Ryan Palmer, Muñoz ran into trouble with Palmer on the par-4 16th.
After Palmer sprayed his approach to the stands, Muñoz went left with a shot from a bunker with the ball in the rough over his feet. He swept the ground with his club after leaving a chip 10 yards away and ended up with his only bogey.
Palmer, two shots at once after one piece of five consecutive birdieshad to drop a deep rough, needed two shots to get out and three putted for a double bogey.
A West Texas native and Dallas native looking for his first individual win since 2010, Palmer shot 70 and was 17 under with defending champion KH Lee (67) and 2011 Masters winner Charl Schwartzel (68).
Hahn missed the cut the last two times he played the Nelson after finishing third in 2017, his final year at the TPC Four Seasons in another Dallas suburb, Irving.
The move to McKinney, about 30 miles north of downtown, came after the Nelson played twice at Trinity Forest in south Dallas, then was canceled amid the pandemic before another move occurred.
Hahn, a two-time winner of the PGA Tour, birdied five of the last six holes on the front nine and started a five-under stretch over four holes through his second shot to 7 feet on the par-5 12th†
“I feel like it was just easy for me, but everybody shoots, 9-, 10-under, somebody is every day,” said Hahn, who has missed 10 cuts this season. “So I was just like, ‘Why not me?'”
Masters champion Scottie Scheffler, who overcame a triple bogey early in the second round for an outside shot to make a run on Sunday, birdies in bunches in a 65, leaving him at 16 under.
The top-ranked player and Dallas native birdied four of the last five holes up front and three in a row in the back, but his bogey-free round ended with a disappointing par on the reachable 18th par-5.
“I haven’t really seen the ball go in much, which is frustrating because you have to make putts here to shoot low scores,” Scheffler said. “I fought my way back into the tournament a bit, but I need a hot putter tomorrow if I want to make some noise.”
Davis Riley shot 64 and tied with Scheffler and Beau Hossler (67).
A few older tour rookies faded from the fray with 2-over 74s. David Skinns, a 40-year-old from England, started the day right with Muñoz and Palmer, and 33-year-old American Justin Lower, who had only one shot back.