Scheffler and Stallings among top three tied for lead at Charles Schwab Challenge

Scheffler and Stallings among top three tied for lead at Charles Schwab Challenge

FORT WORTH, Texas — It’s been a good week in North Texas for Scott Stallings, first qualifier for the US Open which will be played less than an hour from his birthplace and now shares the Colonial lead with Scottie Scheffler, the highest ranked. and Beau Hossler.

Stallings shot a bogey-free 6-under 64 a relatively quiet Friday in Hogan’s Alley. That puts the Massachusetts-born, 206th-ranked player in the world at 9-under 131 with Dallas-area resident Scheffler and former University of Texas player Hossler, who both had bogey-free 65s.

Scheffler, in one of the last groups of the day after Stallings and Hossler played in the morning wave, tied them with a 14-foot birdie putt on the par-4 17th and saved the par at No. 18 after his last practice went in the rough.

“I think I had to score well with very light wind and not firm greens,” said Scheffler, bogey-free so far this week. “Yeah, I love that stat. It’s a lot of fun. … I avoided stress for the most part.

It was quiet most of the day on Friday. But warm and windy conditions are expected for the weekend rounds at the Charles Schwab Challenge, with gusts of around 30 mph and temperatures in the mid to high 90s in the forecast.

Scheffler and Hossler were among eight players in the Colonial record to share the 18-hole lead at 66. Stallings started the second round as one of seven others within a stroke of that.

Patrick Reed tied his opening 66 with another and was alone in fourth place at 8 under 132. Pat Perez (66) and Chris Kirk (67), the 2015 Colonial champion who hasn’t won on the PGA TOUR since, had 7 under.

After missing the cut at the PGA Championship last week like Scheffler did, Stallings, 37, came to the Dallas area to play Monday in a 36-hole qualifier for the US Open next month. in Brookline, Massachusetts. He shot 8 under and placed 11th to compete in his third US Open and 12th major overall.

“It was a huge goal, probably the biggest goal I had all year is to play the Open there,” Stallings said Friday. “Probably the only time in my career I’ll have the opportunity to play a major championship in New England where at least half of my family lives, my sister lives just down the road.”

Stallings had eight birdies and five bogeys in his first round at Colonial. There were no bogeys on Friday, and no birdies until four midway through the round – at numbers 8, 9, 11 and 12. The three-time PGA TOUR winner added another at No. 14, then finished rolling in a 28-foot birdie Putt.

Getting the momentum from qualifying for the US Open “was nice to see and enjoy on a day that we certainly haven’t seen very often here,” said Stallings, who was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, but now lives in Tennessee, where he attended school at Tennessee Tech.

Jordan Spieth, another local favorite and No. 9 in the world, fired 66 shots. He birdied his first two holes and birdied a 35-foot putt finishing on the ninth hole. Spieth was tied for 12th at 5 under.

The 2016 Colonial winner, Spieth finished second at Hogan’s Alley for the third time last year, as he led after each of the first three rounds before falling to a final showdown with Jason Kokrak on the final day. Kokrak is still by in two rounds this year.

Fifth-placed Justin Thomas missed the cut at 3 in a week after winning the PGA Championship for the second time. His 72 on Friday included an overrun 6 on a four-hole streak midway through the round – bogeys at No. 7, 8 and 10, and triple bogey 7 at No. 9 without going into the water.

It was the second straight year the PGA winner played the following week at Colonial to miss the cut. Last year it was Phil Mickelson.

Hossler, in his 136th PGA TOUR event and still looking for his first victory, had a more stable second round after Thursday’s thrilling finish, when he hit two eagle 2s on his last four holes, although both holes came immediately after bogeys.

“Admittedly, yesterday was more of an up and down round. Today I felt frankly, never really stress free, but as stress free as possible,” Hossler said. “I felt like I was playing. I’ve never been so out of position.

Nick Taylor, ranked 244th in the world, took the solo lead for the second consecutive day. The Canadian took a share of the first-round lead with a bogey on his last hole, and Friday shot 6 of 41 on his last nine holes after five birdies in his first nine holes to make his round at 9 under.

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