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Charles Schwab Challenge 2021: Jordan Spieth Holds 1-Stroke Lead Entering Final Round

Blake SchusterContributor IMay 30, 2021

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Jordan Spieth is just 18 holes away from a wire-to-wire victory at the 2021 Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas, after another masterful round Saturday.

Paired up with Jason Kokrak, the Dallas native continued to excel at Colonial Country Club as he looks for his second tour victory this season and seventh top-10 finish at the course just outside his hometown.

A moving-day round of 66 brought him to 15 under par for the tournament and one stroke ahead of Kokrak, who shot a 66 as well but remains at 14 under. Kokrak had an opportunity to take the solo lead and put pressure on Spieth with a birdie putt at No. 18, but the 54-foot shot proved too difficult and the Canadian settled for par.

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

8 feet away for birdie at the last.@JordanSpieth is looking for the solo lead heading into Sunday. pic.twitter.com/pXBIFzHVlD

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Birdie on 18.@JordanSpieth will take a 1-shot lead into the final round @CSChallengeFW. pic.twitter.com/8HxitcXdc0

Spieth wouldn't make the same mistake, burying his birdie putt for the sixth circle of the day on his scorecard.

Here's a look at where things stand heading into Sunday's final round.


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Charles Schwab Challenge Saturday Leaderboard

1. Jordan Spieth (-15)

2. Jason Kokrak (-14)

3. Sergio Garcia (-10)

T4. Ian Poulter (-8)

T4. Sebastian Munoz (-8)

T6. Brendon Todd (-7)

T6. Erik Compton (-7)

T6. Patton Kizzire (-7)

T9. Kyle Stanley (-6)

T9. Tony Finau (-6)

T9. Talor Gooch (-6)

T9. Kevin Streelman (-6)

T9. Brian Harman (-6)

T9. Kramer Hickok (-6)

T9. Adam Hadwin (-6)

T9. Maverick McNealy (-6)

Notables: T17. Harold Varner III (-5), T17. Justin Rose (-5), T27. Kevin Kisner (-3), T27. Collin Morikawa (-3), T34. Gary Woodland (-2), T46. Justin Thomas (-1), T52. Will Zalatoris (E)

Full leaderboard available via PGA Tour

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Fist pump for some flare. 😂<br><br>Perfect touch and a birdie for @WillZalatoris. pic.twitter.com/8X8Gu04fL2

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

130 yards out in a bunker. 🏖<br><br>Matt Kuchar knocks it to 3 feet. 🐦 pic.twitter.com/TWF5NnzlFE

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Keep it under the trees ✅<br>Avoid the bunker ✅<br>Nearly hole it ✅<br>Hat tip ✅@PKizzire somehow makes birdie on No. 17. pic.twitter.com/vTAR5O6JNg


Recap

Spieth powered through the first two rounds of play without making a single bogey. He wouldn't be so fortunate Saturday. The 27-year-old went 40 holes at Colonial before the par-four No. 5 tripped him up.

A wayward tee shot into the rough left Spieth attempting to make up ground with his second stroke, but he couldn't reach the green in regulation. A two-putt didn't help matters either as Spieth dropped a shot for the first time all week. He'd earn his second blemish of the tournament three holes later when he went way right of the green on a par three. Spieth nearly saved par, but his eight-foot putt stopped one inch in front of the cup.

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Right at it. 🎯<br><br>Birdie for @JordanSpieth puts him back in the solo lead. pic.twitter.com/QBHJWOGe95

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Dialed with the Texas wedge. 🕳@JordanSpieth leads by 3. pic.twitter.com/yzJBft4u0Z

He played perfect the rest of the way, finishing strong with three birdies on the back nine for his second consecutive round of 66.

Kokrak ran into a bit more trouble out there. 

After back-to-back birdies to begin his round, Kokrak gave both strokes right back with bogeys on No. 4 and No. 5—both par fours. It took four more birdies on the back nine for the Ontario native to pull back into a draw with Spieth, and only a missed birdie putt on 18 stopped him from ending the round tied for first.

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

Birdie-birdie start for @JayKokrak. 🐦<br><br>He moves into the co-lead at -12. pic.twitter.com/VICbCPAGNt

PGA TOUR @PGATOUR

2 birdies in a row.<br>3 birdies in his last 4.@JayKokrak is heating up @CSChallengeFW. pic.twitter.com/44tdUoNNDT

Despite a few flaws Saturday, Kokrak remains four strokes ahead of Sergio Garcia in third.

The big winner other than Spieth and Kokrak on moving day was Ian Poulter, who provided the round with its namesake by vaulting 26 spots up the leaderboard with a round of 64—six strokes fewer than he used Friday.

Poulter dropped in seven birdies with just one bogey—courtesy of a wayward second shot on par-four No. 7—gaining 3.43 strokes putting as he vaulted into the top five.

Another day like that will have Poulter squarely in the race for the title Sunday.

He'll just have to hope Spieth and Kokrak continue to drop shots in the process.

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