Charles Schwab Challenge 2019: Kevin Na Leads Jordan Spieth by 2 Strokes

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMay 25, 2019

FORT WORTH, TEXAS - MAY 25:  Kevin Na of the United States plays his shot from the sixth tee during the third round of the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club on May 25, 2019 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Kevin Na is in sole possession of first place with 18 holes remaining at the 2019 Charles Schwab Challenge.

Na is two shots ahead of a group of five players. He is nine-under par going into the final round.

Starting the third round alone in first place with a one-shot lead, Jonas Blixt opened the door for the field with his worst outing of the weekend. The Sweden native finished with a four-over 74, though he's still on the fringes of contention at five-under par overall.

Here's the leaderboard after the third round Saturday at the Colonial Country Club, via PGATour.com:

1. Kevin Na (-9)

T2. Tony Finau (-7)

T2. C.T. Pan (-7)

T2. Mackenzie Hughes (-7)

T2. Jordan Spieth (-7)

T2. Jim Furyk (-7)

T7. Charley Hoffman (-6)

T7. Austin Cook (-6)

T9. Ryan Palmer (-5)

T9. Nick Watney (-5)

T9. Jonas Blixt (-5)

     

Na followed up a dazzling 62 in the second round with a solid effort, though it did include a double bogey on the par-five 11th hole. Two of his first three shots on the hole found bunkers, and his fourth shot found the fringe off the back of the green.

That was the only hiccup for Na, who made three birdies in the round. Sunday will be his first chance this season to play in the final group. He's only finished in the top 10 once in the previous 14 tournaments, excluding the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

Charley Hoffman was the big winner Saturday with the lowest score of the day. He walked into the clubhouse with a 63, finishing six-under par overall after starting the day 10 shots off the pace.

Hoffman set the tone for his round right away with a 307-yard drive on the par-five first hole, leading to his first birdie. The 42-year-old hit 15 of 18 greens in regulation after making 20 in the first two rounds combined, per PGATour.com.

Jordan Spieth is in a great position to end his near-two-year winless drought on the PGA Tour. The world's 30th-ranked player put together a solid round of 68 Saturday to enter the final round two shots behind Na.

The putter was Spieth's friend, especially early in the day with this 29-foot birdie on No. 1:

Spieth has had problems hitting the fairway all weekend—his driving accuracy in the third round was just 28.6 percent—but he's made it work through 54 holes on the strength of his short game.

He came within an eyelash of being alone in second place and one shot behind Na with this chip shot on No. 16:

Looking ahead to Sunday, Spieth will have to be better than he's been all season to leave Fort Worth, Texas, with a win. His final-round scoring average of 72.9 ranks 206th on the PGA Tour. The last time he broke 70 in the fourth round was at the WGC-Mexico Championship in February.

Na can't get too comfortable with one day remaining. There has been a different leader after each of the first three rounds. A group of 10 players is within four shots of the top spot. Everything is set up for a dramatic finish in Texas.

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