Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay produced another dazzling low-scoring round to take a commanding five-shot lead at the PGA Tour’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans team event on Saturday.
Schauffele and Cantlay – who lit up the tournament with a 13-under-par 59 in the opening round – carded a 12-under-par 60 to surge clear of the field in Saturday’s third round four-balls.
The duo combined for 10 birdies and an eagle to finish the day on 29 under for the tournament, five clear of South African duo Garrick Higgo and Branden Grace, who combined for a third round 63.
Schauffele and Cantlay’s round erupted over the back nine, when the duo made eight birdies, with the only blemish a par on par-three 14th hole.
“We made more birdies than the rest of the field, I guess,” Schauffele said.
“Not as many as Thursday, but it was pretty windy and we sort of got our grip on the front nine, stayed very patient.”
It means Schauffele and Cantlay will be heavily favoured to claim victory on Sunday in what is the only two-man team event on the PGA Tour.
“It’s the third quarter,” Schauffele added. “We finished a really good three quarters here and we have one more to go.”
Cantlay meanwhile said patience would be the key to victory on Sunday, which would see each winner pocket around $1.2 million.
“We’re going to stay patient and try and hit the right shot all day and stay really present,” Cantlay said.
“We did a good job of that today. Even when we got off to a slower start, we just stayed really present and tried to do the best we could. It’s all cliches at this point, but that’s really what it is.”
Three pairings – Sam Burns and Billy Horschel, Australian duo Jason Day and Jason Scrivener, and Aaron Rai and David Lipsky – are tied for third place, six shots off the pace at 23 under. All three pairings shot nine-under-par 63s.
Wyndham Clark and Cameron Tringale are seven off the lead on 22 under after combining for a seven-under-par 65 on Saturday.