Can Scottie Scheffler actually win 3 straight? He’s in great shape in Houston

Scottie Scheffler watches a tee shot during the third round of the Texas Children's Houston Open on Saturday.

Scottie Scheffler watches a tee shot during the third round of the Texas Children's Houston Open on Saturday.

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Yes, Scottie Scheffler is very much in contention to win his third-straight PGA Tour title. And no, you should not be surprised.

Scheffler, the top-ranked player in the world, entered the weekend of the Texas Children’s Houston Open at Memorial Park Golf Course four shots off the lead, but he made up major ground with a four-under 66 on Saturday. At nine under overall, he’s one of the tournament’s five 54-hole co-leaders.

Scheffler is tied with David Skinns, Stephan Jaeger, Alejandro Tosti and Thomas Detry, a foursome that’s winless in their 231 combined starts on the PGA Tour.

“Feel like I did a lot of stuff really well out there today,” Scheffler said. “Feel like I played better than my score. I had a few shots I didn’t really get rewarded for and somewhat punished for some pretty good shots.”

The five-way tie for first after 54 holes is the most on the PGA Tour since six players were tied after three rounds in this same event back in 2009 (although none of them won).

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Skinns, a 42-year-old Englishman, also held the 54-hole lead at the Cognizant Classic earlier this month but shot 71 in the final round and tied for 4th, which was still his best finish in his PGA Tour career. This week is his 37th career start. Jaeger, 34, has three top-five finishes in 134 Tour starts; Detry, 31, has one runner-up finish in 50 career starts; and Tosti, a 27-year-old rookie, is making just this 12th career start this week.

As for Scheffler, he’s already won twice this month.

“Scottie’s in a different league right now; he’s proved it over and over again,” Skinns said. “He’s as good as it gets right now.”

Scheffler erased an early birdie on 3 with a bogey on 4, but he grabbed a share of the lead with birdies on 6, 8, 9, 10 and 12. He had a chance to take a solo lead at the drivable par-4 13th, but he ran his first chip over the green and made bogey. It was an unfortunate hole for Scheffler, who a day earlier three-putted from inside six feet on the 18th hole to shoot an even-par 70 and snap the Tour’s longest streak of consecutive sub-par rounds at 28. It was also just his second double bogey of the season.

But he’d soon add another.

On 15, the short par-3 into the wind, Scheffler spun his ball off the green, down the slope and into the water. (He called it a “horrendous break.”) He chipped on and wasn’t able to make his 13-footer to save bogey. Dating back to Friday, it was his second double in 16 holes after he went the previous 217 holes without one.

Of course, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that Scheffler bounced back, either. He two-putted the par-5 16th for birdie and rolled in a five-footer for birdie on 17 to again tie for the lead.

Come Sunday, Scheffler will aim for his third straight win — following the Arnold Palmer Invitational and Players Championship — which hasn’t happened on the PGA Tour since Dustin Johnson did it in 2017.

“Winning the last two doesn’t help me do anything tomorrow,” Scheffler said. “I think it’s going to be another pretty challenging day out there with high winds. Stick to my process and control what I can control.”

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