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Top-ranked Scheffler in five-way tie for lead at Houston Open

World number one Scottie Scheffler is in a five-way tie for the lead going into the final round of the US PGA Tour Houston Open (Raj Mehta)
World number one Scottie Scheffler is in a five-way tie for the lead going into the final round of the US PGA Tour Houston Open (Raj Mehta)

World number one Scottie Scheffler, chasing a third straight US PGA Tour title, rebounded from a late double-bogey with back-to-back birdies to join a five-way tie for the lead at the Houston Open on Saturday.

For the second day in a row Scheffler had a double-bogey on his card, but the American's four-under par 66 was enough to put him atop the board on nine-under 201 alongside England's David Skinns, Germany's Stephan Jaeger, Argentina's Alejandro Tosti and Belgian Thomas Detry.

Skinns had five birdies in his bogey-free 65 at Memorial Park, Jaeger had six birdies and two bogeys in his four-under 66, Tosti shook off an early double-bogey with five birdies in a two-under 68 and Detry had four birdies and a bogey in his three-under 67.

Scheffler, who was frustrated to end his second round on Friday with a double-bogey at 18, had six birdies and a bogey in his first 12 holes to cruise to the top of the leaderboard at 10-under.

He was tied for the lead after a bogey at 13 and ran afoul of the short par-three 15th -- which played as the toughest hole on the course on Saturday.

Scheffler's tee shot hit the green some six feet from the hole but spun off the putting surface and into the water.

He would take double-bogey to drop two shots off the pace, but responded by reaching the green in two on the way to a birdie at the par-five 16th and drilling a four and a half foot birdie putt at 17.

"(I) 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.

"Overall it was nice to finish with those two birdies. Hit a really good shot into 16, good shot into 17 -- yeah, felt like I did a lot of things well today."

- It happens -

Scheffler said it wasn't too hard to stay on an even keel after his "horrendous break" at the 15th.

"I hit a great shot and the ball goes in the water. It's not great, but it happens, it's part of the game," said Scheffler.

"I didn't expect it to spin back, I didn't expect it to spin back off the green and I didn't expect it to be in the water... But I'm proud of how I bounced back there."

Scheffler ended a near year-long title drought with a victory at Bay Hill this month, then defended his title at the Players Championship.

This week, he is vying to become the first player since Dustin Johnson in 2017 to win three consecutive PGA Tour starts as preps for the Masters at Augusta National.

"Winning the last two doesn't help me do anything tomorrow," Scheffler said, adding that he would "stick to my process" as he tries to break free of the crowd on Sunday.

Nick Dunlap carded a seven-under par 63 to lead a trio one-shot back on 202, where he was joined by Taylor Moore and Akshay Bhatia, who both shot 67.

Defending champion Tony Finau, who shot to the top of the leaderboard with a 62 on Friday, carded a two-over 72 to fall into a group on 203 that also included England's Aaron Rai, Max Greyserman and Chad Ramey.

Ramey had the solo lead at 10-under after his fifth birdie of the day at the 13th, but he had three bogeys coming in to post a two-under 68.

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