Scottie Scheffler has admitted it was "definitely a surprise" to see Brooks Koepka join the breakaway Saudi-backed LIV Golf series as he reaffirmed his commitment to the PGA Tour.

Koepka became the latest big name to join the controversial LIV series this week, following the likes of Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed and Abraham Ancer to join after its maiden event in London earlier this month.

Those moving have faced significant backlash for their decisions, with Rory McIlroy questioning the approach of the players on Wednesday, and while Scheffler was surprised, he stopped short of direct criticism.

"It was definitely a surprise for me. I was at a function with him last week and that definitely wasn't what we had in mind," he told a news conference.

"We were focused on building the PGA Tour and getting the guys that are staying here together and kind of just having talks and figuring out how we can help benefit the Tour, so to see Brooks leave was definitely a surprise for us.

"With that being said, he's made his decision, I'm not going to knock him for doing that."

The world number one also reaffirmed his own commitment to the PGA Tour and rebuffed any chances of him following in Koepka's footsteps.

"For me, it's not where I see myself heading anytime soon. I grew up wanting to be on the PGA Tour.

"I grew up dreaming of playing in these events, I didn't grow up dreaming of playing the Centurion Club in London or whatever it is. 

"I grew up wanting to play in the Masters, in Austin, at Colonial, the Byron Nelson.

"I wouldn't trade those memories for anything at this moment in time. Those memories to me are invaluable. 

"I would never risk going and losing the opportunity to go back to Augusta every year. 

"There's nothing I would want to do right now that would risk having any sort of effect on the way my life is now."

World number one Scottie Scheffler and fellow U.S. Open runner-up Will Zalatoris paid respect to winner Matt Fitzpatrick after a thrilling final round at The Country Club.

Scheffler started his round with four birdies on his first six holes, going on to shoot a 67 and finish five under for the tournament, one behind Fitzpatrick.

Zalatoris also finished at five under, and had a chance to force a playoff by making a birdie putt on the 18th hole, only for it to narrowly miss wide.

It was a remarkable result for England's Fitzpatrick, who became the first player since fellow Englishman Danny Willett in 2016 to mark his first career PGA Tour win with a major victory.

Scheffler told the media after his round that he was happy with his performance, and highlighted the massive improvements he has seen from Fitzpatrick this season.

"My game is still in a good spot," he said. "I gave myself a chance to win the U.S. Open. 

"Performed really well today under a lot of pressure – I made some key putts there in the beginning to kind of get today going. I just played some quality golf. 

"It just so happened the putts [later in the round] were going around the edge instead of in. That's kind of what it felt like was happening most of the week… a few breaks here or there, and I would be the one holding the trophy.

"Tip of the hat to 'Fitzy'. He's been playing really good golf, and he definitely deserved to win this event. I don't know if you guys noticed, but I feel like he has made some extreme improvements off the tee in a matter of months.

"I played with him in Austin this year, and he was not hitting it nearly as far as he is now. I don't know what he was doing. Maybe he was on the Bryson program or something. 

"He's hitting the ball really well and has been knocking on the door for a long time. He definitely deserves this win."

Zalatoris said he thought his playoff-forcing putt was dropping as he watched it travel, and gave respect to Fitzpatrick for what will go down as a legendary bunker save on the 18th hole.

"I did [think my putt was going in] – with about six feet to go, I thought I had it," he said.

"When he pulled it off [out of the bunker] – tip your cap, well done. Now I have to make birdie and hope he misses.

"I painted that shot right over the flagstick and just hit it a little deep. [Fitzpatrick's] golf shot was one-in-20, at best. To pull it off in that situation is incredible.

"He had to cut it around kind of an island of rough in the middle of that bunker. Probably – I don't know how far he had – I'd say roughly around 160, 170 [yards to the pin]. 

"So he's probably hitting a seven or a six-iron and opening it up, carving it off probably left edge of the green. And to get it to be just past pin-high, like I said, the fact he had a look was just awesome.

"When they show the highlights at future U.S. Opens, that's one that's going to be shown, because that was just incredible."

Matt Fitzpatrick called it a dream come true to win his first major after shooting 68 in Sunday's final round to finish on six under, winning the U.S. Open by one stroke from Scottie Scheffler and Will Zalatoris.

The win is the 27-year-old Englishman's first on the PGA Tour, making him the first player to collect his debut victory in a major since Danny Willett won the 2016 Masters.

It also comes at the same course – The Country Club at Brookline – where Fitzpatrick won the 2013 U.S. Amateur.

Speaking to the media after his stunning triumph, he said this was the culmination of a lifetime of work.

"No words, it’s what you grow up dreaming of," he said. "It’s a day I’ve worked so hard for, for such a long time.

"There was a big monkey on my back trying to win over here, all they ever talked about was that, and to do it as a major for my first win – there’s nothing better."

Fitzpatrick gave himself every chance on Sunday by hitting 17-of-18 greens in regulation, and then produced one of the shots of his life on the 18th hole to work his way out of a bunker for the win.

"I’ve got to give myself credit, I stayed patient today," he said. "I said to [caddie] Billy [Foster] that if I could just hit 18 greens today I’d like to think I’d got a good chance – and I near as damn did it. 

"I got a couple of nice breaks there on 15, took advantage of it and that’s what it took in the end.

"Me and Billy spent quite a while talking about the 18th tee shot, undecided. I hit a three-wood today, into the bunker and if there was one shot that I’ve struggled with that I just do not want, it’s a fairway bunker shot. 

"I don’t know, ability just took over and it’s one of the best shots I’ve hit, of all time. When I saw it leave the sand, I couldn’t have been happier."

Back in 2013 when he won the U.S. Amateur, Fitzpatrick stayed with a host family, and he decided to stay with the same family – the Fultons – this time around.

"It’s meant the world, I’ve won twice now here," he said. "I’m trying to get every Tour event around here now and stay at the Fulton’s. 

"So to have them, or to stay with them this week, has made it so much more relaxing, less pressure – I’ve loved every minute."

He finished his trophy presentation ceremony with a message for Jack Nicklaus.

"I don’t know if Jack’s listening to this, but he gave me a bit of abuse at the start of the year," he said.

"I won the member’s member at his club – the Bears Club – and he said ‘finally, congratulations on winning in the States’. 

"So I can go back to him and say 'Jack, I’ve won a second time this year'."

Scottie Scheffler is enjoying the tricky conditions at this year's U.S. Open, sitting two strokes from co-leaders Will Zalatoris and Matthew Fitzpatrick heading into Sunday's final round.

Despite a strong start, the world number one could only manage a one-over 71 at The Country Club on Saturday, finishing on two-under after 54 holes.

In windy and overcast conditions, only seven players posted scores under par on moving day in Brookline, with nine under par for the tournament after three rounds.

After his round on Saturday, Scheffler was far from bemoaning the difficulties he or the field has faced, insisting it is why he is playing the tournament.

"I think the U.S. Open is very taxing, mentally and physically," he said. "I think that's all part of what this makes this tournament so fun. You're going to get tested all different kinds of ways, whether it be physically, mentally, whatever it is. This golf tournament is going to test you.

"That's why I show up here. I think that's kind of the fun of it. If every golf tournament was like this, it would be in for a long season for all of us. A few times a year I think it's a ton of fun."

After a spectacular eagle on the par-five eighth to go three-under over the front nine, the conditions bit Scheffler hard, posting a double bogey and then three consecutive bogeys between 11 and 14.

A birdie on the 17th was followed up with a massive par save on the final hole after finding the bunker, and the usually stoic 25-year-old let out a rare show of emotion, triumphantly pumping his fist after a tough one-putt.

"It was good because I hit my second shot, and I hit it exactly where I wanted to," Scheffler said. "It got gusted, and it came up short. Where we thought the ball was going to end up was right on top of the bunker where I had no stance.

"So, a hole in which I really thought after a good shot on the second round I was going to walk away with five, to get out of there with four was definitely a big boost.

"I knew how hard the putt was, and that's why I was so frustrated because I had a chance to get it somewhat close, and I didn't hit a great shot."

Will Zalatoris and Matthew Fitzpatrick share the lead coming into the final round at the U.S. Open, finishing a tough Saturday on four-under par at Brookline.

Only nine players at this third major of the year have scores under par after 54 holes at the Country Club, and the tied lead between Zalatoris and Fitzpatrick only came after Jon Rahm's dreadful final hole in overcast and blustery conditions.

The world number two had the outright lead coming into his final hole on moving day, but three consecutive bunker shots and a two-putt led to a double-bogey on the par-four 18th and three-under after 54.

Zalatoris and Fitzpatrick have not won as professionals in the United States, with the former agonisingly finishing second at the 2021 Masters and this year's PGA Championship.

With Zalatoris finishing his round earlier in the day, Rahm finished as the conditions further cooled, placing particular difficulty on the approach to the green with club selection.

A visibly frustrated Rahm was able to compensate with some exceptional putting on the back nine, however, sinking a long birdie putt on the 14th to put him level with the two leaders. Three birdies between 14 and 17 were undone by the last hole, however.

Scottie Scheffler recovered from a double-bogey and three consecutive bogeys between 11 and 14 to finish Saturday on two-under, securing a birdie on the 17th before a massive par save on the last after hitting the bunker.

The usually stoic Scheffler did not hide his emotions with a triumphant fist-pump after the save, which left the world number one tied with Adam Hadwin and Keegan Bradley.

Joel Dahmen and Collin Morikawa fell down the leaderboard after opening Saturday with the lead on five-under. Morikawa's natural left-to-right game particularly suffered, shooting a seven-over 77.

Dahmen is joined on one-under by Sam Burns and Rory McIlroy, who only made seven greens in regulation but stayed in contention with a string of saves on the back nine.

 

Shot of the day

After two birdies and a bogey through his first seven holes, Scheffler really shone on the eighth.

His stunning eagle on the par-five hole saw him leap into a two-shot lead at the summit of the leaderboard.

Player of the day - Will Zalatoris

In a day characterised by survival in blustery conditions at Brookline, Will Zalatoris was one of the few on Saturday who thrived.

His ball-striking shone on an overcast day, scoring only one bogey as the rest of the field struggled to find the green.

 

Chipping in

Zalatoris: "Yeah, that was brutal. When I made a mistake, I made sure I was on the fat side of the green or having room where I could maybe at least chip one up there from eight to 10 feet."

Scheffler: "There's a lot of trees on this golf course, and it's gusty as well. So it's definitely unpredictable. I think that's what happens when you get these foresty golf courses, and then with the gusts, I mean, that little golf ball is just getting thrown around all over the place." 

 

A little birdie told me...

- Victory on Sunday would see Fitzpatrick emulate Jack Nicklaus, winning the U.S. Open at the same course he won the U.S. Amateur, after beating Oliver Goss at the Country Club in 2013.

Collin Morikawa and Joel Dahmen are the 36-hole leaders of the U.S. Open after an entertaining second round at The Country Club on Friday, tied at five under.

Dahmen was one stroke off the lead after the first round, and he followed it up with a strong 68 in windy conditions. He is one of three players to shoot 68 or better in the opening two rounds. Morikawa came into the day at one under, and shot the round of the day as the only player to get around in 66. 

One stroke back from the lead is a five-man group headlined by stars Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm, along with American duo Hayden Buckley and Aaron Wise. Buckley and Wise were the two players along Dahmen to shoot back-to-back 68s.

Beau Hossler joined that group at four under thanks to a chip-in birdie on his final hole.

World number one Scottie Scheffler is part of the group at three under, and he shared the early clubhouse lead following a three-under 67. He is joined by Nick Hardy, Matthew NeSmith, Patrick Rodgers and Brian Harman to round out the top-10.

Overnight leader Adam Hadwin is a further shot back at two under with Sam Burns and Matt Fitzpatrick, while South Africa's M.J. Daffue – who was three strokes clear atop the leaderboard early in his round at six under – posted five bogeys and no birdies down the back nine to head into the weekend at one under.

Also at one under are hopefuls Xander Schauffele and Will Zalatoris, still well within striking distance, while Hideki Matsuyama and Brooks Koepka headline the group at even par.

Star-studded duo Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson are at one over, and the pair of Jordan Spieth and Bryson DeChambeau are at two over, one stroke clear of the cut-line.

Finishing right on the cut-line at three over was recent winner Lee Kyoung-hoon and Colombia's Sebastian Munoz, who has a pair of top-three finishes this season.

Plenty of big names missed the cut, with the international contingent of Spain's Sergio Garcia, Ireland's Shane Lowry, Chile's Mito Pereira and Canada's Corey Conners all one shot out at four over. Tony Finau finished five over, Cameron Smith was six over, and the pair of Tommy Fleetwood and Viktor Hovland were both at seven over.

 

Shot of the day

Cameron Young had a moment he will never forget when he conjured up a hole-in-one at the par-three sixth.

There were huge cheers after the American's dream tee shot at the 165-yard hole dropped in. Young was unable to make the cut – missing out by one stroke – but not without achieving a rare feat.

Player of the day - Collin Morikawa

Morikawa produced the round of the day to ensure he is the man to catch heading into the weekend.

The two-time major winner was not at his brilliant best, but five birdies and just the one bogey at the par-five fourth putting him in the lead.

Chipping in

Morikawa: "No one has taken it deep so far and kind of run away, but you know what, right now my game feels really good. The last few days is a huge confidence booster for me heading into this weekend, and hopefully we can kind of make some separation somehow."

Scheffler: "I've been number one in the world for a while now, and it doesn't really feel like it, so I kind of like just under the radar. I can show up and do my thing and then go home and rest."

 

A little birdie told me...

- Young's ace was the 48th in US Open history.

- Nick Hardy and M.J. Daffue emerged from the Springfield, Ohio qualifying. They both held a share of the lead on Friday.

- Scheffler is bidding to become only the second player to win this major while world number one since the Official World Golf Rankings began in 1986. Tiger Woods (2000, 2002 and 2008) is the only man to achieved that.

- Matthew Fitzpatrick is looking to emulate Jack Nicklaus by winning the US Amateur and US Open on the same course.

Scottie Scheffler is happy to stay "under the radar" after giving himself a great chance to win the U.S. Open with an excellent second round.

Two months after winning his maiden major title at the Masters, Scheffler is in firmly in contention at the halfway mark at The Country Club.

The world number one carded a three-under 67 in Brookline, Massachusetts on Friday to move into the top 10 on the leaderboard.

Scheffler went out in 35, but responded from back-to-back bogeys with three birdies and the highlight of his round came when he chipped in for an eagle three at the 14th.

The American is in the hunt for a fifth PGA Tour title this season, but does not feel he is in the spotlight despite being the best player in the world.

He said: "I feel like I'm kind of an under-the-radar person. I don't really feel like there's much chatter going around with me. Rory [McIlroy] won last week, Tiger [Woods] was at the PGA.

"I've been number one in the world for a while now, and it doesn't really feel like it, so I kind of like just under the radar. I can show up and do my thing and then go home and rest."

Scheffler, who is three under for the tournament after starting with a 70, felt he was not far away from a "really special" second round - during which he held a share of the lead.

"I knew I was swinging at it well. I hit it really good yesterday, I hit it really good today," he added.

"Outside of a few putts going into the hole versus barely around it, today would have been a really special round, but it was still a really good one."

Two-time major winner Collin Morikawa and Swede David Lingmerth held a share of the lead on five under through 10 and 11 holes respectively. 

Adam Hadwin ended Thursday as the outright leader following the opening round of the U.S. Open in Brookline, Massachusetts.

The Canadian shot a four-under-par round of 66, one ahead of five players tied for second, including Rory McIlroy, who had been four under himself before bogeying his final hole on the ninth.

Callum Tarren, David Lingmerth, Joel Dahmen and M.J. Daffue sit alongside McIlroy, with seven more players on two under, including Justin Rose and Dustin Johnson.

It was otherwise not a great day for some of the LIV Golf International Series participants, with Phil Mickelson carding an opening round of 78 (seven over), while Louis Oosthuizen managed just one shot better and Sergio Garcia finished on four over.

LIV Golf's new additions Patrick Reed and Bryson DeChambeau ended even par and one over respectively. 

World number one Scottie Scheffler recovered from a wobbly start to finish on even par, while PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas ended the day one under, as did the man he beat in a playoff for that trophy, Will Zalatoris.

Defending champion Jon Rahm, Collin Morikawa and Adam Scott also shot one-under rounds of 69, while world number four Patrick Cantlay came away from Thursday two over.

Shot of the day

After ending up just off the green in the longer grass on the 12th, a precision chip from Matt Fitzpatrick still had a significant distance to travel, but slowly rolled its way straight into the hole to the delight of the Englishman and the Brookline crowd, sending him back to two-under straight after bogeying the 11th.

Player of the day - Adam Hadwin

Hadwin sat on one over after three holes, before birdieing five of the next six to catapult himself into the leading pack. The 34-year-old has never finished higher than T39th in this tournament, and also responded to a bogey at 12 with another immediate birdie at 13, and then ended with five tidy pars to head into day two as the outright leader.

Chipping in

Rory McIlroy: "I'm going into tomorrow with the mindset of 'let's keep it going', rather than 'where is the cut line' or whatever. If you don't get off to a great start, those thoughts start to creep in, 'okay, what do I need to just be here for the weekend?'"

Jon Rahm (asked about two children stealing his ball on the 18th hole): "Yes… I'm pretty sure I know who it was. I recognised the two kids that were running the opposite way with a smile on their face. (Laughing) I am 100 per cent sure I saw the two kids that stole it."

A little birdie told me...

- McIlroy's 67 was the 13th of his career at the U.S. Open, now level with Seve Ballesteros and Sergio Garcia for most by a European player at the tournament.

- Lingmerth, ranked 592nd in the world, has never finished worse than tied for 21st in three previous U.S. Open appearances, and the Swede started with a promising 67 here.

- The first round scoring average of the last 10 winners at the U.S. Open is 69.1, with 25 players hitting under that on Thursday.

Tony Finau birdied the final hole for an eight-under 62 on Saturday to share the lead with Rory McIlroy, coming into the final round of the Canadian Open.

Finau had the best round of the tournament so far, scoring an eagle on the par-five ninth before making four birdies on the back nine.

The 32-year-old is looking for only his third PGA Tour victory, with his last win coming in a playoff over Cameron Smith in last year's Northern Trust.

McIlroy had a tricky uphill putt to also birdie on the 18th hole, despite an exceptional approach to set it up, but he had to ultimately two-putt to finish the round after his birdie attempt skimmed over the edge of the cup.

The 33-year-old has been in confident touch at St. George's this week and continued that on Saturday, posting a five-under 65 with assertive driving and wedge-play.

After a bogey on the par-three eighth, the Northern Irishman responded with three birdies over the next four holes, before managing another birdie on the par-five 15th.

The final hole would have been an apt punctuation mark for his third round, after scores of 66 and 68 over the opening two days.

McIlroy has had to wait three years to defend his 2019 title, with the Covid-19 pandemic forcing a cancellation of the tournament in 2020 and 2021.

He is among five players ranked in the world's top ten in a high-profile field at Toronto, coming into next weekend's U.S. Open, with Justin Thomas and Sam Burns joined by Wyndham Clark and Alex Smalley on nine-under.

Cameron Smith has recovered from an opening-round six-over 76 to finish on one-under after 54 holes, posting a 68 on Saturday, while world number one Scottie Scheffler scored a disappointing 71.

Wyndham Clark was able to hold onto his outright lead at the Canadian Open with an even par second round on Friday, one stroke ahead of Rory McIlroy and the chasing field.

Clark remains at seven under after a spectacular 63 on Thursday, posting three birdies and three bogeys on his second trip around the course.

McIlroy headlines the five-man group at six under, along with American trio Keith Mitchell, Jim Knous and Alex Smalley, as well as England's Matt Fitzpatrick, who closed his round with three consecutive bogeys to surrender the lead.

Alone at five under in outright seventh is Austin Cook, who posted Friday's round of the day with his six-under 64, going bogey-free with six birdies to vault himself into contention after entering play at one over.

Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns are in a logjam at four under, as is Shane Lowry, while Tony Finau and Harold Varner III are one further back at three under, rounding out the top-20.

Justin Thomas shot his second consecutive 69 to head into the weekend at two under, while English trio Danny Willett, Justin Rose and Aaron Rai sit at one under.

The second-best score of the round belonged to Cameron Smith, who shot a 65 to land right on the cut-line after a calamitous 76 in his opener.

Rory Sabbatini and Stuart McDonald missed the cut by one stroke, while Camilo Villegas was a further shot back after going five over on his last four holes.

Wyndham Clark leads the Canadian Open after the first round of play, shooting a seven-under 63 in Toronto on Thursday.

Amid an awkward atmosphere around the course with LIV Golf's commencement outside London on Thursday and suspension for players part of the rebel tour, Clark was able to hold his lead against the afternoon wave of players.

After securing a berth at next weekend's U.S. Open in a qualifier on Monday, the 28-year-old carried some confidence into the opening day at St. George's Golf and Country Club, starting with five birdies on the opening nine.

He went bogey-free on the closing nine holes, scoring birdies on the par-four fourth and seventh holes.

Sam Burns drained a putt from off the green to win the Charles Schwab Challenge in a playoff against world number one Scottie Scheffler.

Despite making no birdies on Sunday, Scheffler was in contention all day after entering the day in the outright lead, but had to battle with the difficult conditions later in the day to post a 72.

Burns was in much better touch, and had the benefit of getting his 18 holes out of the way earlier before the wind picked up, notching a 65 for the round of the day. 

He was one shot back from a four-way tie at 10 under when he finished his tournament at nine under, and he had to wait two hours to find out – first if the field would come back to him – and then if Scheffler could hold on for the playoff.

Scheffler needed to save a number of tough pars down the back nine, including out of the bunker on the 18th hole to force the playoff, which he did by sinking a clutch five-footer.

In the playoff, after a pair of solid drives, Scheffler found the green a long way from the hole, while Burns put his approach just off the back of the putting surface. Approaching three hours since his last putt, Burns drained an incredible tournament-winner, with Scheffler not able to match him from distance.

Speaking to the media after securing the win, Burns said it was a hard-fought result.

"I think, just with the conditions today, and how tough it was playing, I'm just so proud of the way we hung in there," he said.

"I just played such a good round of golf today, and [caddie] Travis [Perkins] did a good job of keeping us in it, especially after hitting a foul ball at 12 which killed our momentum. Hitting that putt – that's just icing on the cake."

It is 11 years since Burns attended Colonial Country Club in person to witness David Toms win the Crowne Plaza Invitational, and he said it is hard to believe he is a champion at the same course.

"I don't know if I would've believed you – I remember that week like it was yesterday," he said.

"To finish it off here, and have [Toms'] family here… to add my name on that list now is really cool."

Scheffler's playing partner Brendon Todd finished one stroke outside the playoff, alone in third at eight under, while American trio Tony Finau, Davis Riley and Scott Stallings collected top-five finishes, tied for fourth at seven under. Finau and Burns were the only two players to shoot 67 or better in the final two rounds as the conditions worsened throughout the weekend.

A strong group rounded out the top-10, with pre-tournament favourite Jordan Spieth and US PGA Championship main character Mito Pereira headlining the five-man bunching in a tie for seventh at five under,

Spieth, Riley and Im Sung-jae – who was part of the logjam at three under – were the only three players to shoot 70 or better in all four rounds.

Norway's Victor Hovland was one of two players to finish at two under, while New Zealand's Danny Lee tied Burns for the round of the day, with his Sunday 65 bringing him to one under for the tournament.

Harold Varner III was part of the four-way tie for the lead at 10 under through 11 holes, but went triple-bogey, double-bogey, triple-bogey over his next three holes to plunge down the leaderboard and finish at even par.

Talor Gooch and Webb Simpson joined him at even par, Tommy Fleetwood finished at one over, and Collin Morikawa never shot worse than 71, but never shot better than 70 to finish two over.

Scottie Scheffler leads the Charles Schwab Challenge by two strokes coming into the final round, shooting a two-under 68 in Saturday's third round.

The world number one sits at 11-under coming into the final 18 holes at Colonial, after facing tricky conditions with intense heat and heavy wind gusts.

After posting bogey-free rounds on Thursday and Friday, Scheffler almost made it three rounds in a row but three-putted the par-four 17th for bogey.

He bounced right back with a long birdie putt on the 18th to close out the round on two-under, leading Brendon Todd and Scott Stallings on nine-under.

After missing the cut last weekend at the US PGA Championship, his first cut since his season start in October, the Masters champion could win his fifth PGA Tour title on Sunday.

Those five wins would come from a phenomenal 10 starts, after taking out the Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale in February, and would emulate Tom Watson's 1980 feat of five wins before the start of June.

Harold Varner III is in the running for his maiden PGA Tour victory, sitting a further stroke back from Todd and Stallings on eight-under after three rounds, also shooting a two-under 68 on Saturday.

John Huh, Cam Davis, Chris Kirk and Patrick Reed share a four-way tie for fourth on seven-under.

Also shooting a third-round score of 68 was Mito Pereira, finishing strong with three birdies over the closing five holes, including a long 15-metre putt to secure a birdie on the 18th.

Pereira is coming off his dramatic collapse on the final hole at the PGA Championship last weekend, missing the playoff between Justin Thomas and Will Zalatoris.

Both Thomas and Zalatoris have gone on from that performance at Southern Hills to miss the cut this weekend in Fort Worth.

World number one Scottie Scheffler remained in a tie for the lead after his second consecutive bogey-free round at the Charles Schwab Challenge, going one stroke better than his Thursday 66 to sit at nine under.

Scheffler's 65 was one shot off the round of the day, and he did it with back-to-back birdies on holes one and two, before also making gains at 10, 12 and 17 down the back nine.

Fellow round one leader Beau Hossler matched Scheffler again – but after two eagles on par-fours in his first round, he did it in much more traditional fashion this time around, also going bogey-free with five birdies.

Joining that pair atop the leaderboard was Scott Stallings, one of two players to shoot Friday's best score of 64, along with New Zealand's Danny Lee, who improved to sit six off the lead after a 73 on Thursday.

Speaking to Golf Channel after stepping off the 18th green, Scheffler said improvements he has made this season are paying off after traditionally struggling at Colonial Country Club.

"I've worked really hard, just creating a lot of different shots for myself," he said.

"This golf course is a lot about the approach play, and at first it didn't suit my eye, but I've really changed and improved my iron play and created a lot of different shots for myself, and it looks like the hard work is paying off here.

"I think I like it when the conditions are really hard, I'd rather it be very difficult than very easy.

"I feel like it's one of those things where if you're playing really good golf you can kind of extend yourself, so I'm excited for the challenges this weekend."

Patrick Reed sat one stroke back from the lead, alone at eight under after his second 66 of the week, with fellow Americans Pat Perez and Chris Kirk rounding out the top five at seven under.

Next came a five-man group at six under consisting of Americans Max McGreevy, Harold Varner III and Davis Riley, with Australian Cam Davis and Norway's Viktor Hovland.

Pre-tournament favourite Jordan Spieth, Webb Simpson and John Huh stood at five under, while Mito Pereira headlined the logjam at four under, still in the mix after his capitulation at the US PGA Championship last weekend.

Max Homa finished three strokes inside the cut line at two under, while Tony Finau and Rickie Fowler were at one under, and Im Sung-jae was one inside the line at even par.

Collin Morikawa and Talor Gooch made the weekend on the number, finishing at one over, while the US PGA Championship playoff pairing of Will Zalatoris and Justin Thomas were both at three over, out of the hunt this time.

World number one Scottie Scheffler was part of an eight-man group atop the leaderboard after the first round of the Charles Schwab Challenge, played at Colonial Country Club in Texas.

Scheffler, who shot a bogey-free 66 despite only hitting 50 per cent of the fairways in regulation, was joined by fellow Americans Harold Varner III, Chris Kirk, Beau Hossler, Patrick Reed and Webb Simpson, as well as Canadian Nick Taylor and Australian Cam Davis.

Hossler produced the most notable round, with two eagles – both coming on par-fours – in his last four holes to fly up the leaderboard.

One shot off the lead were a group including Davis Riley and Kevin Na, while pre-tournament favourite Jordan Spieth was back at one under, tied with Victor Hovland and Max Homa.

Spieth, who is from Texas, has an impeccable record at Colonial, with seven top-10 finishes – including three runners-up and a win – from nine starts on the PGA Tour.

Speaking to the media after finishing his round, Spieth said he is battling his putter at the moment but that he is confident things will turn in his favour.

"I think I'm typically more comfortable with reads here, although today here was totally different, I misread a number of putts today," he said.

"But I stroked it beautifully, I just felt great about the way I putted, I just didn't get much to go.

"Those are the kind of rounds where you can either look at it negatively, or you can say at it like 'hey, that lid is going to come off one of these times, and all of a sudden they're all going to pour in'.

"It's done that for me [previously] at Colonial, so I think that's the attitude I'm going to take."

At even par were a strong international group including Chile's US PGA Championship main character Mito Pereira, Colombia's Sebastian Munoz, England's Ian Poulter, American Collin Morikawa and the South Korean duo of Lee Kyoung-hoon and Im Sung-jae.

PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas was at one over, while his playoff opponent last week Will Zalatoris was a shot further back at two over.

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