Scottie Scheffler keeps rolling, leads RBC Heritage after third-round 63

Scottie Scheffler again finds himself in familiar position: Leading.

Scheffler delivered his 38th straight under-par round – and his 16th of 66 or better – to start the year, carding a bogey-free, 8-under 63 Saturday at Harbour Town Golf Links to move to 16 under, a shot clear of the RBC Heritage field with one round to play.

When Scheffler began his third round, the grandstand behind the first tee box was packed.

“And then by the time we got to the green, I turned around, and it was almost empty,” Scheffler said. “It felt to me like the crowd was coming with me today, and there were definitely a lot of cheers out there.”

For good reason, too. Scheffler got on a run early with birdies at Nos. 2, 4, 5 and 7 – a pair of par-5s and par-3s; he was 5 under on non-par-4s on Saturday. Scheffler missed just three greens on the day, one of them being at the par-4 eighth, where he came up some 30 yards short of the back pin. He got up and down to save par, and then on the par-4 ninth, he drove it through the green and onto the downslope just shy of the bunker; he flopped it to 36 feet and made the putt for birdie.

Scheffler added three birdies on the back, at Nos. 11, 15 and 18. He hit what he called his best shot of the day at the par-5 15th, where he sent a high draw over the trees to set up an easy pitch and putt for birdie.

“I felt like my ball-striking was really good today,” Scheffler said. “… Proud of the score.”

Despite teeing off Thursday just days removed from his second Masters victory and with only nine holes of practice under his belt, Scheffler is in position for win No. 4 this season. He’s finished outside the top 10 just once this year, a T-19 at The American Express, and has a considerable advantage atop the Official World Golf Ranking.

Scheffler’s recent dominance clearly puts him in a class all his own right now; Scheffler came as close to saying it Saturday evening as he’s going to.

“I think when I’m playing my best, sometimes it feels like I’m competing against myself a little bit out there,” Scheffler said, “trying to keep pushing and stay as focused as I can.”

Sepp Straka, one of four co-leaders after 36 holes, is a shot back, at 15 under, following his third-round 67. Collin Morikawa is another stroke behind while Ludvig Åberg, Sahith Theegala and Patrick Rodgers are tied for fourth.

“There’s a lot of guys that are still in this,” Straka said. “It’s a pretty packed leaderboard.”

Yet, Straka knows the task of taking down Scheffler won’t be easy.

“I don’t think I’ll get caught watching that (Scottie’s game) too much because I’ll just be disappointed, I think,” Straka said. “I think I’m just going to stick to my game. It’s always fun to watch him play. It’s incredible what he’s doing right now…

“I think I’ve been very fortunate to have played with a lot of top players; I don’t think anybody has been quite on the run that Scottie is on right now. … The nerves will be flying tomorrow from the first tee.”

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