Nature

Snedeker, Hossler, Spaun and Frittelli lead the Valero Texas Open

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Brandt Snedeker and Beau Hossler each shot 5-under 67 rounds to join JJ Spaun and Dylan Frittelli atop the leaderboard after the third round of the Valero Texas Open on Saturday.

Spaun, who shot 69, and Frittelli (70) bogeyed the final hole to finish with a 10-under 206 lead share.

Another bogey on the last hole prevented Scott Stallings from leading. He also shot 65 and was a return shot at 9 under. Matt Kuchar’s bogey at 18 dropped him to 8 under after an even round.

Spaun birdied on four of his five holes heading to the 18th to take a one-shot lead. On the 17th, he led the green to the par-4 from 303 yards and nearly made the eagle from 19 feet. However, he drove his tee shot at 18 into the trees, hit, then stopped short of the creek guarding the final green. He ended up with a 22-foot putt for the par that he missed.

Second-round leader Ryan Palmer had no bogey on Friday. On Saturday, he had no birdie and dropped to 21st with a 5 of 77.

With a bogey-free lap, Snedeker was 4 under aft. He is looking for his first victory since 2018. It would be his 10th victory on the circuit.

Spaun and Hossler are each looking for their first tour victory and Frittelli won in 2019 at the John Deere Classic.

Maverick McNealy tied the fastest lap of the day with 65, and he was three strokes behind Charles Howell III (72), Si Woo Kim (68), Denny McCarthy (68), Troy Merritt (69), Aaron Rai (68 ), Brendon Todd (72) and Gary Woodland (72).

Hossler had three consecutive birdies from No. 14 when all of his approach shots ended within 10 feet of the hole. A pro since 2016 after playing at the University of Texas, Hossler finished second at the 2018 Houston Open and was third this year at Pebble Beach.

Stallings, a 37-year-old three-time winner on the tour, started the day out of the top 20 and found himself within reach of the leaders when a 36-foot birdie dropped to No. 8 to drop 7 under. It was his third birdie of the day, and two more at 14 and 15 gave him a share of the lead. A win would be his first since the 2014 Farmers Insurance Open and qualify him for the Masters next week. He hasn’t played at Augusta since a missed cut in 2014.

Kuchar was two shots shy of the lead at the start of the day, but was tied at six for the lead when he left the second green after a 4-foot birdie putt. He took the lead with a 16-footer on the next. The lead was two with a 17-foot birdie in the fourth. But his three putts from under 40 feet in the fifth quickly brought him back to par. Spaun birdied on three of his first six holes and went 10 under at No. 6.

It was the second time this week that Spaun hit double digits and topped the leaderboard. On Friday, he hit 10 under and bogeyed three of four holes, including a wasted shot at No. 9. On Saturday, he doubled down on the ninth.


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