FORT WORTH, TX – PGA Tour rookie Harry Hall he intended to slip on his Vegas Golden Knights jersey while playing the Colonial par-3 13th hole on Saturday. This plan changed after falling out of the lead due to consecutive double bogeys, with a strong charge from Adam Schenk.
It wasn’t until the end of the third round back in the lead, with Schenk at 10-under 200, that the Englishman, who lives in Las Vegas after playing for UNLV, put on his jersey. His favorite NHL team played the local Dallas Stars in the Western Conference Finals.
“Being 3 more than going into the (13th) hole, I didn’t think it was going to be the best thing,” said Hall, who was the solo leader after the first and second rounds. “Yeah, I got a T1 after the round so I thought I’d wear it for interviews.”
Hall’s last putt of the 2-over 72 round was a 10-foot par on the 18th place after he bounced off the edge from an awkward stance where his heels hung off the edge of the bunker. This followed a 10-foot birdie for 17th 383 yards, stealing some spotlight from Schenk along the way.
But Schenk – also looking for his first win, but in his 171st PGA Tour event – also closed with a memorable 67 putt. He dropped one from 16 feet away to complete his card.
“It was a lot of luck making that putt,” he said. “It was a foot and a half break and very fast.”
The 31-year-old Indiana native was runners-up to the Valspar Championship in mid-March but has since missed four cuts to tie for 31st at RBC Heritage. He hit 11 of 14 fairways and 15 of 18 greens, registering only one Saturday bogey.
“We just did a really good job managing everything today,” said Schenk. “It was one of those days where exactly where we looked was exactly where I actually hit. It doesn’t happen very often, but it’s nice when it does.”
Harris’s English, who shot 70 in the final group with Hall, was a shot back to 9-under 201 after his bogeyman on 18 when an 8-foot par chance was cranked up just outside the cup. It was two holes after he had sole possession lead with a 40m birdie at par-3 16th.
Scottie Schefflerthe world’s No. 1 player and last year’s runner-up at Colonial, took three of the last five holes to 72 after opening with another 67. He was one of six players to finish 10th with a 4-under.
The defending champion Sam Burnswho overcame a seven-stroke loss in the final round last year and beat Scheffler on the first playoff hole, had his second straight 70. He ranks 16th at 3-under, again seven strokes from the lead after three innings.
The only player to win back-to-back years was Ben Hogan, who did so twice – in 1946 and 1947 in the first two years of the event, and again in 1952-53.
For the first time since 2014, a joint lead in the final round in Colonial. This year there was a four-way tie after 54 holes, albeit an eventual winner Adam Scot he was not part of this quartet.
Hall’s double bogeys hit the numbers 6 and 7, after 14 birdies and only two bogeys on his 41 holes earlier.
After his tee shot on the sixth 401-yard hole hit the right-hand bump, Hall’s approach stabilized behind the temporary concession stand. After a few minutes with the rule officer, a few drops on the cart, and a few more on the washed turf, his throw through the small gap proved short on the uneven mound of green.
At the same time, that double bogey took him to 10-under Emiliano Grillo missed a 6-foot par, overtook the hole, and dropped to the same score – and a fraction of the lead, instead of having it straight away.
Grillo has a double bogey and two bogeys on his final six holes of round 72 which left him 6 under and tied for fourth with Justin Suh (66).
Hall’s seventh-place 420-yard approach flew out of bounds to the right of the green.
When he reached the 13th hole at 9-under, he was coming down from a 12-foot birdie in 12th. But that came after sparring on the 626-yard 11th hole when he was in dire straits after each of his first two shots on the longest hole on the course by 80 yards.
“Yeah, being T1 after today is pretty cool, especially after the top nine,” said Hall. “It shows how tough the course is and I did a good job tackling it and getting those two birdies on that back nine.”