Xander Schauffele Takes Slim Lead Into Final Round Of Olympics

Xander Schauffele Takes Slim Lead Into Final Round Of Olympics

Xander Schauffele Leads Olympics Day 3
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Xander Schauffele will take a one-shot lead into the final day of the Olympics, with a whole host of big names in hot pursuit of the American.

Xander Schauffele Takes Slim Lead Into Final Round Of Olympics

Team USA's Xander Schauffele produced a stunning birdie at the final hole to secure the 54-hole lead at Kasumigaseki Country Club.

In hot pursuit of Schauffele is Japan's golfing superstar Hideki Matsuyama (opens in new tab), who put together a four-under-par round of 67 to sit just one shot back.

Xander Schauffele Leads Olympics Day 3

Schauffele's last victory came in January 2019. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP) (Photo by KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images)

There was good news for Team GB as Paul Casey (opens in new tab) and Tommy Fleetwood sit inside the top-10 in Tokyo.

Casey fired six birdies and a single bogey in his five-under-par round to sit two shots back, whilst Fleetwood (opens in new tab) shot one of the rounds of the day (64), leaving him just four behind going into the final day.

Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry (opens in new tab) continue to keep Ireland's hope of a medal alive. The duo, who were paired together for the third round, shot four (McIlroy) and three-under-par (Lowry) rounds to also sit inside the top-10.

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Currently though, it's Schauffele who leads the way, but it is still far from over, with the American finding himself tied alongside multiple players throughout the third round.

After a one-under-par front nine, the 27-year-old was soon in a five-way tie for the lead, before birdies at the 11th and 15th put him back in front by two.

That slim margin soon evaporated though, as Schauffele bogeyed the par-3 16th, whilst his playing partner, Carlos Ortiz (opens in new tab), drained a huge birdie putt for a crucial two-shot swing.

Up ahead, Casey was putting on a charge for Team GB, with back-to-back closing birdies putting the 44-year-old as the clubhouse leader at 12-under-par.

However, he was soon passed by Schauffele and Matsuyama, who revealed he was "a little bit nervous,” about the prospect of competing at the Olympics in his home country.

Xander Schauffele Leads Olympics Day 3

Matsuyama is looking to add a gold medal to his Masters win back in April. (Photo by KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images)

Whatever nerves there were, they weren't on show for the 29-year-old, as a birdie on the 17th put him to 13-under-par and in a three-way tie at the top of the leaderboard with Ortiz and Schauffele.

But, a closing birdie for Schauffele, would give the American a slim advantage going into the final day, his 14-under-par total leading a stacked chasing pack.

Matt Cradock
Freelance Staff Writer

Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.