McKINNEY, Texas – Sebastian Munoz will be the “other” local guy in the last pair of Byron Nelson’s final lap.
It’s nice of the Colombian now calling the Dallas area home and has at least shared the lead in all three rounds.
Munoz shot a 6-under 66 at TPC Craig Ranch on Saturday and was under 21, a stroke before his hometown favorite Jordan Spieth, who scored 64.
Spieth, who has three major studies as part of the 13 wins of his career, is still pursuing his first win at Nelson, where he competed in the final lap as a 16-year-old high school student in 2010 and never finished higher than ninth.
“So having the opportunity to win this event, this will be the best opportunity I may have ever had on Sunday,” said Spieth. “I did a good job without pushing myself too hard. I just wanted to get into an argument and obviously see what needs to be sharpened next week.
“But there is no better preparation for a big one than last week’s victory.”
The PGA Championship is next week in the Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Joaquin Niemann will be the third player in Sunday’s final group. He is alone in third place, another shot after 65.
James Hahn scored 61 to jump 34 places and tied for fourth place with Justin Thomas (64).
Munoz, who played in college near North Texas, has been away for 2½2 years from his only win on the PGA Tour.
“Apart from winning in Bogota, Colombia, I have never been a favorite anywhere,” Munoz said. “Well, he’s a familiar place. Jordan is, of course, the golden boy here, so everyone’s favorite. I’m good friends with him, so it’s going to be a lot of fun tomorrow.”
Munoz made a fake 39 foot bird in the second hole of the par-4 and drilled a long shot in the short par-4 sixth.
A West Texas native and Dallas native looking for his first individual victory since 2010, Ryan Palmer scored 70 and was 17th down with defending champion KH Lee (67) and 2011 Masters winner Charl Schwartzel (68).
Masters champion Scottie Scheffler, who overcame a triple boom early in the second round for an outside shot to do a Sunday run, recorded birds in flocks at 65 – including four of the last five holes – that left him at 16. below.
“I haven’t really seen the ball go in a lot, which is frustrating because you have to make throws here to shoot low,” said Scheffler, another Dallas resident. “I fought my way back to the tournament, but I need a hot putter tomorrow if I want to make some noise.”