Scottish Open 2022 Rankings: Xander Schauffele leads, Jordan Spieth lurks after Round 3

Through the three rounds of the 2022 Genesis Scottish Open, there is no golfer in the field who looks more comfortable entering Sunday than No. 11-ranked Xander Schauffele. His Renaissance Cub stint didn’t start that way on Thursday, but back-to-back days of dominance on the course now have Schaufele two shots ahead of Rafa Cabrera Bello at 7 under in the final round.

Sometimes golf can be a game of streaks, and Schaufele didn’t let up in the last two rounds. After shooting a 2-over 72 Thursday in the first round, Schaufele rebounded by shooting a 5-under 65 Friday, the lowest round of any golfer in the area. It appeared for most of Saturday that Schaufele would replicate that formula en route to possibly tying Jordan Spieth and Max Homa for the low round of the day with a 4-under 66.

And Schaufele came very close on Saturday to a lower score than any of his competitors. Through 16 holes, Schaufele was bogey-free and had a four-stroke edge before making back-to-back bogeys on the par-3 17th and par-4 18th to end his round. Regardless, it was a big jump for Schaufele on a day where he started four shots back of 54-hole leader Cameron Tringale.

Schaufele is now in prime position to record back-to-back wins as he holds the 54-hole lead at the Renaissance Club. Schaufele emerged victorious two weeks ago at the Travelers Championship and a victory at the Scottish Open would put him alongside World No.1 Scotty Scheffler as the only players to win in back-to-back starts this season and give him plenty of confidence going into the 2022 Open. in St. Andrews next week.

Here’s a breakdown of the rest of the 2022 Genesis Scottish Open rankings

T2. Rafa Cabrera Bello (-5): At one point on Saturday, it looked like Cabrera Bello was the man to beat. He wasn’t exactly on everyone’s radar after a pedestrian 1-over 36 on the front nine, but that quickly changed with an eagle-birdie-birdie-birdie start on the back nine as he climbed to the top of the leaderboard. Cabrera Bello cooled off, subsequently playing his final five holes at 1 over. But he’s right in the mix, sitting just two shots off the lead going into Sunday.

T3. Jordan Spieth (-4): Spieth certainly had his theatrics on Saturday as he moved into the contest. No. 12-ranked Spieth wasted no time making things happen with two birdies in his first three holes, but the back nine, where Spieth had putts, made all the difference. First came an eagle on the Par-5 10th, then a second on the Par-4 15th as Spieth hit his second shot from 108 yards. It’s been a rollercoaster at times, but Spieth now has a solid chance to pick up a win before the final major golf course of the season if he can put together something special on Sunday.

Greg DuCharme and Sia Nejad recap Saturday’s action at the Scottish Open. Follow and listen to The First Cut on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

T3. Ryan Palmer (-4): All in all, it was a clean score for Palmer on Saturday, just one day away from shooting a 2-over 72 in the second round. Palmer finished his third round with two birdies on each nine en route to a 3-under 67. He was bogey-free on the day until his final hole, where he carded a bogey on the par-4 18th. Palmer’s last PGA Tour win was in 2019 at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans, but 2010 was the last time Palmer won a stroke play event on tour.

T3. Jordan Smith (-4): Slow and steady sometimes wins the race, and that formula has worked for Smith so far leading up to Sunday’s race. Smith shot a 1-under 69 for the second straight day on Saturday, coming off a 2-under 68 in Thursday’s opening round. Smith found some momentum late in the third round, enjoying a stretch of three birdies in four holes starting at the par-3 14th before bogeying the par-4 18th. The 29-year-old Englishman is fighting for the seventh victory of his professional career.

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