Indian-American Theegala 26th, within striking distance of Tour Champs; Cantlay leads after three rounds in BMW

Aug 21: Indian-American Sahith Theegala’s excellent play  on the greens carried the day for him during his third round of the BMW Championship. He found only five of the 14 fairways but got onto 12 of the 18 greens in regulation but he had no missed putts within 10 feet. Theegala shot 69 after 72-68 in first two rounds at Wilmintgon, Delaware.

Theegala finished his day tied for 26th at 4 under, as Patrick Cantlay lead at 12-under with Xander Schauffele and Scott Stallings tied for second at 11-under.

Theegala opened the day with a birdie but gave that away on the Par-5 third. After a series of pars, his next birdie came on 14th. On the 446-yard par-4 18th hole, Theegala reached the green in two and holed a 19-foot putt for birdie to finish 2-under.

He is now T-ied-26th and projected to finish 30th and if he stays there he will be in the Tour Championship next week.

Cantlay holed out from 106 yards for an eagle and carried that to a 6-under 65 on the third day, giving him a one-shot lead and a chance to become the first back-to-back winner of the BMW Championship in the FedExCup era.

Next up is another round with a familiar face. Schauffele, his closest friend on the PGA TOUR, had a bogey-free 66 and was a shot back, along with Scott Stallings (66).

More than just $2.7 million for the winner, Cantlay or Schauffele could go to No. 1 in the FedExCup — that also depends on how Masters champion Scottie Scheffler fares — with a win and start the TOUR Championship with a two-shot lead.

This is far from a two-man show on the South course at Wilmington Country Club that is sun-baked and fast on the greens.

Adam Scott, trying to work his way into the top 30 who reach the TOUR Championship, held his own with a 69 and was only two shots behind. He started the postseason at No. 77 and is coming off a tie for fifth last week just to make it to the BMW Championship.

Also two back was Scheffler, the world No. 1 who answered consecutive bogeys late in his round with a 4-foot birdie for a 68.

Collin Morikawa (65) and Aaron Wise (67) made it seven players separated by three shots.

Rory McIlroy started slowly and could only manage a 70, leaving him five shots off the lead. Jordan Spieth, who began the weekend just one shot behind, missed par putts of 3 feet and 2 feet and didn’t have much else go right in his round of 74 that took him out of contention.

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