Clark/Hossler maintain one-shot lead atop crowded Zurich leaderboard
WESTWEGO, La. – The Zurich Classic is shaping up for a wild finish Sunday at the TPC Louisiana.
Wyndham Clark and Beau Hossler birdied the 18th hole Saturday to break a tie with Keith Mitchell and Sungjae Im and grab a one-shot lead at 26-under-par. They began Saturday’s Four-Ball round in first place at 16-under, one shot ahead of Mitchell/Im.
Clark/Hossler, who are playing together as a team for the first time and seeking their first PGA Tour wins, and Mitchell/Im were two of four teams to shoot 62 and tie for Saturday’s lowest score in cool, spectacular weather.
“It’s going to be a cool environment and a unique experience frankly to have a chance to win a golf tournament with a partner, something that I have not had a chance to do,” Hossler said. “I know Wyndham has here in the past. So it will be a nice little Sunday for us.
“It’s really hard to win a tournament. Honestly, every player out here, the depth on this tour is really, really good. Frankly, getting yourself in position to win a golf tournament is difficult, and closing the deal is really hard. I think the more opportunities you get, the more comfortable you get, and hopefully we can lean on that tomorrow.”
Mitchell/Im hold a two-shot lead over three teams at 23-under – Vincent Norrman/Matthias Schwab, who also shot 62, Matthew NeSmith/Taylor Moore (63) and Nick Hardy/Davis Riley (63).
Seven more teams are at least 20-under-par, including brothers Matt and Alex Fitzpatrick (22-under), the fourth group to tie for Saturday’s low score; former LSU golfer Sam Burns/Billy Horschel (20-under after shooting 63); and defending champions Xander Schauffele/Patrick Cantlay (20-under after shooting 66).
“It’s been awesome,” Burns said of the support from the gallery for him and Horschel, another fan favorite as the only player to win the Zurich as an individual (2013) and as part of a team (with Scott Piercy in 2018). “I look forward to coming to this event every year. It’s definitely one of my favorites, seeing all the purple and gold out there and hearing the LSU chants and the ‘go Tigers’, it’s a blast.”
Schauffele/Cantlay, whose second-round 63 broke the tournament’s 18-hole Foursome record in Friday’s second round, will try to duplicate that success when the final round returns to the Foursome format.
But Clark/Hossler, who shot 67 on Friday, will be the team to catch. This is the fifth time that Hossler has had a 54-hole lead/co-lead and the second time Clark has.
“Sometimes when you’re alone, it feels like you’re out on an island,” Clark said. “When the momentum gets going bad, when you’re on your own, sometimes it’s tough to turn that. With a teammate, you can kind of feed off each other and really not allow that momentum to get going in the wrong direction.
“So I hope tomorrow we’re light and loose like we’ve been all three days. If the momentum goes in our direction, I hope we just keep riding it. I think it will be great.”
Charley Hoffman had a hole-in-one of the ninth hole with a 23-degree hybrid from 210 yards. It was his third hole-in-one on TOUR.
The first tee time Sunday is set for 9:30 a.m. and the top two teams are scheduled to tee off at 12:35 p.m.
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Les East is a nationally renowned freelance journalist. The New Orleans area native’s blog on SportsNOLA.com was named “Best Sports Blog” in 2016 by the Press Club of New Orleans. For 2013 he was named top sports columnist in the United States by the Society of Professional Journalists. He has since become a valued contributor for CCS. The Jesuit High…