Spieth and Wallace shine on a fateful day for Rafa in San Antonio

Matt Wallace © Getty Images

The last round of Valero Texas Open, which takes place this Sunday in the Oaks Course of the TPC San Antonio, has become a true sprint final in which at least five players will start with options to fight for victory. In particular, the American Jordan Spieth (-12) and English Matt Wallace (-12), who share the leadership of the tournament after 54 holes.

Both were part of the stellar match of the third round of the Texan event, along with Cameron Tringale (-8), who started the day at the top of the classification and who choked the second nine holes. And the two have proven to be by far the best players on the field so far this week. Today they signed it with 67-stroke cards that will allow them to go out to the last 18 with two shots ahead.

The third in contention will be a surprising Charley Hoffman (-10), protagonist of a spectacular comeback in a field that he knows better than anyone. No one has played better than the golfer from San Diego the second nine of Oaks Course in the last decade (55 under par in the accumulated). Today he showed it again with a 65-stroke lap, the best of the day, with four birdies and an eagle in his last seven flags.

TO Hoffman he is very good at Augusta National, headquarters of Masters next week, and is one of the contenders for victory in this Valero Texas Open -tournament that he already won in 2016- that still does not have a place for the tournament of the Green jacket. An extra motivation in search of the comeback -the winner will have a place in the major next week-. Although getting it will not depend exclusively on him …

Will share the last round with a solid Matt wallace, who seeks the first victory in the PGA Tour, and with the reborn Jordan sppieth, who has been resisting the triumph on the tour for almost four years. Both left on this third day of competition some of the best shots of the day, such as the Englishman’s brace on 1, his approach on 2, the incredible recovery from the Texan’s undergrowth on 17 or his tremendous wood three on 18 .

They will try to join their battle Cameron tringale, who hopes he has not yet said his last word despite today’s disappointment, Anirban Lahiri (-7), consistent from day one, or one of the four players who share the sixth place in the standings: Gary Woodland (-6), Lucas Glover (-6), Matt Kuchar (-6) or an unstoppable Tom Hoge (-6), which with his 66 today has climbed 26 positions in the classification. They are a bit far away, but today it has been shown once again that going back on this route is more than possible.

An unfortunate day with the irons for Rafa

Rafa Cabrera Bello (+2)For his part, he started the day in the top 15 of the standings, after playing two solid rounds Thursday and Friday, and with the hope that the Valero Texas Open it was the tournament in which, at last, he would find his game again. But an absolutely terrible Saturday with the irons has completely dislodged him from the fight for the first places, confirming the lack of consistency that he has suffered for months in the PGA Tour.

The canary, who had not made a cut in a regular tournament of the tour since November, was really brilliant today with the driver, hunting more than 90% of the streets of the complicated Oaks Course of the TPC San Antonio. But everything he won from the tee he lost later on his approach shots (38% of greens in regulation!). He has barely been able to make birdie options his entire round and his only hole below par was the 12th, in which he holed an eagle from the fairway.

The round was complicated for Rafa from the beginning, with three consecutive bogeys on his first three holes of the day. Another bogey in 10 failing a putt of meter and a half, after having stopped the initial bleeding with six pairs in a row, it already left him out of the first positions of the classification. And the eagle of 12, spectacular for its execution, was nothing more than a mirage because the worst was yet to come …

Bogey at 13, a par three in which he did not find the green, a clear missed birdie option at 14, another bogey at 15 after sending his approach to the bunker, a more failed birdie at 17 … and the final fireworks: double bogey in par five of 18 after sending two balls into the water, completely out of the game. Round of 78 strokes, six above par for the field, the worst result of the day in the tournament, which will force the canary to complete a good Sunday if he does not want to leave San antonio without climbing a single position in the FedEx Cup.

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