Muñoz maintains the lead from Byron Nelson with local star Spieth 1 behind

McKINNEY, Texas (AP) — Sebastián Muñoz will be the local “other” in the final couple of the Byron Nelson final round.

It’s great for the Colombian who now calls the Dallas area home and has at least shared the lead after all three rounds.

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Sebastian Munoz of Colombia reacts on the 18th green during the AT&T Byron Nelson third round at TPC Craig Ranch on May 14, 2022 in McKinney, Texas.

Gregorio Shamus/Getty Images


Munoz shot a 6-under-par 66 on Saturday and was 21-under, one shot ahead of local favorite Jordan Spieth, who is still looking for a breakthrough in the event in which he competed in the final round as a high school student from 16 years old in 2010. Spieth shot a 64.

Joaquin Niemann will be the third player in the final group on Sunday, only third in another shot back after a 65. James Hahn nearly matched Munoz’s opening-round 60 at TPC Craig Ranch, shooting 61 to jump 34 places to a tie for fourth place with Justin. Thomas (64).

Spieth is a year younger than Munoz at 28, but has three majors among 13 career wins after starring at the University of Texas. Munoz, who played college in nearby North Texas, is 2 1/2 years away from his only PGA Tour win.

“Besides winning in Bogota, Colombia, I’ve never been the favorite anywhere else,” Muñoz said. “So it’s a family 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.”

Spieth never went more than two holes without a birdie before a bogey on the 15th. He has had lower rounds and been close to victory before in a tournament he wants to win after such a remarkable debut on the PGA Tour as an amateur 12 years ago. years.

In addition, he and the other top 30 players in the world playing this week are preparing for the PGA Championship next week at the Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

“So to get a chance to win this event, it’s going to be the best chance I’ve had before Sunday,” Spieth said. “I did a good job of not putting too much pressure on myself, I just wanted to get into contention and obviously see what needs to be sharpened for next week. But there’s no better preparation for a major than winning the week before.”

Speith was ninth last season in the first year at TPC Craig Ranch, his best finish at Nelson.

Munoz made a 39-foot birdie putt on the par-4 second hole and sank a long bunker shot on the sixth short par 4.

Playing with another Texan in Ryan Palmer, Muñoz struggled along with Palmer on the par-4 16th hole.

After Palmer sprayed his approach straight into the stands, Munoz went left playing a shot from a bunker with the ball raw above his feet. He hit the ground with his club after leaving a chip 30 feet away and ended up with the only bogey from him.

Palmer, two shots back in time after a streak of five consecutive birdieshad to fall into deep rough, needed two strokes to get out and three putts to double bogey.

A West Texas native and Dallas-area resident seeking his first singles victory since 2010, Palmer shot 70 and was 17 under with defending champion KH Lee (67) and 2011 Masters winner Charl Schwartzel (68). .

Spieth briefly tied Munoz at 18 under with five birdies in six holes before the Colombian hit his approaches at 9 and 10 within 5 feet for the birdies that put him back in front to stay.

Hahn missed the cut the last two times he played Nelson after finishing third in 2017, the last year at the TPC Four Seasons in another Dallas suburb, Irving.

The move to McKinney, about 30 miles north of downtown, came after Nelson played twice at Trinity Forest in south Dallas, then was canceled during the pandemic before another relocation.

Hahn, a two-time PGA Tour winner, birdied five of the last six holes on the front nine and started a five-under four-hole streak by hitting his second shot to 7 feet on the par 5 12.

“I feel like it was easy for me, but everybody’s shooting, 9, 10 under, somebody does it every day,” said Hahn, who has missed 10 cuts this season. “So I thought, ‘Why not me?'”

Masters champion Scottie Scheffler, who overcame a triple bogey early in the second round on an outside shot to make a run Sunday, posted cluster birdies on a 65 that left him at 16 under par.

The top-ranked player and Dallas resident birdied four of the last five holes in front and three in a row in the back, but his bogey-free round ended with a disappointing par-5 on the attainable 18.

“I haven’t really seen the ball go in a lot, which is frustrating because you have to putt here to get low scores,” Scheffler said. “I fought my way back into the tournament, but I need a hot putter tomorrow if I want to make any noise.”

Davis Riley shot 64 and was tied with Scheffler and Beau Hossler (67).

A couple of the tour’s older rookies faded out of the competition at 2 over 74. David Skinns, a 40-year-old Englishman, started the day tied for the lead with Munoz and Palmer, and 33-year-old American Justin Lower, who he was only one shot behind.

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