Friday, June 21, 2024
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Colonial lead cut from eight to three: Scheffler, Stallings, Hossler

FORT WORTH, TEXAS (AP) – This has been a good week in North Texas for Scott Stallings, first qualifying for the United States (US) Open that will be played less than an hour from where he was born and now sharing the lead at Colonial with top-ranked Scottie Scheffler and Beau Hossler.

Stallings shot a six-under 64 without a bogey on a relatively calm on Friday at Hogan’s Alley.

That put the Massachusetts-born and 206th-ranked player in the world at nine-under 131 with Dallas-area resident Scheffler and Hossler, both former University of Texas golfers who had bogey-free 65s.

Scheffler, in one of the last groups of the day after Stallings and Hossler played in the morning wave, tied them with a 14-foot birdie putt at the par-four 17th and saved par at number 18 after his final drive went left into the rough.

“I think I needed to put up a good score with the wind being real low and the greens being not crazy firm,” said Scheffler, without a bogey so far this week. “Yeah, I love that stat. It’s a lot of fun… I kept the stress off myself for the most part.”

It was calm pretty much throughout Friday. But hot and breezy conditions are expected for the weekend rounds at the Charles Schwab Classic, with gusts around 30 miles per hour and temperatures in the upper-90s Fahrenheit forecasted.

Scott Stallings hits his tee shot. PHOTO: AP

Scheffler and Hossler were among the Colonial-record eight players to share the 18-hole lead at 66. Stallings began the second round as one of the seven others within a stroke of that.

Patrick Reed matched his opening 66 with another and was alone in fourth place at 8-under 132. Pat Perez (66) and Chris Kirk (67), the 2015 Colonial champion who hasn’t won on the PGA Tour since, were at 133.

After missing the cut at last week’s PGA Championship like Scheffler did, the 37-year-old Stallings went to Dallas to play in a 36-hole qualifier on Monday for the US Open next month in Brookline, Massachusetts.

He shot 8 under and placed 11th to get into his third US Open and 12th major overall.
“That was a huge goal, probably the biggest goal I had of the year, is to play the Open up there,” Stallings said on Friday.

“Probably the only time in my career I’ll have an opportunity to play a major championship in New England where at least half my family lives, my sister lives just down the road.”

Stallings had eight birdies and five bogeys in his first round at Colonial. There were no bogeys on Friday, and no birdies until four in the middle of the round – at number eight, nine, 11 and 12.

The three-time PGA Tour winner added another at number 14, then finished by rolling in a 28-foot birdie putt.

Having the momentum of qualifying for the US Open “carry over into the week was nice to see, and take advantage of a day that we definitely haven’t seen very often here”, said Stallings, who was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, but now lives in Tennessee, where he went to school at Tennessee Tech.