ATLANTA — Scotty Schaeffler controlled the Tour championship on the front nine, but it’s a whole different story on the back nine.
In fact, the results were disastrous.
At the 11th tee, Schaeffler went 3-under in the round and was on track to lead the tournament at 13-under overall.
He then sank a three-putt on the 11th green, which foreshadowed what would happen four holes later.
On the par-3 15th, which was almost completely surrounded by water, Schaeffler hit a pond. He swung so badly that he couldn’t even find dry land.
“I’m obviously pretty frustrated with how I played today,” Schaeffler said in a post-round interview.
After putting his third shot on the green, Schaeffler 3-putted again and hit a triple-bogey 6 on the 211-yard par 3.
“I had a few 3-putts today, which was definitely frustrating, and I had a bad swing on the par-3 15th,” Schaeffler added.
Of course, Schaeffler started the Tour Championship with a two-shot advantage at 10-under thanks to his lead in the FedEx Cup rankings.
But now Colin Morikawa, Keegan Bradley and Victor Hovland share the lead at 10-under, while Schaeffler sits at 9-under with a 1-over 71.
“I try to approach each round the same way, but it’s certainly a little strange to start a tournament with the lead,” Schaeffler said. “I think I’m a little bit lucky that I’m still in the tournament after having a pretty bad day. So yeah, I have to get out there. [Friday] And keep fighting. ”
In last year’s Tour Championship, Schaeffler started 10-under and 5-under 65.
He fell short that Thursday, but thankfully for the Texan, he’s still in contention for the FedEx Cup. And considering he hit the ball more than anyone else in 2023, even if he misses one round, his chances of winning the ultimate PGA Tour prize money won’t be ruined.