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Xander Schauffele aims to double up at Genesis Scottish Open as Dubai’s Rafa Cabrera Bello looms

By Matt Smith
Days after winning the star-studded JP McManus Pro-Am at Adare Manor in Ireland, Xander Schauffele continued his rich vein of form by carding a brilliant 66 at The Renaissance Club in North Berwick to take a two-stroke advantage into the final day of the 2022 Genesis Scottish Open.

The American started the day four shots off the lead but three birdies put him in share and when he picked up another three gains in four holes from the 13th, he led by four.

A bogey-bogey finish took some of the gloss off his round but Schauffele will head into day four at seven-under as he looks for a first Rolex Series win.

“I had pretty much everything going,” Schauffele said. “I was judging the bounces well and making sort of the putts I need to and getting up-and-down when I was missing the green. Six birdies through 16, no complaints, and a tough finish.

“I’ll go to the range, get some better feels going into tomorrow but those are hard finishing holes. So overall, pretty okay with the day.

“I don’t want to think too far ahead but it would be very nice. It would be very special. It just proves that the game can travel, and beating an incredible field, one of the best of the year. I’m just going to focus on what I can do now and not get too carried away.”

Dubai-based Rafa Cabrera Bello is already a Rolex Series champion having won this event in 2017 and he was the closest challenger at five-under, a shot clear of England’s Jordan Smith and American duo Ryan Palmer and Jordan Spieth.

Schauffele arrived in Scotland as a man in form having also won his last start on the PGA Tour at the Travelers Championship after a run of four consecutive top-20 finishes.

Cameron Tringale started the day with a three-shot lead but he stumbled to a two-over 74 despite an eagle on the third

to sit at three under alongside U.S. Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick, who carded a 70, and American Alex Smalley who went round in 67.

There was then a group of eight players five shots off the lead including Swede Alexander Björk and Dane Rasmus Højgaard.

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