Olympic Golf Day 8: American Xander Schauffele stays on top, Matsuyama closes in

Posted at 1:45 AM, Jul 31, 2021


Team USA's Xander Schauffele stayed on top of the leaderboard in round three, solidifying his lead with a 3-under par on the day to produce a 14-under total of 199.

The biggest change-up in Saturday's golf competition involved Japanese favorite Hideki Matsuyama, the 2021 Masters champion who began the third round in third place.

The hometown hero upped his game over the most recent 18 holes. Matsuyama booted Mexico's Carlos Ortiz from second place with a 4-under par, totaling 200. Japan's first major winner, he has battled to recover after falling ill with COVID-19 earlier this month.

Ten players are 10-under par, with Great Britain's Paul Casey and Ortiz now tied for third. Casey managed a 5-under par, leap-frogging from seventh place. Other big names made strides: Ireland's Rory McIllroy was 4-under par, and is now tied for fifth alongside Austria's Sepp Straka and Colombia's Sebastian Munoz. Munoz arguably had the biggest boost of the night, managing a whopping 5-under to jump six spots. 

"It's really exciting," McIllroy said in post-round interview. "I've got to bring the most enthusiasm I can tomorrow." 

With so many golfers piling into the top ten, one thing is for certain: Round four is going to be an absolute battle for the final word.