The final round of the men’s Olympic golf tournament is perfectly poised with nine players within four shots of leader Xander Schauffele.
The American came into the third round with a one-shot lead, but he could not put any distance between himself and the chasers.
Schauffele looked out of sorts early in his round, and he required his putter to get him out of trouble and keep him level for his opening five holes. The American made an amazing par on the difficult ninth, holing a 25-foot putt after finding the trees off the tee.
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The putter could only save Schauffele for so long, and he dropped a shot on 16 after finding the bunker with his tee shot and being unable to get up and down.
However, a piercing iron approach to five feet on 18 set up a birdie to move him to 14-under, one clear of the pack.
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Home favourite Hideki Matsuyama charged up the leaderboard with four birdies on his front nine, but the momentum stalled on his way back to the clubhouse.
An excellent birdie after finding sand on 17 leaves him well within one shot of Schauffele.
Tommy Fleetwood has had a difficult season, with his form impacted by a wayward driver. But aside from one wild tee shot on 17, his game was dialled in on Saturday and he catapulted himself into the mix for a medal on 10-under.
The Brit carded nine birdies in his round of 64, with the highlight arguably being a brilliant long, uphill, swinging putt on 18.
Team GB have a second shot at a medal heading into the final day, as Paul Casey put himself firmly in contention with a round of 66.
A birdie putt on 18 propelled Casey to 12-under and within touching distance of the top of the leaderboard.
It was a wonderful effort from Casey, as he had a terrible break on the eighth when his tee shot became buried under the lip of a bunker. He took his medicine out of the sand and a superb approach set up a momentum-saving par.
At three adrift of the leader, Rory McIlroy catches the eye heading into the final day on 11-under. He’s shown some brilliance during the week, suggesting a really low round is within his grasp on Sunday.
McIlroy’s fellow Irishman Shane Lowry holed a big par putt on 18 to sit one further back at 10-under. The 2019 Open champion did well to bounce back after suffering the ill luck of losing a baLL up a tree earlier in his round.
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