2021 WGC-St. Jude Invitational leaderboard breakdown: Bryson DeChambeau on the hunt entering Sunday

The cream rose early and often on Saturday at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, as it often does in no-cut, small-field events like this one. Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson all went out before the leaders and had nice third rounds before Harris English did what he’s done every day this week — taken over the top of the leaderboard at the end of the day.English (-18) shot a 5-under 65 to take a two-stroke lead over Bryson DeChambeau (-16) and Cameron Smith (-16) going into the final round on Sunday. DeChambeau and Spieth shot the round of the day (63) on Saturday, and the former will be trying, along with English, to take the PGA Tour lead in victories for the season as both are currently sitting on two heading into the final round at TPC Southwind.Let’s take a look at both of their rounds as well as everything else that unfolded during Round 3 on Saturday in Memphis.1. Harris English (-18): English’s first career victory came on this track, but he’s a different player this season — at least this summer — than he was back then. English made no bogeys on Saturday and has just three on the week and one in the last two rounds. His consistency across the board this week (positive strokes gained in every category) is emblematic of the season he’s having and really the two-year run on which he’s been. Though he may not win on Sunday, it’s almost certainly going to take something outrageously good from beyond him to overtake English and disrupt a win that would get him on the Ryder Cup team and put him in real position to win the FedEx Cup Playoffs when they start in two weeks. 2. Cameron Smith, Bryson DeChambeau (-16): DeChambeau is somebody who could produce something outrageously good. His driver was strong again on Saturday, but it was his iron play that won the day. DeChambeau hit approach shots inside of 15 feet on eight of his last 10 holes and played the second nine in 30. When he’s really going good, the tell is his play from knockdown distances (which is where he’s normally playing from). As has been stated ad nauseam, he doesn’t have to be spectacular with his approach play, but when he is like he was on Saturday (nearly three strokes gained on approach shots), 63s are the result. The English-DeChambeau dynamic will be a fun one to monitor on Sunday, and the winner might be considered the favorite for PGA Tour Player of the Year going into the playoffs.Rick Gehman is joined by Mark Immelman to break down and react to Saturday’s third-round action from Memphis. Follow & listen to The First Cut on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.4. Abraham Ancer (-14): There are a lot of golfers in the top 10 of this leaderboard who have won a lot less on the PGA Tour than you probably think they have. Ancer does not have a PGA Tour victory yet, but he has four solo seconds in the last three years. He’s such a terrific player, and has had a really strong, sustainable week. However, it’s probably going to take something special to leapfrog all three golfers in front of him.T5. Scottie Scheffler, Ian Poulter (-13): This is a bit of a Ryder Cup special. Poulter and Scheffler both shot 67 on Saturday, and while Poulter is simply trying to put the finishing touches on his body of work for 2021, Scheffler is trying to claw his way on the team presumably from the outside looking in currently. Both have big Sundays ahead, even if they don’t threaten to win.T7. Will Zalatoris, Paul Casey, Dustin Johnson, Louis Oosthuizen (-11): Quite a crew here, and probably the last of the players that have a realistic chance of catching English. D.J. cruises around TPC Southwind, and he and Casey both shot 65 on Saturday. Oosthuizen struggled off the tee and probably cost himself a shot at his first win in the United States, unfortunately. Still, this will be the group I’ll be watching for an early 62 from on Sunday afternoon.T11. Tyrrell Hatton, Daniel Berger, Sam Burns (-10): There are some large Ryder Cup implications here with Berger and Burns trying to play their way on. That won’t be at the forefront on Sunday afternoon, but it is no doubt the undercurrent of the end of both of their seasons.T14. Billy Horschel, Hideki Matsuyama (-9): Matsuyama’s round was one of the most statistically amazing I’ve seen so far this year. He made just two putts longer than 5 feet and shot a 64. That’s impossible! He gained over five (FIVE!) strokes on approach shots, and 13 of his 17 made putts were from inside of 3 feet. If he replicates that on Sunday and finds a little fire with his putter like he did at the Masters earlier this year, we’re going to be on a serious 59 watch.T17. Sergio Garcia, Justin Thomas, Tony Finau, Jason Kokrak, Jordan Spieth (-7): Spieth finally had himself a round on Saturday, and fell into what has been his pace all year. We have discussed it quite a bit around the majors, but I’m guessing most people don’t know that he hasn’t missed a cut since the Farmers Insurance Open in January or that he has fewer finishes outside the top 20 on leaderboards (two) than he does inside the top four (seven). He won’t win this week, but he’s a quiet contender for the FedEx Cup Playoffs and his second Tour Championship title over the next month.

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