Scottie Scheffler’s 197-yard eagle has him back in contention

Scottie Scheffler was spotted on the Los Angeles Country Club driving range Friday night, testing a new driver head.

Scheffler ended up replacing the old head, and the decision seemingly paid off on Saturday.

The 2022 Masters winner was not in a bad spot to begin the third round of the U.S. Open, firmly sitting within the top 10. Scheffler was 3-under on Thursday and 2-under on Friday. But now, his chances of winning the U.S. Open for the first time in his career have greatly increased.

He was off to a steady start, making three birdies and nine pars as he entered the 515-yard, 4-par 17th hole. Staring down a 197-yard approach, Scheffler holed out for eagle, giving him a nice boost up the leaderboard.

“[I] could not see the ball go in, but there was a nice crowd there on the grandstand behind the green,” Scheffler said, describing his view from the fairway. “I saw where it landed and I thought it would funnel out on to the green and I’d have a look for birdie and then you could see everybody as the noise started to kind of rise, got excited, and then they erupted, which is always nice when you’re standing back there in the fairway.”

Scheffler kept the momentum going on the final hole, hitting a birdie to finish the day 2-under and 7-under for the tournament, just three shots back of co-leaders Wyndham Clark and Rickie Fowler.

Scheffler has done well in the U.S. Open within the last few years, finishing T7 in 2021 and T2 in 2022. And with his strong ending to Round 3 of this year’s U.S. Open, he’ll have another real chance to win the major on Sunday afternoon.

He’ll be paired with Rory McIlroy (-9) in the final round, who’s only two shots ahead of him.

“Going into tomorrow I’m going to be chasing, but it’s not going [to] feel any different,” Scheffler said, “If I was in the lead it’s just I’m four shots behind instead of four shots ahead or whatever it is. Got to go out there and execute and do the best I can.”