January 4, 2020; Maui, Hawaii, USA; Xander Schauffele hits his tee shot on the 13th hole during the third round in the Sentry Tournament of Champions golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
(Reuters) – Defending champion Xander Schauffele set himself up for a successful repeat when he earned a one-stroke lead in the third round at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii on Saturday.
Schauffele started the day leading by one and ended it the same way after a most respectable two-under-par 71 in strong winds at the Kapalua Plantation course on the island of Maui.
He goes into Sunday’s final round at 11-under 208, with fellow American Justin Thomas nipping at his heels after a 69.
Schauffele is three shots clear of third-placed Gary Woodland (69).
Patrick Reed and Joaquin Niemann, who teed off one stroke behind Schauffele, both backtracked with matching 74s to fall four back.
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Kim Coghill