Russell Henley watches his drive on the fifth hole Saturday during the third round of the CJ Cup in North Las Vegas, Nevada. Henley took the lead with a 5-under 67. Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP

NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Four shots behind at the start of the day, Russell Henley ran off three straight birdies to start the back nine Saturday and posted a 5-under 67 to build a three-shot lead going into the final round of the CJ Cup at Shadow Creek.

Henley had plenty of help from the other players in his group.

Xander Schauffele, who had a three-shot lead going into the weekend, made a pair of late bogeys and failed to capitalize on the par 5s in his round of 74. Tyrrell Hatton didn’t make a birdie until the final hole in a 73. Of the top 25 players, they were the only two who shot over par.

Henley’s putting has been a great fit for the firm, glass-like greens of Shadow Creek. He leads the field in the putting category, and it has carried him to only the second 54-hole lead of his PGA Tour career.

Henley was at 15-under 201.

Lanto Griffin, who won his first PGA Tour event a year ago at the Houston Open, found the water off the tee on the par-5 18th and made bogey but still managed a 66. He was at 12-under 204, along with Talor Gooch (69), Jason Kokrak (68) and Schauffele, still in the mix despite a sloppy round.

Hatton was in the group five shots behind with Justin Thomas (68) and Jason Day, who had a 66 as the former world No. 1 tries to end more than two years without a victory.

Henley started to close the gap when he got up-and-down from a bunker in front of the green on the par-5 seventh. Schauffele missed the green on the par-3 eighth and took bogey.

After they made the turn, Henley took off.

He holed a 25-foot birdie putt on No. 10, hit driver just through the green on the reachable par-4 11th to set up a simple up-and-down for another birdie, then hit his approach to just inside 5 feet on No. 12 for a third straight birdie.

Henley closed with six straight pars, missing chances on the two par 5s, but no one could catch him.

But he knows what can happen, having flipped his fortunes on Saturday.

“Anybody can come at me,” Henley said. “You can go low out here. The greens are great and it’s gettable, but you’ve got to play well to do that. You’ve got to do everything well. I’ve got to just keep my head down and play a good round for me.”

Schauffele was hopeful of at least finishing his round at par, but he went long on the par-3 17th into rough so deep he could barely keep his pitch on the green, leading to his fourth bogey. And he went just over the back of the 18th green in two, again in rough facing a downhill chip that he rolled all the way to the fringe.

Sung Kang took an 11 on the par-4 second hole, which included two lost balls when he spent more than three minutes looking and came up empty. He also hit a few shots backward trying to escape trouble. Nothing worked.

Schauffele wasn’t that bad. It just felt like it.

“I was trying to figure out what was worse, the pace of play or my quality of golf,” he said. “It was kind of a tie today. Not to be a sour person, but just one of those days. Today was my bad day for the week. Got it out of the way before Sunday. I guess I’m in a familiar place, being three back now.”

Schauffele has been trailing going into the final round in all four of his PGA Tour victories.

Henley’s last victory was in 2017 at the Houston Open, where he came from four shots behind in the final round.

CHAMPIONS TOUR: Mike Weir shot rounds of 68 and 63 in the rain-delayed Dominion Energy Charity Classic at Richmond, Virginia, as he upstaged another left-handed, 50-year-old former Masters champion.

While Phil Mickelson got most of the attention going into the event as he tries to open his senior career with consecutive victories, Weir was a little better on a 36-hole day after rain washed out play Friday.

Weir reached 13 under and takes a three-stroke lead over Mickelson into the final round.

Mickelson shot 68 and 66.

EUROPEAN TOUR: English golfer Matt Wallace opened up a three-stroke lead over Garrick Porteous after the third round of the Scottish Championship by shooting 6-under 66 in Fife, Scotland.

Wallace started the day tied for the lead with Adrian Otaegui, who shot 70 and dropped four strokes off the pace.


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