MEMPHIS — Bryson DeChambeau let his clubs do most of the talking Saturday at TPC Southwind.
DeChambeau shot a 7-under-par 63 to pull within two strokes of leader Harris English the FedEx St. Jude Invitational, then declined to comment to most of the media after the third round.
He was apparently upset with several stories written about his refusal to get the COVID-19 vaccine after he missed the Tokyo Olympics because of a positive test. He did agree to interviews with rights holders CBS Sports, Sky Sports and SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio.
"It was beautiful to be able to score really well," DeChambeau said. "I didn't feel like my ball striking was perfect, but I got it around really well and I was very pleased with it."
English has led by two strokes after each of the first three rounds in this World Golf Championships event, opening with a 62 and shooting back-to-back 65s to get to 18-under 192. The 32-year-old former Baylor School and University of Georgia player is in position for his fifth PGA Tour victory and third of the season.
He had to overcome two bogeys in the opening round and one in the second, but he did not drop a stroke Saturday, when his five birdies included back-to-back gains on Nos 8-9 and 16-17. English tied Tiger Woods for the lowest 54-hole mark in TPC Southwind history.
"I love playing with pressure," said English, who earned the first victory of his PGA Tour career eight years ago at this Memphis course. "I think it helps me focus. It's a privilege to be in this spot. You have to take (challenges) on."
English won the Sentry Tournament of Champions in January in Hawaii and the Travelers Championship in June in Connecticut, both by playoff. He finished third at the U.S. Open in June.
Australia's Cameron Smith had a 65 to join DeChambeau at 16 under.
Mexico's Abraham Ancer (67) was alone in fourth at 14 under, with Scottie Scheffler (67) and England's Ian Poulter (67) another shot back in a no-cut event with 48 of the top 50 players in the Official World Golf Ranking.
The long-hitting DeChambeau birdied four of the first five holes on the back nine. The third came at the par-4 13th after nearly holing out his approach. DeChambeau's tap-in birdie took him to 14 under, one shot behind the leaders. He tied Ancer and English for the lead on the following hole, making a 10-footer to reach 15 under.
DeChambeau got to 16 under to remain tied with English with a short birdie putt on No. 16 after narrowly missing an eagle attempt from 11 feet. Ancer rejoined them with a four-foot birdie, also at the 16th. English then created separation atop the leaderboard with his late run.
DeChambeau said he lost "eight to 10" pounds after contracting COVID-19 last month. The 2020 U.S Open winner said his game hasn't suffered significantly as a result.
"Not much, just a little lower ball speed, but I'll get that back real quickly," said DeChambeau, who hit 10 of 14 fairways Saturday. "Honestly, it's kind of helped me this week hit (drives) in the fairway. I don't know why."
Second-ranked Dustin Johnson had a 65 to get to 11 under and was tied for seventh with Will Zalatoris (67), England's Paul Casey (65) and South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen (68).
Schenk leads Barracuda
TRUCKEE, Calif. — Adam Schenk made a birdie on the par-4 18th in smoky conditions from wildfires for an 11-point round and a four-point lead in the Barracuda Championship, the only PGA Tour event that uses the modified Stableford scoring system.
Players receive eight points for an albatross, five for an eagle, two for a birdie and zero for par. A point is subtracted for a bogey, and three points are taken away for a double or worse.
Schenk, a 29-year-old former Purdue player seeking his first PGA Tour title, had seven birdies and a bogey in the third round to reach 38 points on Tahoe Mountain Club's Old Greenwood Course.
Andrew Putnam, the tournament's 2018 winner for his lone PGA Tour title, was tied for second with South Africa's Erik van Rooyen.
Stephan Jaeger, the former Baylor School and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga standout, was tied for 21st at 23 points after a six-point round.