Jesse Mueller fires 66, holds sizable 54-hole lead at PGA Professional Championship

The only time Jesse Mueller qualified for a major — the 2012 U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco — he did himself proud, making the cut and finishing T-51 with a host of others, including current PGA Tour member Branden Grace.

Barring a major meltdown, the Arizona State product will get a second crack at a major when the PGA Championship gets underway at Tulsa’s Southern Hills in May.

Mueller maintained a hot hand, firing a 66 during Tuesday’s third round to take a sizable lead into the final day of play at the 2022 PGA Professional Championship in Austin, Texas.

While playing the Fazio Foothills course at Barton Creek Spa and Resort, Mueller was consistently attacking the stick on a windy, overcast day in the Texas state capital. He dropped just a single shot, on the long par-4 13th, but posted birdies on two of the last three holes to take a commanding five-stroke lead.

Mueller, the Director of Golf at Grand Canyon University’s Golf Course in Phoenix, sits at 13 under through three rounds. Casey Pyne is 8 under while three players — Kyle Mendoza, Colin Inglis and Michael Block — are all six shots back at 7 under.

Through a solid and steady front nine, Mueller dropped a birdie on No. 4 and then had a spectacular hole-out birdie on No. 8.

A total of 103 players made the first cut Monday night and the field will be cut again in advance of Thursday’s final round with the low 70 scorers and ties playing again on Fazio Foothills.

The lowest 20 scorers will be offered a spot in the 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club on May 19-22.