England’s Paul Casey produced five birdies through the first 13 holes and then eagled the par-4 15th hole on the way to an 8-under-par 62 for a four-shot lead Saturday in the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn.
Casey, who was two strokes off the pace set by second-round leader Brian Harman entering the round, goes into Sunday’s final round leading Russell Henley by four strokes.
“(When) I play this golf course, I feel like I execute it really well,” Casey said. “I’m not the longest guy in the field, but as I said (earlier in the week), it’s a golf course which is receptive to all styles of game. I’ve made some good putts. That’s going to be key.”
Henley shot 67, but lost ground on the day.
“You’ve got to finish the tournament,” Henley said. “If you’re going to win the tournament, you’ve got to play it to the very end, because anything can happen on this course. I played here two years ago and was in contention on the back nine and kind of threw up a little bit coming down the stretch. But I think it’s a fun ending on the back nine, and a lot of good, fun shots, for sure.”
J.B. Holmes and India’s Anirban Lahiri shot 65s and share third place with Harman, whose 69 left him at 11 under.
“I’m not very good at keeping my emotions together. It’s hard to do out there,” Harman said. “It’s easy to get frustrated. But hopefully I won’t get frustrated. … The better you can keep your emotions in check on the golf course, the better off you are.”
Harman had six-hole stretch on the back nine with three bogeys and three birdies.
Bubba Watson, a two-time winner of this tournament, threatened to move higher on the leaderboard, but his 67 left him in a five-way tie for sixth place at 10 under. Watson had bogeys on two of his last three holes.
Australia’s Jason Day is also in the cluster at 10 under, along with Ryan Blaum, Beau Hossler and Bryson DeChambeau.
Casey was on a tear, and then he rolled in the eagle putt. He capped the round with a birdie on No. 18.
Casey said he’s confident about posting low numbers on this course.
“If I string it all together, there’s no reason why there can’t be (another good score),” he said.
Harman and Watson are left-handers who’ve gone on good stretches on this layout.
“Obviously around here I feel pretty comfortable,” Watson said. “I can hit some shots around here, and I’ve made it work throughout some of the years.”
Jamie Lovemark shot 64 in the third round to move to 9 under for the tournament and into a tie for 11th place.
Zach Johnson, who shot 63 on Thursday and was one shot out of the lead prior to Saturday’s round, struggled in the third round with a 71. He’s tied for 15th at 8 under.
James Hahn notched a hole-in-one on No. 11 as part of his 67. It’s the only ace in this year’s tournament so far.
Defending champion Jordan Spieth, who held a share of first place after the first round, dropped further down the leaderboard with a 1-over 71. He carded a 73 on Friday, 10 strokes more than he needed to get through the course Thursday.
–Field Level Media