Jay Williamson shot a three-under-par 67 and claimed a one-shot lead over Hunter Mahan after three rounds of the Travelers Championship on Saturday.
Williamson, playing on a sponsor's exemption, bested his second-round co-leader David Toms and first-round leader Mahan over the final four holes to finish 11-under par after 54 holes.
"I wasn't really looking at the leaderboards," he said. "I figured if I could just keep making birdies, making good swings, I've got 18 holes and we'll figure it out tomorrow."
He hit an eight-foot birdie putt on the par-four No. 15 to go 11-under and made par the rest of the way, nearly chipping in for birdie on the 18th.
Toms, a 12-time winner on US PGA Tour, has five top-10 finishes this year. But he bogeyed the par-three 16th, and he fell two back after his drive on the signature 17th hole found the water.
His 69 was good enough for third place a stroke behind Mahan, who shot a 67.
"I'm in good shape for tomorrow," Toms said. "I just have to keep playing. I feel I can play this golf course well."
So can Mahan, who finished second here a year ago. He had a tournament-best 62 on Thursday and hit 71 on a windy Friday. He said there was just something about the course that brings out the best in his game.
"You just see the greens a little better than in most places," he said. "You see your tee shots better, the yardage seems better, just everything is easier for you."
Williamson, 40, is a regular on the Nationwide Tour who graduated from nearby Trinity College in Hartford. He says he didn't even know this tour event existed when he was in school.
Now he's playing for a two-year tour exemption.
Williamson was trailing by one when he birdied No. 15. After Toms and Mahan bogeyed the 16th, he saved par to take sole possession of the lead.
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