Paul Goydos birdied five holes on the back nine and held a one-stroke lead over Kenny Perry after the third round of the Travelers Championship on Saturday.
Goydos’ 28-foot putt from off the green on the 16th highlighted a third-round 63, tying Hunter Mahan for the best round of the day.
“I had a circus putt on 16,” Goydos said. “Again, it was turning lemons into lemonade. Those are the things that are the difference between maybe shooting 68 today and 63.”
Perry, who led after each of the first two rounds, had a seemingly comfortable three-stroke lead after birdies on 11 and 12, but he dropped a stroke on the 14th and Goydos took advantage, making four straight birdies starting on the par-five 13th.
After a rain delay of just over an hour, both golfers parred in.
Perry missed a five-foot birdie try on 18 that would have given him a share of the lead minutes after Goydos misread the break on a 10-footer.
“When it gets dark, I don’t see very good, I never have and I complain every time,” Perry said.
David Toms shot a 66 and was in third place at 14-under. Toms didn’t make his first bogey of the tournament until Saturday on the par-four 10th hole, when he missed a five-foot par putt. It was his only bogey of the round and broke a streak of 45 straight holes at par or better.
John Merrick held the lead several times during the round after making birdie on five of his first seven holes, but a double-bogey on 12 led to a three-stroke swing and put Perry back on top. Merrick finished with a 65 and was tied with Casey Wittenberg, three strokes behind the leaders at 13-under.
Wittenberg chipped in from 51 feet on the 16th hole and made five birdies on the back nine.
Bo Van Pelt’s 23-foot birdie putt on the par-four 18th capped a round of 64 that left him at 12-under for the tournament and in a three-way tie for sixth place with Tag Ridings and Ben Curtis.
Mahan, who seems to always play well in Cromwell, shot a 63 to move into contention. Mahan got his only tour win at Cromwell in 2007 and finished tied for second in 2006 and last year. On Saturday, he birdied five consecutive holes to get to 11-under.
US Open champion Lucas Glover was seven strokes behind after his second 65 in three days.
The golfers had to finish the second round early on Saturday, before starting round three.
Jason Bohn made the most of it, knocking in a 127-yard approach on his final hole of the round for an eagle that moved him to three-under and allowed him to make the cut. He shot 67 in the third round and was six-under going into the final day.
REUTERS, MUNICH, GERMANY
A closing bogey on Saturday by long-time BMW International Open leader Retief Goosen boosted home favorite Bernhard Langer’s chances of becoming the European Tour’s oldest winner.
Goosen leads 51-year-old Langer by two strokes after a five-under 67 gave the South African a three-round total of 199, 17-under.
The German veteran climbed into second place after producing a spectacular finale to shoot a 65.
Langer rolled in a huge 75-foot birdie putt on the 16th green as he lifted his hopes of clinching, at the 19th attempt, the only German title to have eluded him.
If the former European Ryder Cup captain goes on to claim his 43rd title on the circuit, he will comfortably become the Tour’s oldest winner, surpassing Ireland’s Des Smyth, who was 48 when he won the 2001 Madeira Island Open.