Thanks to the low round of the day, an 8-under 62, Daniel Berger will take a three-shot lead into the final round of the Travelers Championship. Here’s what happened early Saturday, as the prospect of inclement weather moved up tee times:
Leaderboard: Berger (-15), Russell Knox (-12), Tyrone Van Aswegen (-12), Russell Henley (-12), Patrick Rodgers (-10)
What it means: Berger, 23, is in search of the second win of both his season and career after his breakthrough victory at the FedEx St. Jude in June. Last year’s Rookie of the Year started the day in a four-way tie for the lead and broke away from the pack when he made eight birdies across his final 13 holes. At 18th on the Ryder Cup points list, Berger is hoping a second win in as many months will earn him consideration as a captain’s pick. Berger will be chased Sunday by notable names like Knox, last year’s WGC-HSBC winner, Rodgers, another of the Tour’s burgeoning young talents, Koepka (-9), back on the leaderboard after pushing his ankle to the limit last week, and Casey (-9), in search of his first worldwide win in two years.
Round of the day: Berger traded a birdie and a bogey at Nos. 3 and 4 and then tore apart TPC River Highlands. He circled Nos. 6, 8 and 9 to make the turn in 3 under and then added five more birdies across a spotless back nine to take a three-shot lead into Sunday.
Best of the rest: Knox and Koepka both carded 6-under 64. Both players made seven birdies against a lone bogey.
Biggest disappointment: One of four players tied for the lead to start the third round, Marc Leishman fell out of contention with a round of 1-over 71. The South African made the turn in 1 under, then bogeyed Nos. 10 and 12 and closed with six straight pars. He was the only player in the top 32 to shoot over par.
Olympic check-in: Olympians Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar all survived the 36-hole cut. Through three rounds, Reed and Watson sit tied for 22nd at 5 under par, while Kuchar is two shots further back at minus-3.
Shot of the day: Ernie Els stepped up to the tee at the par-3 16th, his seventh hole of the day, and made his 13th career ace. His ball carried the front right bunker, broke left and found the bottom of the cup.
Quote of the day: “Yeah, I actually said, ‘Be right.’ That's one of (caddie) Ricci Roberts' lines. I took one of his lines, but it felt good. It wasn't a luck shot, just kind of a go.” - Els