CROMWELL, Conn. (AP) — Paul Goydos birdied five holes on the back nine Saturday and held a one-stroke lead over Kenny Perry after the third round of the Travelers Championship.
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-5 13th.
After a rain delay of just over an hour, both golfers parred in. Perry missed a 5-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 had and I complain every time,” Perry said. “I can’t see the lines when it gets dark and that’s just the way it was.”
David Toms shot a 66 and was in third place at 14-under par. Toms didn’t make his first bogey of the tournament until Saturday on the par-4 10th hole, when he missed a 5-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.
“I got in a groove there,” he said.
Bo Van Pelt’s 23-foot birdie putt on the par-4 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.
“I’ve got to hit some fairways Sunday to go low enough to scare anybody,” Van Pelt said. “There are going to be some low scores Sunday. You better have your ears pinned back and go get some birdies.”
Mahan, who seems to always play well in Cromwell, shot a 63 to move into contention. Mahan got his only Tour win here in 2007 and finished tied for second in 2006 and 2008. On Saturday, he birdied five consecutive holes to get to 11 under.
“I wish I could find more courses that suit me like this one,” Mahan said. “I just like it. It suits my eye. It’s a fun course. You can make a lot of birdies, and I just have a lot of confidence when I play here.”
U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover was seven strokes behind after his second 65 in three days.
The golfers had to finish the second round early Saturday morning, 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 3-under par, and allowed him to make the cut. He shot 67 in the third round is 6-under par going into Sunday.