Brendon Todd carded a career-low nine-under-par 61 to open up a two-shot lead after the third spherical of the PGA Tour Vacationers Championship on Saturday.
Todd, chasing his third win of the 2019-2020 season, posted 9 birdies in a bogey-free spherical at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut.
The 34-year-old had began the day 4 strokes off the tempo after opening rounds of 66 and 65, however marched up the leaderboard with a flurry of 5 birdies over the entrance 9.
A red-hot putter ignited Todd’s spherical from the primary gap, delivering a gap birdie after making a tough 13-footer.
Todd then made birdie putts of 25ft, 17ft and 10ft earlier than rolling in a six-footer on the flip to maneuver to 5 beneath for the day.
4 extra birdies over the again 9 left him at 18 beneath after three rounds, two away from former world primary Dustin Johnson, who additionally swept up the leaderboard with a nine-under-par 61 of his personal.
Todd had the possibility to open up a three-shot lead heading into Sunday’s last spherical, however noticed his seven-foot birdie putt roll simply previous the cup on the 18th.
“I am simply using the boldness I had final fall once I was taking part in nicely,” mentioned Todd, who received back-to-back tournaments final November.
Earlier, Johnson had made a bid for the lead with the bottom spherical of his PGA Tour profession, ending the day on 16 beneath after posting 9 birdies and no bogeys.
The previous world primary – whose final PGA Tour win got here on the WGC Mexico Championship in February final 12 months – was shortly into his stride with a birdie on the par-Four second after an strategy left him six ft from the opening.
One other excellent iron on the fourth left him with a 7-foot putt for birdie which he transformed.
He drained one other 8ft putt for his third birdie of the day on the seventh after which improved to 4 beneath on the flip after his second shot on the ninth left him with a tap-in for birdie.
An 18ft birdie putt took him to 5 beneath on the 10th, after which back-to-back birdies on the 12th and 13th holes vaulted him into the lead on 14 beneath general alongside Brendon Todd.
Johnson calmly rolled in a four-footer on the quick par-four 15th for birdie after which took sole possession of the leaderboard with an 8ft putt for birdie on the 17th to place him at 9 beneath.
Saturday’s third spherical had teed off early in an effort to avert disruption from poor climate forecast for afterward Saturday.
However the early tee off time didn’t agree with in a single day chief Phil Mickelson, who’s chasing a 45th PGA Tour title.
Mickelson, who had led by one after his seven-under-par 63 on Friday, was unable to breed that form of momentum with a 71 that left him on 12 beneath, six off the lead.
The chasing pack behind Todd and Johnson on Sunday shall be led by Kevin Streelman, who’s three off the lead on 15 beneath after posting a seven-under-par 63.
Canada’s Mackenzie Hughes is an additional shot again on 14 beneath whereas Bryson DeChambeau and Kevin Na are lurking a shot again on 13 beneath.
4 different gamers are grouped with Mickelson on 12 beneath.
World primary Rory McIlroy endured a irritating spherical nonetheless, closing with two bogeys over the ultimate 4 holes to complete with a one-under-par 69.
That left McIlroy on 10 beneath for the event, eight pictures adrift of chief Todd.
Elsewhere on Saturday, the spectre of coronavirus continued to hover over the event as Jason Day performed a solo spherical.
Day had teed off alone after requesting a COVID-19 check as a precautionary measure. The Aussie was later confirmed to be adverse for the illness, which had already compelled the withdrawal of a number of gamers from the event.
192 – Brendon Todd 66-65-61
194 – Dustin Johnson 69-64-61
195 – Kevin Streelman 66-66-63
196 – Mackenzie Hughes (CAN) 60-68-68
197 – Bryson DeChambeau 65-67-65, Kevin Na 66-66-65
198 – Abraham Ancer (MEX) 67-65-66, Patton Kizzire 66-66-66, Phil Mickelson 64-63-71, Noh Seung-yul (KOR) 64-68-66, Scott Stallings 66-68-64