The PGA Tour is at the Travelers Championship this weekend a few weeks before the British Open comes on the schedule and Bubba Watson is in the lead after winning the event in 2010 and a victory would give him some extra momentum heading into next month's British Open Championship.
Watson has had an up and down year and during round 3 at one point he was aheady by one stroke at 11 under after finishing Friday with a three under 67. At the time, he was a 10-under 130 and was leading rookie Patrick Reed and former major winner Padraig Harrington, while a number of other players were within striking distance of the lead. Charley Hoffman and Graham Delaet took shares of the lead when they went into the clubhouse and Watson finished off his day with another solid round under par and now he heads into Sunday with a good chance to win the tourney.
Watson backed up his opening-round 63 with four birdies and a bogey and despite taking a solid advantage into the weekend claimed his game was a little off. Overnight leader Charley Hoffman was four shots off the pace after a three-over 73 that included a double-bogey, three bogeys and two birdies.
Harrington carded a second successive 66 but was not exactly flush with confidence despite being well placed going into the final two rounds. Watson, the 2010 winner of the event, shot a three-under 67 to move to 10-under 130, two shots clear of Ireland's triple major champion Padraig Harrington (66) and PGA Tour rookie Patrick Reed (66). Australian Nick O'Hern (66) was in a share of fourth place with Americans Hunter Mahan (71), Tommy Gainey (67) and Tag Ridings (65) at seven-under.
American Bubba Watson took control of the Travelers Championship, fashioning a two-shot lead after Friday's second round at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut. Major winners Keegan Bradley (65) and Webb Simpson (69) sit just four shots off the pace while last week's U.S. Open winner Justin Rose (68) was a further shot back at five-under.
With Zach Johnson also five back, six major champions sit inside the top 12 of a neatly stacked leaderboard. Among those to miss the cut were former U.S. Open winner Lucas Glover, former Masters champions Mike Weir and Trevor Immelman, Belgian Ryder Cup player Nicolas Colsaerts and former Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III.
"Getting up this morning was a tough one, the night was very very short," Rose said. "Tomorrow is an important day to just keep the momentum going, keep the adrenaline going for Sunday and try to make something happen."
"I'm not buzzing with confidence out there," Harrington said.
"I'm very pleased with the score but my score is flattering, given how I played a little bit, I holed some long putts out there so I feel like I need to play a bit better on the weekend. I can't always rely on holing 20-25 footers."
"It was a struggle and I just had to play it in safe," the former Masters champion told reporters.
"I just didn't feel it today, body, whatever it is, you know waking up early I just didn't feel 100 percent so I just hung it together, just tried to play to the fat of the greens, play smart and try to take all the trouble out of play."
Round 3 Leaderboard
POS START CTRY PLAYER TO PAR TODAY THRU R1 R2 R3 R4 TOT
T1 12 Graham Delaet -10 -5 F 65 70 65 - 200
T1 8 Charley Hoffman -10 -4 F 61 73 66 - 200
T1 1 Bubba Watson -10 E 17 63 67 - - 130
T4 12 Chris Stroud -9 -4 F 66 69 66 - 201
T4 4 Nick O'Hern -9 -2 F 67 66 68 - 201
6 32 Ken Duke -8 -5 F 69 68 65 - 202
T7 32 Richard Lee -7 -4 F 66 71 66 - 203
T7 32 Nicholas Thompson -7 -4 F 71 66 66 - 203
T7 24 Jim Herman -7 -3 F 69 67 67 - 203
T7 12 J.J. Henry -7 -2 F 68 67 68 - 203
T7 12 Justin Rose -7 -2 F 67 68 68 - 203
T7 4 Hunter Mahan -7 E F 62 71 70 - 203
T7 4 Tommy Gainey -7 E F 66 67 70 - 203