Third-Round Notes – Saturday, June 24, 2017
Weather: Rain in the morning. Mostly sunny skies with a high of 86. Wind WNW 8-16 mph.
54-Hole Cut: 74 players made the cut at 1-over 211.
Jordan Spieth 63-69-66—198 (-12)
Boo Weekley 66-68-65—199 (-11)
Daniel Berger 68-67-66—201 (-9)
With three birdies in his last four holes, highlighted by a 20-foot birdie putt at the 18th, Jordan Spieth posted a 4-under 66 to move to 12-under-par 198, taking a one-shot lead into the final round at the Travelers Championship. Spieth made seven birdies in the third round and leads the field with 19 total birdies through 54 holes.
The sole leader through 54 holes, Spieth is attempting to become the third wire-to-wire winner* (no ties) at the Travelers Championship (Gene Littler in 1959 and Tim Morris in 1982), and the third of the 2016-17 PGA TOUR Season (Mackenzie Hughes at The RSM Classic and Justin Thomas at the Sony Open in Hawaii). *A total of 10 players have won the tournament after holding at least a share of the lead after each round.
Out of nine wins, Spieth has only won one tournament in wire-to-wire fashion—the 2015 Masters.
Spieth is in search of his 10th career victory on the PGA TOUR at the age of 23 years, 10 months, 29 days (Sunday). With a win tomorrow, he would join Tiger Woods as the only players in the modern era with 10 PGA TOUR wins by the age of 24. Woods had 15 before he turned 24.
Tiger Woods was 23 years, 6 months, 4 days when he won his 10th PGA TOUR victory at the 1999 Western Open at Cog Hill. Jordan Spieth was age 5.
Players with Most PGA TOUR Wins Under the Age of 24 (since 1983)
This marks Spieth’s 13th 54-hole lead/co-lead in 120 starts on the PGA TOUR. He has previously converted seven 54-hole leads/co-leads, most recently earlier this season at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
Spieth is making his first start in the Travelers Championship. With a win on Sunday, this would mark the first time Spieth won a tournament when playing for the first time. The last player to win the Travelers Championship in his first start was Phil Blackmar in 1985.
Spieth opened with a 63, his lowest opening round on the PGA TOUR. The lowest start by a Travelers Championship winner is 61 by Kenny Perry in 2009. Spieth’s 63 would rank third for low start by a champion and the best start since Bubba Watson opened with a 62 en route to his second Travelers Championship title in 2015.
Highlighted by a 1st (AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am), a 2nd (DEAN & DELUCA Invitational) and two 3rds (SBS Tournament of Champions, Sony Open in Hawaii), Spieth has collected six top-10 finishes in 15 starts this season.
Spieth’s PGA TOUR victories: (9): 2013 John Deere Classic. 2015 Valspar Championship, Masters Tournament, U.S. Open, John Deere Classic, TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. 2016 Hyundai Tournament of Champions, DEAN & DELUCA Invitational. 2017 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
Spieth leads the field in Strokes Gained: Total
SG: Approach the Green 4.192 (10th)
SG: Around the Green 5.461 (1st)
Spieth has converted a field-leading 14 birdies on the par 4s through 54 holes.
Spieth is one of five winners of the FedExCup in this week’s field; Rory McIlroy (2016), Jordan Spieth (2015), Brandt Snedeker (2012), Jim Furyk (2010) and Vijay Singh (2008). With a win this week, Spieth would move to No. 4 in the FedExCup standings.
With a win by Spieth (or Daniel Berger, who is alone in third), the high school class of 2011 would total six wins in 32 events on the PGA TOUR this season: Justin Thomas (3), Jordan Spieth (1) and Daniel Berger (1).
Third-Round Leader Stats
Dating to 2000, the third-round leader/co-leader at the Travelers Championship has gone on to win five times: Freddie Jacobson (2011), Stewart Cink (2008), J.J. Henry (2006), Peter Jacobsen (2003) and Phil Mickelson (2001).
The largest come-from-behind win at the Travelers Championship is seven strokes by Brad Faxon in 2005.
The third-round leader/co-leader has won 10 of 31 stroke-play events this season, most recently Kevin Chappell at the Valero Texas Open.
After making the turn even-par on the day, Boo Weekley posted five birdies against no bogeys on his back nine, including back-to-back birdies on Nos. 17 and 18, for a 5-under 65.
Weekley is making his 297th start on the PGA TOUR. This marks just the second time he has led or co-led heading into the final round. En route to his win at the 2008 RBC Heritage, Weekley held a three-shot lead.
Weekley is in search of his fourth career PGA TOUR victory and first since the 2013 DEAN & DELUCA Invitational.
At the age of 43 years, 11 months, 3 days (Sunday), Weekley is looking to become the fifth player in his 40s to win on TOUR this season.
Weekley is making his sixth start in the Travelers Championship where he missed the cut in his last two starts (2016 and 2011). His best showing is a T14 in 2009.
In 21 starts this season, Weekley has yet to break the top 25 and has 13 missed cuts.
One of the best ball strikers on TOUR, Weekley ranks seventh in Driving Accuracy this season. This week, he has hit 31 of 42 fairways, which ranks T12.
Fellow Class of 2011 graduate Daniel Berger was on his way to a flawless round before a bogey at the 17th. He rebounded with a birdie at the home hole for a 4-under 66. Berger is in search of his third career PGA TOUR victory and second of the season.
Berger is in familiar territory in his second start at TPC River Highlands. A year ago, he was the 54-hole leader here, leading by three over eventual-winner Russell Knox. Berger shot a 4-over 74 in the final round to finish T5.
Two weeks ago, Berger successfully defended his title at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. He went on to miss the cut at the U.S. Open at Erin Hills.
Berger will begin the final round three shots back, the same number he came back from to win the 2017 FedEx St. Jude Classic.
Last four players to win same event for first two victories back-to-back:
Daniel Berger, 2016, 2017 FedEx St. Jude Classic
Justin Thomas, 2015, 2016 CIMB Classic
Matt Every, 2014, 2015 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard
Boo Weekley, 2007, 2008 RBC Heritage
PGA TOUR rookie C.T. Pan posted the low round of the day, a bogey-free 6-under 64 and is T4. In his only other start at the Travelers Championship, Pan finished T25 in 2015. Pan’s 64 matches his low round on the PGA TOUR (2016 RSM Classic/R2).
Pan’s best PGA TOUR finish is a runner-up, which came earlier this season at the Farmers Insurance Open. He finished three shots behind winner Jon Rahm.
Six of the last 11 winners of the Travelers Championship have been first-time TOUR champions: J.J. Henry (2006), Hunter Mahan (2007), Bubba Watson (2010), Fredrik Jacobson (2011), Marc Leishman (2012) and Ken Duke (2013).
Pan is currently No. 88 in the FedExCup Standings as he attempts to qualify for his first FedExCup Playoffs. In 2015-16, only seven rookies qualified for the FedExCup Playoffs.
Three rookies have won in the 2016-17 PGA TOUR Season: Cody Gribble (Sanderson Farms Championship), Mackenzie Hughes (The RSM Classic) and Wesley Bryan (RBC Heritage).
Pan made his way to the PGA TOUR this season by virtue of his 20th-place finish on last year’s Web.com Tour priority list. On that Tour last season, he claimed seven top-10 finishes in 22 starts. Pan also spent time on the Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada, where he won the 2015 The Players Cup and 2015 Cape Breton Celtic Classic.
Pan represented Chinese Taipei when golf returned to the Olympics for the first time since 1904 in the Rio 2016 Olympics Games (T30).
After going eagle-birdie-birdie on Nos. 13-15 to take the outright lead, Charley Hoffman closed double-bogey-bogey-bogey, playing his last three holes 4-over for a 2-under 68. Hoffman has two top-10s in seven previous starts at the Travelers Championship (2012/T2 and 2013/T7). He finished eighth at last week’s U.S. Open.
New England’s Keegan Bradley posted six birdies for a 4-under 66 and sits at T7. The St. Johns University alum has never broken the top 10 in six starts at TPC River Highlands.
A year ago, Paul Casey was T6 and six shots off the 54-hole lead before a final-round 71 dropped him to T17. In his tournament debut in 2015, Casey lost to Bubba Watson in a playoff to finish runner-up. Casey will begin the final round four shots back.
After rounds of 68-66, Monday-qualifier Chase Seiffert posted a 2-over 72 and is T21.
2016 FedExCup winner and World No. 3 Rory McIlroy posted scores of 67-73-70 in his first appearance at the Travelers Championship and is T60.
Seven past champions of the Travelers Championship are in the field: Russell Knox/2016 (T28), Bubba Watson/2015, 2010 (MC), Kevin Streelman/2014 (T42), Ken Duke/2013 (MC), Marc Leishman/2012 (T15), Hunter Mahan/2007 (T28) and J.J. Henry/2006 (T60).
R1: Padraig Harrington (66), Xander Schauffele (66)
R2: Cody Gribble (69), Anirban Lahiri (63), Geoff Ogilvy (65), C.T. Pan (68), Tim Wilkinson (66)
R3: C.T. Pan (64), Marc Leishman (68)
Scoring Averages at the par-70 TPC River Highlands:
Front 9 Back 9 Total Cumulative
R1: 34.808 35.237 70.045 —
R2: 35.222 35.601 70.824 70.434
R3: 35.388 34.941 70.329 70.409