Jordan Spieth holds solo lead for third straight round at the Travelers Championship
It's hardly newsworthy when Jordan Spieth gets animated on the golf course, in good times and bad. However, when his last putt of the day rolled in for birdie and a four-under 66 on Saturday at the Travelers Championship, we saw one of the more reserved reactions from Spieth. A subtle fist pump and a nod to his caddie, Michael Greller, for a great read. It's probably because he's been in this position so many times before, now 10 to be exact, holding at least a share of a 54-hole lead. He heads into Sunday at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn., alone at the top at 12-under 198.
The two-time major champion was plugging along at three under through 12 holes in his third round. He ran into some trouble on the par-5 13th, a hole he doubled on Friday, blocking his drive in the water and making bogey. Another bogey followed, then a drive into a fairway bunker on the drivable par-4 15th. Instead of trying to save par, Spieth nearly holed out for eagle, before making a tap-in birdie. He then rode the momentum to the clubhouse, making two more birdies on his way in.
A victory on Sunday would give Spieth 10 career wins before his 24th birthday, a feat only Tiger Woods has accomplished on the PGA Tour.
One stroke behind Spieth is one of the more interesting characters on tour, Boo Weekley, who shot a five-under 65. Weekley, 43, has yet to register a top-25 finish this season and has made only eight cuts in 21 events. He's shown plenty of ability in his career though, winning three times, including back-to-back at Harbour Town in 2007 and 2008.
It's often the putter that betrays Weekley, where he ranks 200th or higher on tour in every statistic on the greens. But on Saturday he showed only confidence, starting on the par-3 11th hole, where he rolled in a 32 footer for birdie. He made four more birdies in his last seven holes for a five-under 30 on his back nine. Weekley has had mixed results at the Travelers, with a T-14 in 2009, T-51 in 2010, and three missed cuts in his other appearances. A win Sunday would be his first victory since 2013 at Colonial.
Just three back at nine-under 201 is Daniel Berger, who posted a four-under 66, his third straight round in the 60s. The 24-year-old is having a strong season, with six top-25 finishes, four top-10s, and one second-place finish in addition to his victory at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. He finds himself firmly in the mix once again despite a missed cut at last week's U.S. Open.
Carding the low round of the day, a bogey-free six-under 64, was Chinese Taipei's C.T. Pan. It moved him 23 spots up the leader board into a tie for fourth at eight-under 202 with England's Paul Casey and Sweden's David Lingmerth. While Pan has flashed some potential this season (T-2 at Farmers Insurance Open), the former University of Washington All-American came into the Travelers having missed six of his last seven cuts. It's his second appearance at TPC River Highlands, the first coming in 2015 where he tied for 25th.
World No. 3 Rory McIlroy made another putter change prior to his third round Saturday, but it wasn't the answer. He shot an even par 70 and sits 12 shots back at even par 210.