CANADA’S Taylor Pendrith moved closer to his first career Professional Golfers Association (PGA) Tour victory, opening a three-shot lead on Saturday after three rounds of the Butterfield Bermuda Championship at Southampton, Bermuda.
Pendrith moved to 17-under 196 following his 6-under-par 65 on the Port Royal Golf Course as he built the largest 54-hole lead in tournament history. His solid round came one day after he delivered a course-record 10-under 61.
“For whatever reason, it is hard to follow up a low one with another low one, but I’ve been hitting it really nicely and just had to stay patient today,” Pendrith said. “I hit some really nice shots early and didn’t make a birdie until I think 8.
With two birdies over the final three holes, Pendrith moved three shots ahead of New Zealand’s Danny Lee (65) and four ahead of Austraila’s Lucas Herbert (65). A non-American has won each of the last three PGA Tour events.
Patrick Rodgers (69) and Vincent Whaley (68) are in a tie for fourth place heading into Sunday’s final round.
Just like in Thursday’s opening round, windy and rainy conditions are forecast for Sunday’s final 18 holes. Pendrith had a 1-under 70 on Thursday.
“It’s nice to have a couple-shot lead, but anything can happen,” Pendrith said. “It’s going to be crazy out there, so just try to make some pars I think will be good tomorrow and hit some solid shots and try not to fall over.”
Lee was at 6 under during Saturday’s round through 11 holes, but stumbled with back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 13 and 14 before a birdie at No. 15 and another at the par-5 17th hole. He closed with a par at 18.
“Everything went very smoothly today,” said Lee, whose only other victory on the PGA Tour came six years ago. “There’s no really big mis-hits other than 13 and 14 off the tee, but other than that, everything was really good… I could have done a little better with the second shot on 18, but it’s just golf, so I’ll just go to the driving range and work on it a little bit, I guess.”
Herbert, in just his 19th career start on the PGA Tour delivered his second consecutive 65, closing with four birdies on the back nine, the last at 17. His best career finish is a tie for 18th at the 2021 Memorial Tournament. He does have two victories in Europe.
“I mean, it’s definitely a big thing to have won before and know what it takes to win,” Herbert said. “I’ve kind of done it from both scenarios, I’ve been a few shots back going into the final round and I’ve led going into the final round. Yeah, I feel I’ve got some experience there.”
Starting Sunday’s final round six shots off the lead at 11 under will be Justin Lower (67) and Peter Malnati (67), who are tied for sixth. Another shot back tied for eighth are Curtis Thompson and Patrick Flavin.
Patrick Reed, the highest ranked player in the field at No. 24 in the world, shot a 68 on Saturday and is at 8 under, in a five-way tie for 17th place. — Reuters