Dustin Johnson and Brendon Todd fired matching 61s on Saturday morning at TPC River Highlands to vault to the top of the leaderboard at the Travelers Championship.
Todd is sitting at 18-under, two shots clear of Johnson after the third round that was played early on Saturday to avoid forecasted thunderstorms in the afternoon.
“There’s just a lot of scoring holes and the greens are really, really good this year,” Todd said, on why TPC River Highlands is yielding low scores. “The guys are able to drive the ball down there and hit a lot of wedges, and both par-5s are reachable, and there’s a drivable par-4.”
Todd , the 2014 AT&T Byron Nelson champion, will be going for his third victory of the season, while Johnson, winless this year is aiming for his 21 career PGA TOUR win.
“I’m very happy with the way I played,” Johnson said, following his career-best bogey-free 61. “I gave myself a lot of looks. Every hole, like I said, I felt like I was giving myself an opportunity to make birdie, and I feel like I’m rolling the putter well, so I just need to get myself in a position where I’ve got a chance to make a putt.”
Bryson DeChambeau is still within striking distance as his 5-under 65 has him sitting at 13-under and five shots behind Todd.
“I’ve slowed down a little bit because I’m guiding it with the driver right now,” DeChambeau said. “Not 100 percent confident with it, but I’m working hard to figure out what I had at Colonial and RBC. If I can get that down by tomorrow and make some putts and have some good wedging around the greens, hopefully I can go low.”
36-hole leader Phil Mickelson dropped back to a tie for 7th after a third round one-over 71.
“I was a little off today, but I’m having a lot of fun,” Mickelson said. “I mean, this has really been a lot of fun. I haven’t played great this year. I’ve missed a lot of cuts, and the next thing I know my game is starting to come back and I can sense it, and then I play two great rounds, and this is really a lot of fun. I’m going to come out tomorrow and give it my best to go low. I know I’m playing well enough to do that.”
World No. 1 Rory McIlroy dropped to a tie for 18th after a 1-under 69 in the third round.
“Just sort of like one of those days,” McIlroy said. “Every time I took a step forward I took a step back a couple holes later. Yeah, sort of stood still compared to everyone else that was going low out there. Disappointing day.”
Former No. 1 player Jason Day played his third round as a single after requesting to be tested for COVID-19 on Saturday morning that came back negative before his round began.
Day shot 69 and now sits at 5-under in a tie for 49th.