Plenthy Of Travelers Fans Have Jordan Spieth Right Where They Want Him: Atop The Leaderboard
CROMWELL — Daniel Berger held a three-stroke lead after three rounds of the 2016 Travelers Championship and, to put it gently, that didn't work out so well. Berger came off a third-round 62 and posted a 74 on Sunday, finishing tied for fifth.
So Berger may be in the perfect position entering the final round of this year's tournament trailing by three instead of leading by three. He's at 9-under par, alone in third place, trailing only Jordan Spieth (12-under) and Boo Weekley (11-under). Berger will tee off in the second-to-last group Sunday at TPC River Highlands, at 1:50 p.m. with C.T. Pan.
Berger, 24, who played at Florida State, has two victories on the PGA Tour. He won the FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis in 2016 and he repeated as champion there two weeks ago — by shooting 66 and erasing a three-stroke deficit on Sunday.
This week in Cromwell, Berger has improved by a stroke every round, posting 68-67-66.
"I'm hitting a lot of close shots and making a few putts," he said.
Berger made bogey at 17, but rebounded to close his round with a birdie at the par-4 18th, where his approach from 157 yards out of the rough landed within 4 feet.
"It makes [Sunday] feel a lot better," Berger said. "I feel like I've got a chance. Couple of weeks ago I was in the same position and I got it done. Obviously, trying to run down Jordan is going to be tough, but if I play we'll I've got a chance."
David Lingmerth shot one of the best rounds of the day at 65 (202) to move into a tie for fourth at 8-under. He overcame a bogey on the first hole and collected three birdies on each nine.
"Scoring hasn't been as low as you might expect on this golf course. I figured a lot can happen still," he said. "It's 36 holes to go, so I was fortunate enough to play some decent golf today and get a few birdies to go in; so, yeah, happy with the 65."
The highlight of Lingmerth's day was a 28-foot birdie putt on 17. After finishing 21st at the U.S. Open last week, he is in position to have his best tournament finish of 2017.
"That hole can play really tough," he said. "I was able, actually, to make a birdie there yesterday. Today. as well. So 17 has been nice to me this week. I'm hoping that I can keep it going for tomorrow."
In The Chill Zone
Walk around some corners to just the right place, and you may find the coolest seat at the Travelers Championship. Crisp air blows from beneath your feet and at your back, and with the summer sun beating down, it's the perfect place to sit down and chill.
The Stanley Black & Decker Chill Zone, debuting for the first time this year, is one of the lesser known amenities the Travelers. There are four of them: by the 18th hole concession stand, by the Patriots Outpost, by the 15th tee and between holes 5 and 6. It's a cushioned seat that fits about four or five people, and none of the seats face the course — nobody would ever get up if they did.
Most people walk by, stare at it for a moment, and continue on. But occasionally, a group will sit down and take a breather, drink in hand. As the day goes on and the crowd makes the rounds, a line may start to form when people are desperate for a blast of cool air.
Upon sitting down, you might hear someone say, "Oh wow, this is amazing!" because the air really is that cold. Whether it's to get rid of some sweat or to take a break from walking, the Chill Zone offers four places to be the coolest person on the course.
Hoffman's Wild Ride
Charley Hoffman had a roller-coaster final six holes, going eagle-birdie-birdie on 13-15 before going double bogey-bogey-bogey to close out his round of 68 (204). He led after 15 holes, but dropped to six-way tie for 10th.
His finish was reminiscent of 2012, when he had a two-shot lead on the 17th tee in the final round. But he drove right into the pond and ended up with a 6. He then bogeyed 18 to finish one shot behind winner Marc Leishman.
Hoffman looks to rebound Sunday, after he had a solid finish for eighth in the U.S. Open last Sunday.
... Reigning champion Russell Knox (68) and Brett Stegmaier of Madison (71) were in a 14-way tie for 28th.. ... Justin Thomas, Henrik Stenson, Patrick Cantlay, Bud Cauley, Tony Finau, Smylie Kaufman, Rodgers, Brandt Snedeker, Jonas Blixt and Jamie Lovemark have signed endorsement deals with Massage Envy, which announced its four-year partnership as an official sponsor of the tour.
Courant staff writers Stephanie Sheehan and Tom Yantz contributed to this story