Daily Wrap-up: Round 3, Travelers Championship

June 23, 2012
Staff and wire reports

CROMWELL, Conn. -- Englishman Brian Davis shot a 6-under 64, and Roland Thatcher had a 65 on Saturday to share the third-round lead in the Travelers Championship at 12 under.


Both are looking for their first win on the PGA TOUR.

Davis made an early move, shooting a 29 on the front nine with six birdies. Thatcher overtook him with three straight birdies on the back nine and had a one-stroke lead before missing a 7-foot par putt on the 17th hole.

"I executed just really well in that stretch," Thatcher said. "It's easy to say they're easy holes, and that's what you should do, but you still have to execute."

Seventeen other players were within five strokes of the lead entering the final round.

John Rollins, James Driscoll and Stuart Appleby were two strokes back. Defending champion Fredrik Jacobson, who led after two rounds, shot an even-par 70 to remain at 9 under.

Davis said his fast start was helped by the thunderstorms that pushed the finish of the second round to Saturday morning and softened up the greens.

"I didn't even realize I had shot 29," said Davis, who has been a runner-up on the PGA TOUR five times. "I was just playing and everything was going right. Then obviously we hit the turn and we had the wind pick up for about three holes and it was playing tough all of the sudden."

Four of the last six winners at River Highlands have been first-time winners on TOUR -- Jacobson last year, Bubba Watson in 2010, Hunter Mahan in 2007 and J.J. Henry in 2006.

Davis, Thatcher and Driscoll would like to join that club.

Projected points
The race for spots in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup continues this week. Click to see who's making moves. Projections

"But it's not something that is going to help me win," said Driscoll, who followed an opening round 68 with consecutive 66s. "The only thing that is going to help me win is if I keep doing what I'm doing. But, it is hopefully a good omen."

Appleby, by contrast, is looking for his 10th TOUR win after making just one bogey in his round. The 41-year-old Australian said he's happy to be considered the old veteran among the young guns vying for the championship.

"It would be good to get back in the winner's circle, he said. "The only cut I've made has been shaving for a long time. I played better golf when I was a rookie out here, and that's just not right."

Jacobson recovered from a bogey on 17 to birdie the final hole and stay within striking distance as he attempts to join Phil Mickelson, the 2001 and 2002 winner, as the only players to successfully defend a title at River Highlands.

"I'm really happy being three behind going into tomorrow rather than five or six," he said. "I'll take the positives."

Watson also is in the mix, one of four golfers at 8 under. He had a 15-foot birdie putt to go 10-under at the 17th hole, but hit the ball five feet past the hole and then missed the return shot.

Shot of the Day: Leishman

Marc Leishman holes a 44-yard birdie chip shot on the par-4 15th hole.

"It broke about 6 feet, maybe a gust of wind or something, and then when I putted it back up it either bounced or broke right and it shouldn't do that, obviously, because it went one way and then the other," Watson said.

Seventy-seven players spent Saturday morning finishing their second rounds.

J.B. Holmes, who underwent brain surgery last September, finished the morning with 62, the second best round of his career. But he followed that a few hours later with a 75 and was nine strokes behind the leaders.

Camilo Villegas shot a second-round 64 and followed that up Saturday afternoon with a 70. Villegas, who has three top-25 finishes this season, was four behind the leaders.

"It's nice to see my name up on the leaderboard," he said. "It's been a tough year and it's always good to play good."

Eighty-eight players made the cut at even par. Former UCLA star Patrick Cantlay wasn't among them. He shot a 67 on Saturday morning to finish 2 over in the first tournament of his professional career.

TPC River Highlands: Round 3
The par-5 6th hole was the easiest with a Saturday scoring average of 4.636.
The par-4 17th hole was the toughest with a Saturday scoring average of 4.318.
Round 2 notes
About the leaders
• Roland Thatcher is looking for his first top 10 of the season. He has two top-10 finishes each of the last four seasons on TOUR (2008-2011).
• Thatcher has made three of 11 cuts this season.
• Thatcher missed his previous two cuts at the Travelers Championship in 2009 and 2010. His only other start came in 2004 where he finished T71.
• Brian Davis is looking for his fourth top-10 finish of the season, which would tie his personal best from 2009.
• Davis has five runner-up finishes in 237 starts on the PGA TOUR, but no wins.
• Davis is making his seventh start at the Travelers Championship. His only top 10 came last year (T9). Davis' last seven rounds at TPC River Highlands have been at 68 or better.

"I struggled on the first day and never really recovered," he said.