Notebook, Round 3: Travelers ChampionshipJune 26, 2010
Doug Milne, PGA TOUR staff
Weather: Mostly sunny and warm with a high of 86 degrees. Winds N 5-10 mph.
Justin Rose (64-62-68--194) -16
Rose has previously held at least a share of the third-round lead four times, most recently at the 2009 Children's Miracle Network Classic. He finished T4 there.
Eleven of 25 third-round leaders have held on for victory on the PGA TOUR this year, most recently Jason Day at the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
Dating back to the tournament's 1952 inception, the third-round leader has gone on to win the event 26 times. In that same span, there have been just 10 wire-to-wire winners, with Peter Jacobson being the most recent in 2003.
Rose was 0-161 before claiming his first career PGA TOUR win at the Memorial Tournament earlier this month. Should he hang on for the win this week, he would become the first player to win in consecutive starts since Ernie Els earlier this year at the WGC CA-Championship and Arnold Palmer Invitational.
The last three winners on the PGA TOUR in 2010 hail from Europe (Rose, Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell). That has not happened on the PGA TOUR (records check back to 1968 when the TOUR separated from the PGA of America).
The last time a player from Great Britain won in consecutive starts was Sandy Lyle in 1988, when he followed a win at the Kmart Greater Greensboro Open with a victory at the Masters.
Rose is making his seventh Travelers Championship start this week. At the 2005 Travelers Championship, Justin Rose fired a second-round 7-under 63 to grab a four-stroke lead over Curtis and Kevin Sutherland, before ultimately finishing third to Brad Faxon. Rose missed the cut at TPC River Highlands last year.
Ben Curtis (65-68-64--197) -13
In his 173rd career PGA TOUR start, Curtis closed in as best one could on what was at one point a six-stroke Rose lead. With six birdies and no bogeys, Curtis fired a 6-under 64 to get within three strokes of Rose's lead. Curtis put an exclamation point on the round by sinking a 42-foot birdie putt at the last. The 64 is his lowest round of the year.
Curtis is making his sixth Travelers Championship start this week. With no missed cuts here, he posted a T4 in his first start here in 2004, as well as last year.
Curtis' accuracy was nearly flawless in round three. Off the tee, he missed just one of 14 fairways. Into the greens, he also missed just one. In round one, he was a perfect 18 for 18 in greens in regulation.
Through 14 events so far this year, Curtis has collected three top-15 finishes. He finished solo sixth at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, T14 at the Shell Houston Open and is coming off a second T14 at last week's U.S. Open.
Curtis will be paired with leader Rose in Sunday's final round of the Travelers Championship, though it won't be the first time. The two were paired together in the final round at TPC Hartford in 2005, before victory ultimately went to Faxon.
Vaughn Taylor (67-65-67--199) -11
Taylor began the third round T7, but following a 3-under 67, he will begin the final round in solo third.
Following back-to-back wins at the Reno-Tahoe Open in 2004 and 2005, Taylor has fought to get back to the winner's circle. He got as close as third in 2006 and 2007, and has been a runner-up each year since, including a playoff loss to Anthony Kim earlier this year at the Shell Houston Open.
Ricky Barnes (69-67-64--200) -10
Barnes positioned himself nicely for Sunday's final round following a bogey-free, 6-under 64 in round three. In his only other start here last year, Barnes opened with a 5-under 65 before ultimately finishing T59.
Barnes once again finds himself in pursuit of Rose. Earlier this month at the Memorial Tournament, Barnes fired a career-low, 10-under 62 in round three to head into the final round T2. He would ultimately finish T3 to Rose, who went from fourth to first in the final round in Ohio.
Barnes is in the midst of a solid season. In 17 starts prior to this week, Barnes has amassed five top-10 finishes, highlighted by a T10 at the Masters and his T3 at the Memorial.
With a solid round Sunday, things could bode well for Barnes and his bid for his first PGA TOUR win if the trend continues, as five of the last eight winners on TOUR this year have been first-time winners.
Date Champion Tournament 5/2 Rory McIlroy Quail Hollow Championship 5/9 Tim Clark THE PLAYERS Championship 5/23 Jason Day HP Byron Nelson Championship 6/6 Justin Rose the Memorial Tournament 6/20 Graeme McDowell U.S. Open
Defending champion Kenny Perry struggled in round three with a 3-over 73 following a bogey-bogey start. Perry will begin the final round T69.
2008 champion Stewart Cink shot a 2-under 68 and sits at T24, while 2006 champion J.J. Henry made an early move Saturday morning with a 6-under 64. It was Cink's best round here since a 64 in the final round in 2007. Henry is competing in his 12th Travelers Championship.
There are 34 players in the field this week that competed in the U.S. Open last week.
The Travelers Championship is the fifth event in the six-tournament series (PLAYERS, Memorial, St. Jude, U.S. Open, Travelers, AT&T National), where the top two money-winners, not previously exempt, earn British Open exemptions. Below are the current money standings through four events (PLAYERS, Memorial, St. Jude, U.S. Open) and their position after the third-round of play at the Travelers Championship:
Player Money Total Position After Third Round Justin Rose $1,080,000 1st Rickie Fowler $648,000 T32 Davis Love III $600,565 DNP Matt Kuchar $586,380 DNP Robert Garrigus $492,800 T58 Ricky Barnes $415,195 T4 Shaun Micheel $330,034 T13 Scoring Averages at the par-70 TPC River Highlands: Front 9 Back 9 Total Cumulative Thursday 34.821 34.897 69.718 --- Friday 34.465 34.852 69.316 69.506 Saturday 34.506 34.688 69.195 69.351
Leading off Saturday's pairings, Brad Adamonis teed off as a single at 8:15 a.m., making his way around 18 holes in two hours, fifty minutes. Adamonis shot an even-par 70.