Keegan Bradley has played in what he considers his “home” event, the Travelers Championship, 12 times previously without winning and now he finds himself with another chance.
Bradley, who grew up in New England, carded a bogey-free, six-under par 64 and will take a one-stroke lead over Chez Reavie to the final round of the 72nd Travelers at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn.
Reavie beat Bradley, who tied for second with Zach Sucher, by four strokes to capture the 2019 Travelers. This is Bradley’s 13th straight appearance in the tournament.
“I’ve wanted to win this tournament forever,” said Bradley, a native of Vermont native who also lived in Massachusetts, and plays before a large group of family and friends at the Travelers. “So, the feeling of wanting to push and win is something I need to fight against, and just let myself go out and play.
“When I got my PGA Tour card in 2010 going into ’11, the first thought in my mind wasn’t to play the majors or whatever, it was: ‘I get to come play Hartford.’ It was the first PGA Tour event I ever went to.
“ … It was just really solid today. Pretty boring honestly, until the very end there. I made some nice shots, some nice putts. I’m proud of the way I played and I just have to do it again tomorrow to have a chance to win.”
Bradley, who is seeking his sixth PGA Tour victory after winning the Zozo Championship early this season, collected three birdies on each nine and recorded a tournament record 54-hole score of 21-under-par 189. He has not made a bogey in the last 40 holes.
Reavie, who held a one-stroke lead on the back nine, rattled off eight birdies including three in a row on both nines, and made his lone bogey on the 16th hole as he did Bradley one better by shooting a 63.
“I played well, really well in the middle of the round,” said Reavie, who claimed the last of his three PGA Tour victories in the 2022 Barracuda Championship. “I was able to save some good pars and make birdie early on the first hole. I didn’t play great early, and I will have to take that into tomorrow.
“Then pulling out that nine-iron on No. 16, I know you can’t hit it over there. It was just a bad swing and I paid the price for it and lost the lead. Today was great because I kind of didn’t do it early, but was able to kind of right the ship and figure it out. We were both playing pretty well for most of the day.
“Tomorrow’s going to be a shootout. You’ve got to make birdies and eagles to win this golf tournament.”
Fourth-ranked Patrick Cantlay of Los Alamitos and UCLA mad five birdies down the stretch in a 61 to sit five shots behind in solo fourth, while Rickie Fowler of Murrieta chipped in for an eagle on the sixth hole in a sizzling 60 and is one more down in a tie for fourth with Adam Scott of Australia, the 2013 Masters champion who had three birdies on each nine in a 65, and Denny McCarthy, who opened the week with a 60 and this time had to make three birdies on the back nine to salvage a 70.
Top-ranked Scottie Scheffler sank an 18-foot eagle putt on the fifth hole to highlight his second 63 of the week and is seven strokes back in a tie for seventh with Justin Thomas, who had nine birdies and a bogey in a 62; Brian Harman, who made seven birdies in a 64; Alex Smalley, who had three birdies on each nine in a bogey-free 64, and Min Woo Lee of Australia, who carded four birdies on the back nine in a second straight 65.
Third-ranked Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland made two late birdies for a 66 and is tied for 15th, sixth-ranked Xander Schauffele of La Jolla and San Diego State, the defending Travelers champion, is tied for 18th following a 67 that included three straight birdies on each nine, while fifth-ranked Viktor Hovland of Norway made to late birdies for a 70 and is tied for 33rd, and eighth-ranked Matt Fitzpatrick of England is tied for 47th after he birdied the last hole for another 70.
For complete results and final-round tee times, visit https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard