Eagles lift Dufner to lead in RBC Heritage

Jason Dufner hasn’t finished in the top 10 in nine PGA Tour events this season, but you wouldn’t know it by the way he played in the third round of the RBC Heritage.

Dufner, the 2013 PGA champion, eagled the second and fifth holes to more than offset three bogeys on the front nine en route to a 6-under-par 65 to take a one-stroke lead over Graham DeLaet of Canada at Harbour Town Golf Links.

“It was a little bit of a roller coaster on the front nine, and it’s always nice to get an eagle, let alone two,” said Dufner, whose best result this season was a tie for 11th in the Valspar Championship last month.

“I really got it going on the back nine (with four birdies in a row, including three in a row through No. 16), and that bodes well for tomorrow. … The greens haven’t been as firm as they usually are here, but they are getting there.”

Dufner who has four victories on the PGA Tour including the CareerBuilder Challenge last year, sank an 11-foot eagle putt on the second hole and holed his second shot from 99 yards for the second eagle on No. 5 on his way to a 54-hole total of 13-under 200.

DeLaet, who has never won in 159 previous starts on the PGA Tour, was tied for the lead before missing an eight-foot par putt on the last hole, finishing at 69, and will be in the final group with Dufner on Sunday.

“It was disappointing to finish with a bogey on the last hole, but obviously I’ve been playing well and I’m excited about tomorrow,” said DeLaet, who has won three times on the PGA Tour Canada. “I’m looking forward to the challenge of playing with Jason tomorrow. I’ve played with him a few times before and it should be fun.”

Kevin Kisner, whose only victory came in the 2015 RSM Classic, carded a bogey-free 66 and is one stroke back in a tie for third with Webb Simpson, the 2012 PGA champion, who had a second straight 68.

Kisner is a fan favorite at Harbour Town since he lives not far away in Aiken, S.C.

“I love playing here, not far from home,” said Kisner, who played college golf at South Carolina-Aiken. “But I love the course, too, especially around the greens. It’s so pure, you can putt from off the greens from almost anywhere.

“I know I’m going to have to make 5-6-7 more birdies tomorrow because all the other guys up there are going to be doing that.”

Ian Poulter of England, needing high finishes in his next two starts to keep his PGA Tour card, overcame a double-bogey 6 on the 10th hole and is three behind in a solo fifth, while third-round co-leader Luke Donald of England struggled to a 72 and is one more back in a tie for sixth with Wesley Bryan and William McGirt, who both had 68s.

J.J. Spaun of Newport Beach and UCLA shot 66 and is five shots behind in a tie for ninth with Tyrrell Hatton of England, who totaled 68, Ollie Schneiderjans, who recorded a 69, and Nick Taylor, who came in at 70.

–Story courtesy of The Sports Xchange, TSX Golf Editor Tom LaMarre


Related Articles

Stay Connected


Latest Articles