Bill Haas carded a second straight 4-under-par 67 on Saturday to take a one-stroke lead over Graham DeLaet of Canada heading to the final round of the Valspar Championship on the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, Fla.
Haas, who has won seven times on the PGA Tour, recorded three birdies in the first six holes of the back nine to take the lead but also had his only bogey on the 13th hole to finish 54 holes at 8-under 205.
“I made some putts early and when I hit some loose shots I was able to get up and down for par,” said Haas, the 2011 FedEx Cup champion who has missed the cut in two of his last four starts. “I wish I hadn’t three-putted for my only bogey on No. 13, but I’m very happy to shoot 4 under again.
“The tee shot on 15 was my best shot, but the second shot ran through the green and I was fortunate to chip it in (for birdie). I just wanted to get it rolling on the green and was lucky it went in the hole.
“I’m getting away with my loose shots, but you can’t do that for four days and win, so I have to be solid tomorrow.”
DeLaet, who has four victories on the Canadian Tour but has yet to break through on the U.S. tour, hit a brilliant approach from 268 yards to within three feet to set up a three-foot eagle putt on the 14th hole in a 68.
Charley Hoffman posted a 68 and was three shots back in a tie for third with Ryan Moore, who birdied two of the first five holes and added 16 pars in a 69.
Patrick Reed birdied two of the last three holes for a 68 that left him another stroke behind in a tie for fifth with Charles Howell III, who bogeyed the final hole for a 70, and 49-year-old Steve Stricker, who came in at 72.
Charl Schwartzel of South Africa shot 69 and was another shot down in solo eighth.
Top-ranked Jordan Spieth, the defending champion, continued to climb back from an opening 76 by posting a 67 that included a 52-foot eagle putt on the 14th hole and was six strokes back in a tie for ninth.
“I’m still in this golf tournament,” said Speith, who hasn’t made a bogey in 28 holes. “(I’ll need) something like 7 under tomorrow, which is feasible.
“So, to think after the first round that I go Saturday night and be able to sleep with a chance to win the golf tournament, I’m very pleased with that.”
Amateur Lee McCoy, a senior at Georgia, had a 66 and also was in the tie for ninth with Jason Gore (67), John Huh (69), Henrik Stenson (70) of Sweden, Justin Thomas (72), Retief Goosen (72) of South Africa, Scott Brown (72), Daniel Berger (73) and 36-hole co-leader Will MacKenzie (74).