Alex Noren of Sweden has been alone at the top of the leaderboard for three straight days, and if he does it again, he will have his first PGA Tour victory.
The 41-year-old Noren posted a bogey-free, four-under-par 67 and will take a one-stroke lead over Camilo Villegas of Colombia into the final round of the Butterfield Bermuda Championship at Port Royal Golf Course in Southampton, Bermuda.
Since the cut was made to reduce the field to 81 players on Saturday morning, this was the first day this week that play was not halted by darkness.
“This is what you dream of, having a chance to win and being up in the final group on a Saturday or a Sunday,” said Noren, who has won 11 times as a professional. “I really enjoyed it out there today. … I came off maybe a little colder at the start, but I played well enough to kind of get that four-under-par at the finish.
“I’m very happy, happy with that and pleased to still to be in the lead with one round still remaining. I only hope I can stay there tomorrow. There are going to be a lot of guys chasing me tomorrow, so there are going to be low scores on this golf course, and I hope one of them is mine.”
Noren, whose last victory came in the 2018 HNA Open de France on the DP World Tour, made two birdies on each nine in his 67 and recorded a 54-hole score of 19-under-par 194. His only bogey came in round one, when he shot a career-best 61.
Villegas, who tied for second last week on the World Wide Technology Championship in Los Cabos, Mexico, made four straight birdies through No. 12 in his 65, which included a lone bogey at the fourth hole.
“Three days, one more left, so I’ve got to keep doing the same thing and we’ll see what happens,” said Villegas, who claimed the last of his four PGA Tour victories in the 2014 Wyndham Championship. “I played nicely. I was very patient because I did make a bogey on No. 4 and then just kind of missed on five and didn’t make a birdie on No. 6.
“But I made a good birdie on No. 7 and then really got going there on Nos. 9, 10, 11, 12, and the finishing stretch is much tougher. I hit some good shots, especially on the 15th and 16th holes. Then I got away with a bad drive on No. 17, made a good birdie there. I thought actually I made that eagle putt.
“But overall, it’s three good days, with a chance to win tomorrow.”
Matti Schmid of Germany made four straight birdies through No. 9 and then had an eagle-birdie finish in a 65 and is two shots behind in a tie for third with Ryan Moore, who had three birdies on the first seven holes in a 67, while Stewart Cink, an eight-time winner on the PGA Tour including the 2009 Open Championship at Turnberry Resort in Scotland, birdied three of the last five holes in a 66 and is one more down in solo fifth.
Vince Whaley seven birdies against a single bogey on the last hole of a 65 and is four strokes back in a tie for sixth with Carl Yuan of China, who birdied four of the first seven holes in a bogey-free 65; Adam Scott of Australia, a 14-time winner on the PGA Tour including the 2013 Masters, who eagled the second hole and birdied the last three for a 66; Kramer Hickock, who had three birdies on each nine against a single bogey in another 66, and Satoshi of Japan, who made three birdies against a lone bogey in a 69.
Lucas Herbert of Australia, who won in Bermuda in 2021 for his only PGA Tour victory, had five birdies on his first 10 holes en route to a bogey-free 64 and is tied for 18th, while Brian Gay, who claimed on of his five PGA Tour victories in this event in 2020, made five birdies and a lone bogey on the last hole in a 67 and is tied for 29th.
Seamus Power of Ireland was unable to defend the title this week after his second PGA Tour victory and seventh at a professional last season in Bermuda, as he continues to battle a hip injury.
This is the sixth of seven events on the PGA Tour’s inaugural Fall Series, which will conclude next week with the RSM Classic on the Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club in St. Simons, Ga.
For complete results and final-round tee times, visit: https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard