Goydos leads after birdie blitz

Paul Goydos stormed into the lead at TPC River Highlands as bad weather once again delayed play at the Travelers Championship in Connecticut.

Paul Goydos stormed into the lead at TPC River Highlands as bad weather once again delayed play at the Travelers Championship in Connecticut.

Goydos was seven under par after 16 holes of his third round in Cromwell to be 16 under par and with a one-shot advantage over halfway leader Kenny Perry when the threat of lightning caused a suspension of play late in the day.

Returning to the course after an 81-minute delay, Goydos parred his two remaining holes for a seven under par 63.

Perry had a chance to join him in a tie for the lead heading into the final round but he missed a five-foot birdie putt on 18 to card a 66, 15 under for the week and a shot in arrears of Goydos.

The day had begun with 72 players returning early to the par-70 course to complete their rain-delayed second rounds, Perry carrying a one-stroke lead over former US PGA champion David Toms, who was one shot better than Goydos and Ryan Moore.

Moore, coming off a tie for 10th at the US Open last week, joined Perry and Toms in the final group as the field was sent out in threes and from split tees in a bid to catch up.

Perry dropped a shot with a bogey at the par-four second to leave John Merrick, who started the round in a tie for fifth at eight under, in the lead at 11 under after he opened with three birdies.

Merrick was at 13 under before a double bogey at the par-four 12th allowed Perry to reclaim the lead, his five birdies taking him to 15 under.

Perry then stalled with a bogey at the par-four 14th as Goydos took control, four birdies in a row between 13 and 16 catapulting him into the lead at 16 under, his third round featuring eight birdies and one birdie.

Perry bounced back with a birdie at the 15th to get to 15 under with three to go before the suspension while Toms followed Perry in missing a birdie putt at the last, from 21 feet this time, when play resumed.

That left Toms in third place at 14 under, while the break did Merrick no favours as he returned to bogey the final hole for 65 to drop to 13 under in a tie for fourth alongside Casey Wittenberg, who also shot 65.

A 65 for Tag Ridings and a 64 for Bo Van Pelt got them to 12 under with Ben Curtis.

Joint low round of the day with Goydos was 2007 champion Hunter Mahan’s seven-under 63, which took him to 11 under.

Australian Jarrod Lyle was the leading international player after his 66 took him to 10 under while US Open champion Lucas Glover carded a 65 to finish the day at nine under.

World number four Sergio Garcia of Spain had a patchy, one-over round of 71 featuring an eagle, two birdies, three bogeys and a double bogey but he looked safe at three under par for the week as PGA Tour officials introduced a second cut to reduce the field from the 80 that survived that halfway reduction at three under par to the top 70 and ties.

Justin Rose was one of those to miss the midway cut after a 70 left him one stroke out of the lowest cut on the PGA Tour this year.

Fellow Englishmen Greg Owen and Brian Davis also packed their bags, the former after a seven-over 77 took him to four over while the latter withdrew having finished the day at one over after 16 holes.

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