Savannah's Brian Harman fired a 3rd round 69 to move to even par at the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island. Will Claxton with a 2-under-par 69. Charley Hoffman leads at -11.
CLICK ON THE VIDEO LINK TO SEE 3RD ROUND COVERAGE.
NOTES FROM THE PGA TOUR:
Mostly cloudy with a high of 62 degrees. Winds NNE 10-15 mph.
With 17 players having to complete the second round on Saturday morning, the third round featured threesomes off of split tees from 10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Since more than 78 players (91) made the 36-hole cut, a 54-hole cut was in effect on Saturday, with 70 players advancing to the final round.
The 91 players who made the 36-hole cut equaled the most to make the cut in a PGA TOUR event (non-major) since 1970. The same number of players made the cut at the 1981 Travelers Championship. The previous record at the RBC Heritage was 84 players in 1998.
Charley Hoffman 66-70-66—202 (-11)
Webb Simpson 68-71-65—204 (-9)
Kevin Streelman 66-70-69—205 (-8)
Brendon de Jonge 70-69-67—206 (-7)
Graeme McDowell 71-67-68—206 (-7)
Charley Hoffman birdied four of his first five holes en route to a 5-under 66, taking a two-stroke lead over Webb Simpson through 54 holes at the RBC Heritage.
With his 66 in round three, Hoffman extended his streak of consecutive sub-par rounds to 11, dating to the first round of the Shell Houston Open (T20). A week later, and in his last start before this week, he finished T3 at the Valero Texas Open.
Hoffman's R3 at a glance: 7/14 fairways, 8/18 greens in regulation, 21 putts.
Hoffman leads the field this week with just 73 putts and a +3.607 average in Strokes Gained-Putting. David Frost set the PGA TOUR's all-time 72-hole putting record with 92 total putts at Harbour Town in 2005. The old mark was also set at Harbour Town when Kenny Knox had just 93 putts in 1989 (matched by Mark Calcavecchia at the 2002 Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic).
Hoffman is making his ninth start of the season this week, with a T3 at the Valero Texas Open his best outing.
Hoffman is making his fourth start at the RBC Heritage (MC-2006, 75-2009, T8-2012).
Hoffman's previous-low round at Harbour Town was a 6-under 65 in the second round in 2012 (T8).
Hoffman owns two wins on the PGA TOUR (2007 Humana Challenge, 2010 Deutsche Bank Championship).
This marks the first time in Hoffman's career he has carried the lead into the final round on the PGA TOUR.
Third-Round Lead Statistics
Nine of 14 third-round leaders have gone on to win this season, most recently Tiger Woods at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
The third-round lead/co-leader has won 31 of 44 times at the RBC Heritage, most recently Carl Pettersson in 2012.
The lowest first 54-hole score at the RBC Heritage is 197, set by Justin Leonard in 2002.
Additional Player Notes
2012 U.S. Open champion and three-time PGA TOUR winner Webb Simpson carded a third-round 6-under 65 to move to second place. It equals his best round of the season, set during the third round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am (finished T26) and the third round of the Humana Challenge (MC). His previous-best round at Harbour Town was 68, set on three occasions and most recently in the final round in 2011 (T14).
Two starts removed from his first-career victory at the Tampa Bay Championship, 36-hole leader Kevin Streelman sits in solo-third place in his fifth start at the RBC Heritage (best finish was T17 in 2012).
Brendon de Jonge (T4) recorded a 4-under 67 on Saturday, marking the third time in five tries he has turned in 67 or better in the third round at the RBC Heritage, but he has never broken 70 on Sunday. He is seeking his first TOUR win in his 161st career start.
Graeme McDowell (T4) appears to be figuring out Harbour Town. In three prior starts, six of his 10 rounds were over 74, including a 7-over 78 in the final round in 2005. This week he owns all three rounds at par or better (71-67-68) and is in striking distance of his second PGA TOUR title (2010 U.S. Open).
Carl Pettersson sits T60 in his attempt to join Payne Stewart (1989-90), Davis Love III (1991-92) & Boo Weekley (2007-08) as back-to-back winners at the RBC Heritage. He kept a 20-year streak intact this week, as no defending champion has missed the cut at the RBC Heritage since Davis Love III in 1993.
2012 FedExCup champion and 2011 RBC Heritage champion Brandt Snedeker made the 36-hole cut (2-over 144) and the 54-hole cut (2-over 215) on the number and sits T60.
Five players in the top 10 on the leaderboard are looking for their first PGA TOUR victory: Brendon de Jonge (T4), Ryo Ishikawa (T6), Justin Hicks (T6), Billy Horschel (T6) and Steve LeBrun (T6). The RBC Heritage has 10 first-time winners: Hale Irwin (1971), Graham Marsh (1977), Doug Tewell (1980), Nick Faldo (1984), Davis Love III (1987), Glen Day (1999), Jose Coceres (2001), Peter Lonard (2005) and Aaron Baddeley (2006) and Boo Weekley (2007).
Three players in the top 10 are making their first start at the RBC Heritage: Ryo Ishikawa (T6), Billy Horschel (T6) and Steve LeBrun (T6). Just five players have won the RBC Heritage in their first appearance: Boo Weekley (2007), Jose Coceres (2001), Stewart Cink (2000), Bob Goalby (1970) and Arnold Palmer (1969).
For the third consecutive year, no players will card all four rounds in the 60s this week. A player has posted four rounds in the 60s 26 times throughout the history of the RBC Heritage, with Jim Furyk and Brian Davis the latest (2010). Nick Price holds the event record with nine straight sub-70 rounds.
Since the RBC Heritage moved into its slot after the Masters in 1983 (2011 the exception when it was played two weeks after the Masters), just six players have won the event without having competed in the Masters the week before: Carl Pettersson (2012), Brian Gay (2009), Boo Weekley (2007), Aaron Baddeley (2006), Bob Tway (1995) and Davis Love III (1987).
There are 32 players in this week's field who competed last week at the Masters Tournament.
Past RBC Heritage champions: Jim Furyk (T14), Aaron Baddeley (T33), Brian Gay (T41), Stewart Cink (T41), Boo Weekley (T53), Brandt Snedeker (T60), Justin Leonard (T60), Carl Pettersson (T60) and Glen Day (MDF).
This week, James Driscoll announced his “Birdies for Boston” initiative, with proceeds going to the One Fund Boston (onefundboston.org). For the next two weeks, Driscoll will personally donate $1,000 for each birdie he makes in competition at the RBC Heritage and Zurich Classic of New Orleans. For the week, Driscoll (MDF) made nine birdies. Driscoll is encouraging TOUR players and fans to get involved by logging on to http://together.pgatour.com/players/23409.html.
R1 – Jason Day (67), Marc Leishman (67), Johnson Wagner (67), Bill Haas (68), Hunter Mahan (68), Webb Simpson (68), Camilo Villegas (68).
R2 – Chris Kirk (69)
R3 –Webb Simpson (65), Jerry Kelly (66), Charley Hoffman (66), James Hahn (66), Ben Crane (66), Brendon de Jonge (67)
Scoring Averages: Front Back Total Cumulative
First round 35.868 35.778 71.646 —
Second Round 35.836 36.271 72.107 71.873
Third Round 35.308 35.857 71.165 71.701