Todd matches John­son’s 61 to take the lead at Trav­el­ers

Arab News - - Sport News - AP Cromwell, Con­necti­cut

Bren­don Todd and Dustin John­son each shot ca­reer-low 61s at the Trav­el­ers Cham­pi­onship on Satur­day, leav­ing Todd with a two-stroke lead over the 2016 US Open cham­pion.

The 34-year-old Ge­or­gian, play­ing a cou­ple holes be­hind John­son, had a chance at the tour­na­ment’s sec­ond 60 of the week but missed a 10-foot putt to the left on the 18th hole.

He fin­ished with a 54-hole score of 192, 18 un­der par, after shoot­ing 66-65 the first two rounds. John­son, who is look­ing for his 21st win on tour, also has im­proved each day, open­ing with a 69-64.

Both shot bo­gey-free rounds, with Todd mak­ing five birdies on the front nine and John­son five on the back. Todd said the round be­came a game of what­ever you can do, I can do just as well.

“It’s hard to miss the leader boards ob­vi­ously, so (John­son’s) name was up there from a pretty early point,” Todd said. “Again, I just use it as mo­ti­va­tion to go out there and make some more birdies.”

Todd is look­ing for his third win of the sea­son but his first since the fall, when he went back-to-back at the Ber­muda Cham­pi­onship and the Mayakoba Golf Clas­sic in Mex­ico.

“When­ever

I get a two- or three-week stretch in a row, I tend to be play­ing bet­ter by the end of it,” he said. “That’s just some­thing I’m us­ing to my ad­van­tage now after miss­ing two cuts. I’m peak­ing in the third week and hope­fully I can get it done to­mor­row.”

De­spite go­ing 9 un­der for the day, John­son lamented miss­ing sev­eral birdie chances and an ea­gle at­tempt on the par-4 ninth, when his ball stopped six inches from the pin. Just two of his birdie putts, an 18-footer at the 10th hole and a 21-footer on the 12th, were longer than 9 feet.

“I re­ally felt like I con­trolled the dis­tance with my irons re­ally well and hit tons of good shots,” he said. “I had a lot of re­ally good looks at birdie.”

Kevin Streel­man fired a 63 after two straight rounds of 66 and was just three shots back. Macken­zie Hughes, who led after a 60 on Thurs­day, shot his sec­ond straight 68 for sole pos­ses­sion of fourth place.

“To­day if I had putted like I did the first day, I could have shot low 60s for sure,” Hughes said. “Play the same as I did to­day tee to green and roll in a few putts and it’ll be awe­some.”

Reuters

Bren­don Todd in ac­tion dur­ing the third round of the Trav­el­ers Cham­pi­onship golf tour­na­ment at TPC River High­lands.

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