Dufner ea­gles twice to lead RBC Her­itage

The Commercial Appeal - - Sports -

HIL­TON HEAD IS­LAND, S.C. - Ja­son Dufner had two ea­gles on the way to a 6-un­der 65 and a one-shot lead Satur­day head­ing into the fi­nal round of the RBC Her­itage.

Dufner started three shots be­hind co-lead­ers Gra­ham De­Laet and Luke Don­ald. But the 2013 PGA Cham­pi­onship win­ner quickly closed that deficit with ea­gles on both front-nine par 5s at Nos. 2 and 5. He also birdied No. 15, Har­bour Town Golf Link’s other par 5 as part of a three-birdie run that put him in front at 13 un­der.

De­Laet was sec­ond af­ter a 69, the Cana­dian’s third straight sub-70 round af­ter hav­ing just five in five pre­vi­ous ap­pear­ances here.

Kevin Kis­ner and Webb Simp­son were at 11 un­der. Kis­ner shot a 66, and Simp­son, the former U.S. Open champ, had a 68.

Dufner got his round go­ing with the early ea­gles. He blasted a 215-yard ap­proach on the sec­ond hole to 11 feet for his first ea­gle. He was short of the fifth green in two, then chipped in from about 100 feet for his sec­ond ea­gle.

Dufner plays Har­bour Town often, but with­out much suc­cess. His best fin­ish was a tie for 14th and only once in seven pre­vi­ous fourth rounds has shot in the 60s. He is chas­ing his fifth PGA Tour ti­tle — and just the sec­ond since win­ning the Wana­maker Tro­phy at Oak Hill four years ago.

De­Laet played a steady, work­man­like round to keep him­self in the mix for his first ca­reer tour vic­tory. It ap­peared some nerves might be in play when De­Laet three-putted No. 1 for a bo­gey. But he re­bounded a hole later to re­take the lead.

De­Laet caught Dufner at 13 un­der on the 15th hole, but fell back on No. 18 when he three-putted from 35 feet for a bo­gey.

Kis­ner fol­lowed up his 64 with a sec­ond straight bo­gey-free round at Har­bour Town. The last of his five birdies — a 30-footer on No. 17 — pushed him into the tie with Simp­son.

Simp­son was the hottest player on the course when the round be­gan, go­ing 4-un­der over his first six holes in­clud­ing an ea­gle-3 at the par-5 fifth. Then Simp­son cooled off, with 11 pars and a bo­gey on the 16th that dropped him two shots be­hind.

PGA Tour Cham­pi­ons

DU­LUTH, Ga. - Stephen Ames shot a 4-un­der 68 to take a one-stroke lead over five play­ers into the fi­nal round of the PGA Tour Cham­pi­ons’ Mit­subishi Elec­tric Clas­sic.

Ames had five birdies and a bo­gey at TPC Su­gar­loaf to reach 9-un­der 135. The 52-year-old nat­u­ral­ized Cana­dian is win­less on the se­nior tour af­ter win­ning four times on the PGA Tour.

First-round leader Bob Tway fol­lowed his open­ing 65 with a 71 to drop into a tie for sec­ond with Kenny Perry (64), Billy An­drade (66), Brandt Jobe (68) and Kevin Suther­land (69).

Euro­pean Tour

RA­BAT, Morocco - Paul Dunne will take a 2-shot lead into the fi­nal round of the Euro­pean Tour’s Trophee Has­san II with a 4-un­der 69, giv­ing him a chance at his first pro­fes­sional ti­tle.

The Ir­ish­man had six third-round birdies, in­clud­ing on the last hole, to get to 8 un­der over­all and in­crease his ad­van­tage over sec­ond-placed Re­nato Para­tore. The one slip from Dunne was a dou­ble-bo­gey on No. 13.

LPGA Tour

Cristie Kerr won the LPGA Lotte Cham­pi­onship on Satur­day for her 19th tour ti­tle, clos­ing with a 6-un­der 66 for a three-stroke vic­tory.

The 39-year-old Kerr broke the tour­na­ment record at 20-un­der 268, a day af­ter shoot­ing 62 at Ko Olina to match the event mark. She earned $300,000 to top $18 mil­lion in her ca­reer.

Kerr ended a 30-event vic­tory drought since the 2015 sea­son fi­nale. She was 16 un­der the fi­nal two days, soar­ing into con­tention with the third-round 62 that in­cluded seven back-nine birdies. She made six more birdie putts the fi­nal round, tak­ing the lead on the 14th hole.

JOSHUA S. KELLY / USA TO­DAY SPORTS

Ja­son Dufner tees off on the eighth hole dur­ing the third round of the RBC Her­itage golf tour­na­ment. Dufner had two ea­gles on the way to a 6-un­der 65 and a one-shot lead Satur­day head­ing into the fi­nal round.

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