Donald soars, Day falters at Harbour Town
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — Luke Donald shot a 2-under 69 on Saturday to take a one-stroke lead in the RBC Heritage on Saturday, while top-ranked Jason Day had a season-worst 79 to fall nine shots back with one round left.
Day, tied for the lead entering the round, has won two of his past three PGA Tour events and figured to contend at Harbour Town. Instead, the Australian made eight bogeys and a double bogey.
Donald had a 7-under 206 total.
Jason Kokrak and Charley Hoffman were a stroke back. Kokrak shot a 68, and Hoffman bogeyed the closing lighthouse hole for a 71.
Now, Donald looks to end his hard-luck history at Harbour Town. The Englishman has five top-three finishes without a win.
Donald was a stroke behind when the round started and quickly moved up with three birdies on his first eight holes to reach 8 under. He bogeyed the 13th and trailed Hoffman by a shot. But Donald steadied his game with five straight pars over the windy back nine to get himself on top once more.
Donald has won more than $2.5 million at the RBC Heritage, the third-highest total. But he's known as much for his disheartening defeats on Pete Dye's tricky layout. Brandt Snedeker rallied from six shots behind Donald to force a playoff and win in 2011.
Three years later, Matt Kuchar's chip in from a bunker in front of the 72nd hole capped a four-shot comeback and left Donald in second once more.
"I think it's a bit dangerous to say a place owes you," Donald said. "Certainly, I've knocked on the door many times. I'd love to put that tartan jacket on tomorrow."
One who figured to join the battle was Day, but his round went bad right from the start.
Tied for the top and playing in the final group, Day came up short of the first green and made bogey. Two holes later he drove into water way right of the third fairway for a double-bogey 6. The wheels came off for good during an awful stretch around the turn — Day made five bogeys in a six-hole span.
His 79 was his highest round of the year and his worst showing in 63 rounds since an 81 last year in the second round of The Players Championship.
MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC CLASSIC: At Duluth, Ga., Wes Short Jr. shot a 5-under 67 in the PGA Tour Champions' Mitsubishi Electric Classic to take a lead into the final round for the first time in a PGA Tour-sanctioned event.
Short had a 7-under 137 total at TPC Sugarloaf for a one-shot advantage over Colin Montgomerie, Todd Hamilton and Mark O'Meara. Montgomerie shot 66, Hamilton 69, and O'Meara 70.
Tom Watson, tied for the first-round lead at 68, fell back with two early double bogeys and finished with a 76. The 66-year-old Watson was seven shots behind Short.
Short won his lone PGA Tour title in Las Vegas in 2005. He took the 2014 Quebec Championship for his only PGA Tour Champions victory.
LOTTE CHAMPIONSHIP: At Kapolei, Hawaii, Minjee Lee won the Lotte Championship for her second LPGA Tour title, closing with an 8-under 64 for a one-stroke victory.
The 19-year-old Australian played a seven-hole stretch in 6 under with a chip-in eagle on the par-5 13th and four birdies. She rebounded from a third-round 74 to finish at 16-under 272 at Ko Olina.
Third-round leader Katie Burnett and U.S. Women's Open champion In Gee Chun tied for second.
Lee made an 11-foot birdie putt on the par-4 17th and got up-and-down for par on the par-4 18th, holing a 6-foot putt. She won the Kingsmill Championship last year in Virginia.