Williamson leads by 1 shot in Travelers
CROMWELL, Conn. - Jay Williamson shot a 3-under-par 67 Saturday to take a one-shot lead over Hunter Mahan after three rounds of the Travelers Championship.
Williamson, playing on a sponsor's exemption, bested second-round co-leader David Toms and first-round leader Mahan over the final four holes to finish 11-under after 54 holes.
"I wasn't really looking at the leaderboards," he said. "I figured if I could just keep making birdies, making good swings, I've got 18 holes and we'll figure it out tomorrow."
He hit an 8-foot birdie putt on the par-4 No. 15 to go 11-under and made par the rest of the way, nearly chipping in for birdie on the 18th.
"I don't usually get excited on the golf course," he said. "But if that ball would have gone in, I don't know what I would have done."
Toms, a 12-time winner on Tour, including the 2001 PGA Championship, has five top-10 finishes this year. But he bogeyed the par-3 16th, and he fell two back after his drive on the signature 17th hole found the water.
His 69 was good enough for third place a stroke behind Mahan, who shot a 67.
"I'm in good shape for tomorrow," Toms said. "I just have to keep playing. I feel I can play this golf course well."
So can Mahan, who finished second here a year ago. He had a tournament-best 62 Thursday and hit 71 on a windy Friday. He said there is just something about the course that brings out the best in his game.
"You just see the greens a little better than in most places," he said. "You see your tee shots better, the yardage seems better, just everything is easier for you."
Williamson, 40, is a regular on the Nationwide Tour who graduated from nearby Trinity College in Hartford, where he played baseball and hockey.
He says he didn't even know this Tour event existed when he was in school.
Now he's playing for a two-year Tour exemption.
Williamson was trailing by one when he birdied No. 15. After Toms and Mahan bogeyed the 16th, he saved par to take sole possession of the lead.
Fred Funk, a gallery favorite, shot a 67 to finish alone in fourth place.
Pat Perez and Nick O'Hern were four back at 7-under. O'Hern, who shot a 66 Saturday, has never won on tour, but finished second at last season's Booz Allen Classic, which also came just after the U.S. Open.
In Pittsford, N.Y., Lorena Ochoa shot a 5-under-par 67 to take a one-stroke lead over South Korean rookie In-Kyung Kim after three rounds.
Ochoa, who tops the money list with $1.25 million, closed with two birdies and will enter the final round at 9-under 207.
The 19-year-old Kim, whose best finish was a tie for fourth at last month's Corning Classic, sank a 25-foot birdie putt on No. 17 for a 71. That kept her close heading into today at the tree-lined Locust Hill course.
First-round leader Cristi Kerr rallied with a 70 to move into third place at 5 under.
Kerr was one ahead of Lindsey Wright (72), Mi Hyun Kim (75) of South Korea, A.J. Eathorne (69) and Angela Stanford (73).
European PGA Tour
In Munich, Germany, Jose-Filipe Lima shot a 2-under 70 to move into a tie with Niclas Fasth at 11-under and a share of a two-stroke lead after the third round.
Lima has won once on the European Tour -- at the St. Omer Open in 2004.
Fasth, who held the overnight lead, shot a 73, with a birdie on the 18th. Peter Hanson (74) was second at the start of the day, but had four bogeys in his first five holes
Wind gusts of up to 40 mph made play difficult on the Munchen-Nord course.
Paul Casey (74) also slipped off the leaderboard, and Paul Broadhurst, who was 5-under after 36 holes, shot a 79.