62 is the low round of the PGA season
Cromwell, CT- Saturday is frequently the most entertaining day of the golf weekend. Players move up and down the scoreboard with an air of excitement for the entertainment of the day and anticipation for Championship ramifications on Sunday. The Travelers Championship delivered such excitement against an unusual backdrop. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday were all bright and sunny days perfect for golf. Saturday featured rain in the morning and overcast mist hanging in the afternoon air. It felt like a day at the Open Championship. Against that backdrop, 2018 Valspar champion Paul Casey drove the excitement with the best round of the PGA season.
The 40 year old Gloucstershire, England native has three top ten finishes in his appearances at the Travelers and a playoff appearance in his first trip in 2015. However, he lost the tournament to Bubba Watson and is still looking for his first Travelers win. He opened the tournament with a -5 and followed with a -3 on Friday. Casey took the course and thrilled the assembled crowd, shooting a 62, or -8. He doubled his score with four birdies on the front and two more on the back. He did not bogey a single hole. His best performance was reserved for the most known hole on course: the short par four at 15. Casey landed the ball seven feet away from the hole and drilled the putt for an eagle, thrilling the crowd and building his lead higher. Two pars and his final birdie on 18 closed out the day and gave him a four stroke lead after three rounds in Cromwell.
After the round, Casey was pleased, particularly considering his year’s injuries, but still focused on Sunday. “I’m happy I played good golf, because I pulled out of The Players Championship and in Memphis, and I played in Wentworth, but I wasn’t a hundred percent fit with a back injury, which was big inflammation, nerve pain down the leg, up the back, and I didn’t know what was going on. The U.S. Open was the first event I played since The Masters where I’ve been pain free. If I go out there tomorrow and I hit it the way I normally hit it and I put well, then I’m fairly confident.”
Casey’s year-best performance was remarkable and outshone many other excellent performances on the day. Namely, Jamie Lovemark put on a show with a -6 day. He recorded four birdies and like Casey, eagled 15. He did not commit a single bogey and upon completion of his round, the 30 year old Rancho Santa Fe, CA, native was only one stroke off the lead. After the day finished, he was seven strokes back. When asked about his potential position for being a threat on Sunday, he remained realistic. “Hard to say, probably not. Better so than three under. I’m sure I’ll be a handful back going into tomorrow.”
Brian Harman and Anirban Lahiri posted -5 scores on the day. James Hahn posted an ace on the eleventh hole. Rory McIlroy and Bubba Watson entertained before running out of steam late. Russell Henley kept close as he could to Paul Casey, sitting just three back. It was among the most entertaining days the PGA has offered this season.
The fourth and final round begins at 8:15 AM. Henley and Casey will be the final pairing. Their round begins at 2 pm ET.