It was a wild start to the third round of the
The excitement lasted until the final hole, as some players charged, some faltered and others rallied.
That gave Holmes, who has led since the first round, a five-shot lead over
Bill Haas had the best round of the day, a 65, and is tied with
"It's just nice to make some putts," said Holmes of his birdie binge on the 14th through 17th holes while rain fell. "You want to make some birdies, but I definitely wasn't planning on making four. I was just trying to get one or just come in and make some pars because I did have the lead."
Johnson, who started the day six shots behind Holmes in sixth place, shot a three-under 69. Watson, who began the day in fourth place, shot 70 thanks to a hole-out for birdie from a greenside bunker on the 18th.
"I was just trying to hit one close to make an easy par," said Watson, who has finished second here twice in the last three years, "but for it to actually fall in, dinner is going to taste really good tonight."
Both Holmes and Johnson bogeyed the 18th after each player hit his tee shot into the trees along the right side of the hole and had to lay up well short of the green.
Johnson was one over for his round when he hit a seven-iron on the green of the 207-yard fourth hole and it rolled into the cup for an ace.
Two groups and 24 minutes after Johnson's ace, Holmes also knocked a seven-iron shot into the hole. He said it was his second ace in competition and, so far, the most meaningful.
"When you're at the top of the leaderboard and you can get a hole in one, that's awesome," said the laid-back Kentuckian.
The ace might not be an omen for Holmes to win his fourth career title. Only 24 players in the history of the
Among the other highlights and lowlights Saturday:
Rory McIlroy, the world's top-ranked player, had four birdies and four bogeys to shoot 72 and remain at one under. Playing partner and fellow Palm Beach Gardens resident Brooks Koepka shot 73 despite a triple bogey on the par-five 10th hole after hitting his first two drives in the water.