Luke Donald shot a two-under-par 69 on Saturday to take a one-stroke lead in the RBC Heritage on Saturday in Hilton Head Island, S.C., 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 seven-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.
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.”
Minjee Lee wins LPGA’s Lotte Championship
Minjee Lee won the Lotte Championship on Saturday for her second LPGA Tour title, closing with an eight-under 64 for a one-stroke victory.
The 19-year-old Australian played a seven-hole stretch in six 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-four 18th, holing a six-foot putt. She won the Kingsmill Championship last year in Virginia.
Burnett lost a share of the lead with a three-putt bogey on the par-3 16th, then missed a six-foot birdie try on 17 and a long birdie putt on 18 in a 70. Chun finished with a 67, missing a 20-foot birdie try on 18.
Short atop Champions Tour field
Wes Short Jr. shot a five-under 67 in the PGA Tour Champions’ Mitsubishi Electric Classic in Duluth, Ga., to take a lead into the final round for the first time in a PGA Tour-sanctioned event.
Short had a seven-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.
Lorenzo-Vera grabs lead at Spanish Open
Mike Lorenzo-Vera of France shot a par-71 third round to take over the lead of the Spanish Open in Sotogrande.
The new leader, who has never won on the European Tour, eagled the 17th hole to build a two-shot advantage, but a bogey on his last left him one stroke ahead of a trio including Germany’s Martin Kaymer (71), Joost Luiten of the Netherlands (70), and Andrew Johnston of England (74).
Defending champion James Morrison (74) and fellow Englishman Ross Fisher (72) were another shot back.
Heavy winds kept scores low at the Valderrama course for a second straight day. On Saturday, only Luiten and Alex Noren shot rounds under par.