CROMWELL, Conn. — Three-time Vacationers champion Bubba Watson picked up 3 strokes on Kramer Hickok over the ultimate two holes, capturing a 2-under 68 on Saturday at TPC River Highlands to tug right into a tie for the lead with the minor league tour common at 10 below par.
Hickock, who has by no means gained on the PGA Tour, was 12 below — 2 strokes forward of Jason Day and three in entrance of Watson — heading to the seventeenth earlier than flying the inexperienced and lacking a 10-foot par putt. He was nonetheless a stroke forward of the ultimate pairing earlier than three-putting from 8 ft on No. 18 to complete with a 68 and fall again right into a tie.
“I have been in competition earlier than,” stated Hickok, who has gained on the Korn Ferry Tour and the Canadian Mackenzie Tour. “I do know these nerves are going to be there. It is simply embracing these nerves, not making an attempt to struggle it. I believed I would be much more nervous than I’m.”
Watson birdied No. 17 to maneuver to 10 below after which missed a 5-foot birdie putt on No. 18. Day, the in a single day chief, putted previous the opening from 22 ft for a bogey to complete at 70 and minus-9, tied for third place with Cameron Smith (66) and Russell Henley (68).
Three gamers have been one other stroke again.
Defending champion Dustin Johnson, who birdied the final two holes on Friday to make the reduce on the quantity, shot 65 to climb right into a tie for ninth at minus-7. The previous world No. 1 reached the clubhouse simply 2 strokes off Day’s 36-hole lead.
“To birdie the final two yesterday to make the reduce, which I undoubtedly wished to be right here for the weekend, and clearly exit right now and shoot a pleasant rating, it was good,” he stated. “So I really feel like the sport is coming round.”
Johnson shot 61 on Saturday final yr to maneuver from a tie for twentieth into second, 2 strokes behind chief Brendon Todd. His victory was his first in 490 days; a win on Sunday would give him his first victory of 2021.
Watson gained the event in 2010, ’15 and ’18.