He has already won twice this season, clinching back to back titles in the Bermuda Championship and Mayakoba Golf Classic. Now a third victory is in sight for Brendon Todd, who is striking the ball with unerring consistency. Todd has made 41 of 42 fairways this week. He made all 14 fairways and 16 of 18 greens in regulation through a commanding 9-under 61 on Saturday to move two ahead of Dustin Johnson.
Johnson also made a 61, as both men scorched the course with bogey-free rounds of golf. He made five birdies on the way in, contrasting with the five that Todd made on his way out. The leader is at 192 through 54 holes, with Johnson in the chase at 16-under 194.
A nondescript 69 all but killed any hopes for Rory McIlroy. The world No. 1 admitted as much, speaking to the media after the round. The top five are only separated by five strokes and another low round on Sunday could prove decisive for one of several contenders.
But after going neck and neck on Saturday, there will be plenty of attention on the men in front – Todd and Johnson.
“It’s hard to miss the leader boards obviously, so (Johnson’s) name was up there from a pretty early point,” Todd said. “Again, I just use it as motivation to go out there and make some more birdies.”
“Whenever I get a two- or three-week stretch in a row, I tend to be playing better by the end of it,” he added. “That’s just something I’m using to my advantage now after missing two cuts. I’m peaking in the third week and hopefully I can get it done tomorrow.”
A 63 helped Kevin Streelman reach Sunday just one-stroke behind Johnson. The first round (60) leader Mackenzie Hughes shot a second straight 68, lying fourth at 14-under 196.
Bryson DeChambeau and Kevin Na are tied in fifth, with scores of 65 each in the third round. Overnight leader Phil Mickelson let himself down with a 71 as he fell into a tie for seventh, six strokes adrift from the leader. Scott Stallings made the most of a 64 to jump nineteen spots to T7.