CROMWELL - Bubba Watson, Jason Day and second-rounder leader Brian Harman are all still in contention heading into the final round at the Travelers Championship. But it will be one of the unlikeliest golfers at the beginning of the week that enters Sunday as the main challenger to current leader Paul Casey - Russell Henley.
With just three PGA Tour wins, with the most recent coming at the 2017 Houston Open, Henley will now be in the final grouping of the tournament as he looks to overcome Casey’s 4-stroke lead. The No. 55 golfer in the world currently sits at 12-under after a 67 in Round 3 and is up one shot over the three players - J.B. Holmes, Anirban Lahiri and Harman - tied for third.
Henley’s play on the back nine, along with two late bogeys by Harman on 16 and 17 left him alone in second place. The 29-year-old parred his last five holes to go along with a pair of birdies of 11 and 13.
“I had some nice saves coming down the stretch, but I felt pretty solid,” Henley said. “Hit a lot of greens again, and didn't quite take advantage of the opportunities I had. I had a couple harsh lipouts. But overall, it was a pretty solid round.”
Henley has had an up-and-down season, missing the cut at two of the four tournaments he played prior to coming to TPC River Highlands, but has shown an ability to compete against some of the best. He tied for 25th on a difficult course in Shinnecock at the U.S. Open and tied for 15th at the Masters.
Henley has been as consistent as can be at the Travelers. He has just one bogey through the first three rounds, which came on the fourth hole in Round 1, and has par scores of 66, 65 and 67. Still, Henley knows he’s going to have is work cut out for him in order to win his fourth career title, especially with Casey tying his PGA-best 62 on Saturday and will likely enter Sunday with plenty of confidence.
“He's a heck of a player,” Henley said of Casey. “But I can't be worried about what he's doing. I can't control it, so I'm just going to do the best I can.”
Henley also stated it doesn’t matter who he’s playing with on the final day. He just has to stick to the game he’s been playing that’s put him in this position all week.
“It doesn't make a difference to me whether I play with [Casey] or not,” Henley said. “But it means I'm doing something right if I'm in the last group on Sunday, so I'm excited to play.”
David Glovach can be reached at (860) 801-5085 or firstname.lastname@example.org