Chesson Hadley continued his string of excellent golf Saturday to take a four-shot lead at the 2021 Palmetto Championship.
Hadley is 14-under-par thus far, but he will have to play a little extra golf Sunday because of the inclement weather in Ridgeland, South Carolina. Hadley, Dustin Johnson, Harris English and Tain Lee still have one hole from the third round to finish before starting the fourth round.
There was plenty of movement behind Hadley on the leaderboard. Harris English moved up two spots into sole possession of second place at 10 under.
Things didn't go as well for Dustin Johnson, though he is still tied for third. The world's top-ranked player started the day two shots off the pace, but he was one-over for the round through 17 before play was suspended.
Palmetto Championship Saturday Leaderboard
1. Chesson Hadley (-14)
2. Harris English (-10)
T3. Garrick Higgo (-8)
T3. Dustin Johnson (-8)
T5. Bo Van Pelt (-7)
T5. Tyrrell Hatton (-7)
T7. Seamus Power (-6)
T7. Tain Lee (-6)
T7. Danny Lee (-6)
T7. Luke Donald (-6)
T7. Jhonattan Vegas (-6)
T7. Doc Redman (-6)
T7. Pat Perez (-6)
Full leaderboard via PGATour.com.
Hadley played perhaps his most efficient round of the weekend Saturday. He got off to a shaky start when his tee shot on No. 1 landed in the native area. The North Carolina native hit his second shot 39 yards to get back on the fairway but leaving him 110 yards away from the green.
After taking a bogey, Hadley settled in with eight consecutive pars to close out the front nine at one over.
The back nine is when Hadley did damage to put some distance between himself and the rest of the field. He had a run of four birdies in five holes from Nos. 12 to 16. His first birdie was a par-five save when his second shot landed in the bunker.
This weekend marks an incredible turnaround for Hadley. The 33-year-old missed the cut in nine of his previous 11 events, including four straight, with no top-10 finishes all season. He's chasing his first PGA Tour win since the 2014 Puerto Rico Open.
One of the players who will attempt to put pressure on Hadley in the final round is English. He looked to be on his way to a near-perfect day, but a mistake off the tee on No. 17 led to his only bogey.
English started his day with five birdies through 16 holes, including two on par-threes. He sank a 38-footer on No. 10 that dropped his total to 10 under.
Looking ahead to Sunday, English will need to reverse a seasonlong trend if he wants to catch Hadley. The 31-year-old's 70.15 scoring average in the final round is his second-worst average (71.18 in the first round).
Johnson will attempt to get back on track after a disappointing day on the course. He struggled to find any consistency or rhythm from hole to hole. The two-time major champion began to see his round fall apart on No. 5 when he bogeyed the par-three hole.
Another bogey on eight moved Johnson to one over for the day. It looked like he put things together with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 15 and 16, but a bogey on the following hole put him over par once again.
Tain Lee, who only made it into the field through qualifying Monday, continues to be one of the best stories of the tournament. He got off to a fantastic start in the third round with four birdies through five holes.
The back nine turned out to be a problem for Lee. He had a stretch of three bogeys and one double bogey from Nos. 13 to 17 that pushed his third-round score over par (72).
Lee is still part of a seven-way tie for seventh place and is in position to finish in the top 10 if he can close strong Sunday.