Travelers Championship 2018: Paul Casey Holds 4-Stroke Lead Entering Final Round

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 23, 2018

CROMWELL, CT - JUNE 23:  Paul Casey of England plays his shot from the fifth tee during the third round of the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands on June 23, 2018 in Cromwell, Connecticut.  (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)
Tim Bradbury/Getty Images

Paul Casey found another gear in the third round of the 2018 Travelers Championship with a 62 that dropped his 54-hole score to 16 under par. 

Starting the day in fifth place, Casey put himself four shots ahead of Russell Henley for the lead. Jamie Lovemark made the biggest jump of the day with a six-under 64 to climb 23 spots and get within shouting distance of the lead heading into Sunday. 

Here is how the top of the leaderboard from TPC at River Highlands looks with 18 holes left to play:

1. Paul Casey (-16)

2. Russell Henley (-12)

T3. Brian Harman (-11)

T3. J.B. Holmes (-11)

T3. Anirban Lahiri (-11)

T6. Jason Day (-10)

T6. Ryan Blaum (-10)

T6. Beau Hossler (-10)

T6. Bubba Watson (-10)

T6. Bryson DeChambeau (-10)

T11. Jamie Lovemark (-9)

T11. Kyle Stanley (-9)

T11. Danny Lee (-9)

T11. Matt Jones (-9)

Full leaderboard via PGATour.com.

Casey's big moment of the third round came on the 15th hole when he set himself up for an eagle with this excellent shot off the tee:

Prior to his eagle putt, Casey was clinging to a one-shot lead over Henley. The Englishman has had a strong year already, including a win at the Valspar Championship, and is one round away from adding to his resume:

Casey started to build momentum on the back nine during the second round, finishing with a flurry that included three straight birdies from No. 15 to No. 17. He noted the difficulty of the greens early in his round as a culprit for the slow start. 

"I found the golf course a bit difficult this morning," Casey told reporters on Friday. "The greens were super fast. The pin positions are aggressive."

Based on his stats on and around the green Saturday, Casey figured things out:

Harman, who started the day alone in the lead, had a decent showing in the third round with a 69 score to keep himself in contention. 

The biggest difference for Harman on Saturday compared to Thursday and Friday was his putting. After gaining at least 2.855 strokes on the green in each of the previous two rounds, he fell down to 0.865 in the third round. 

Sitting outside of the top 10 at eight under par, Rory McIlroy did provide one of the day's best highlights with this chip shot off the green at No. 15:

McIlroy is having a better weekend than Jordan Spieth, who has been unable to capitalize after starting the tournament with a 63 in the first round. The three-time major champion posted his second straight round over par with a 71, dropping him to three under for the weekend. 

If Casey performs Sunday like he did on Saturday, it won't matter who is chasing him. The rest of the field has a lot of work to do to prevent him from leaving Connecticut with another PGA Tour win in 2018. 

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