The third round of the RBC Heritage saw one of the day one co-leaders regain the first position to himself, a slip up from the world number one, and 15 Americans round out the top 20 heading into Sunday. Only 11 golfers carded under-par rounds in round three, with Saturday being the worst scoring day thus far this year in Hilton Head, South Carolina.
Donald Regains Top Spot
Luke Donald rebounded from an even-par second round to shoot a two-under par 69 on Saturday. The Englishman holed four birdies and two bogeys to take the solo lead at seven-under par. The highlight of his round was his sunken 31 foot putt for birdie to mark the start of his closing nine holes. He closed his round of 69 at the Harbour Town Golf Links with a quality par to secure his overnight lead going into the final round of the RBC Heritage.
Players In Contention
Jason Kokrak and Charley Hoffman trail Luke Donald by one shot at six-under par. Kokrak fired the third-lowest round of the day to start his weekend of golf as he finished with his second consecutive 68. The American carded four birdies and one bogey en route to a three-under par round to grab a share of second place. Hoffman concluded his round three with back-to-back bogeys to fall back a position on the leaderboard to join Kokrak in a tie for the second position. Hoffman’s shakiness on the greens resulted in his worst round of the tournament thus far. Patton Kizzire sits at solo fourth, while Branden Grace, Zach Johnson, and Chris Kirk round out the players who are tied for fifth.
Round Three Surprises
Jason Day’s round of an eight-over 79 is deemed as the biggest surprise of the RBC Heritage this year. The Australian fell 39 spots on the leaderboard after he carded eight bogeys, two birdies, and a double-bogey as he struggled to find his form from the start to finish. Kevin Chappell’s co-lead slipped away from him, as well, after a four-over par round three. David Lingmerth also started his weekend on a disappointing note with a 76 as he bogeyed four of his last five holes to drop nearly 30 positions on the leaderboard.
On a positive note, the world number 30, Kevin Na, shot the round of the day with a five-under par 66 to move into the top ten after starting the day tied for 63rd. Na joined the American-populated pack amongst the leading positions with six total birdies on day three.
Kevin Kisner earned his first PGA Tour victory five months ago. He continued his in-form golf into the start of 2016, but since January the world number 23 has yet to finish consecutive tournaments at even-par or better. Kisner began his tournament at the Harbour Town Golf Links with a one-over par round. The second round saw the American narrowly make the cut after an even-par round. Signs of Kevin Kisner putting himself in the under-par numbers seemed unlikely as he bogeyed on seven occasions on Saturday. He remains outside the top 60 and is expected to finish, yet, another, disappointing tournament.
Final Round Essentials
The fourth and final round of the RBC Heritage will see a deserving golfer put on the tartan jacket and put themselves sitting in good position for the FedEx Cup race. After three rounds in Hilton Head, the course has brought out the best and the worst in players. The players in contention must play every hole smart, but not too conservative. The eventual victor will have to be patiently aggressive to counter a narrow course that asks of precise ball striking and placement.