Canadian Taylor Pendrith reeled off four consecutive birdies on his way to a six-under-par 65, seizing a three-stroke lead after Saturday’s third round of the Bermuda Championship.
The 30-year-old newlywed from suburban Toronto, who barely practiced before the event began, stood on 17-under-par 196 after 54 holes at Port Royal Golf Course in Southampton.
New Zealand’s Danny Lee was second on 199 after a 65 and Australian Lucas Herbert matched his career-low PGA round from Friday with a 65 to stand third on 200.
Pendrith, coming off a career-low 61 on Friday that gave him a one-shot lead, stumbled early with a bogey at the fifth hole but responded with four birdies in a row starting at the par-five seventh.
He added birdies at the par-three 13th and 16th holes, sinking a 40-footer at the latter for only the fourth birdie of the day at 16, and tapped in for birdie at the par-five 17th.
Only 4 players have made birdie on No. 16 today.
Leader @TaylorPendrith is one of them.
He leads by 3. pic.twitter.com/Kz84muHrRB
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) October 30, 2021
“It’s definitely nice to get a couple late in the round,” Pendrith said. “To see that 40-plus footer go in was a nice bonus.”
Pendrith, ranked 239th in the world, is chasing his first PGA title. He managed his best PGA finish of 11th in July at the Barbasol Championship.
He expects a challenge not only from rivals but from predicted windy and rainy conditions for Sunday’s final round, which was moved earlier to try and finish before the worst storms.
“It’s going to be tough. Anything can happen. It’s probably going to be a crazy day,” Pendrith said.
“It’s nice to be a couple ahead. I’m just going to try and grind it out and make a few pars and see what happens. I’ll try and stick to what I know. It’s going to be a hard day out there.”
Lee birdied the par-five second and ran off three consecutive birdies starting at the fifth. He began the back nine with back-to-back birdies but stumbled with back-to-back bogeys at 13 and 14 before righting the ship with birdies at 15 and 17.
“I haven’t had this kind of week in a while,” Lee said. “It’s good to be back in contention. I played very well overall.”
South Korean-born Lee, a 31-year-old who became a New Zealand citizen in 2008, won his only PGA title at the 2015 Greenbrier Classic.
Herbert, who broke the head of his driver on the range just 12 minutes before teeing off, birdied the fifth and seventh holes before taking a bogey at eight, which he followed with three birdies in a row starting at the ninth as well as birdies at 14 and 17.
The 25-year-old is a two-time European Tour winner, having taken last year’s Dubai Desert Classic and the Irish Open this past July.
“It’s definitely a big thing to have won before and know what it takes to win. I’ve got some experience there,” Herbert said. “But Taylor is a great player. There are some good names right there. Experience is good but I’m going to have to play well to beat them.”
His best US PGA finish was a share of 18th at this year’s Memorial tournament.
Herbert's driver scare.
Pendrith starts slow, finishes strong.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) October 31, 2021
© Agence France-Presse
Photo: Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images
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