Matt Kuchar gave himself a tiny bit more breathing room, expanding his one-shot lead to two with a 4-under-par 66 in the third round of the Sony Open in Hawaii today.
The eight-time PGA Tour winner is now at 18 under par overall headed into Sunday’s final round at Waialae Country Club. Adam Putnam is second at 16 under after shooting 67 today. Keith Mitchell and Chez Reavie are tied for third at -14.
Kuchar — who has five top-10s but no victories here — and Putnam sparred on the front nine, with Putnam taking the lead with birdies on the No. 4 and 5 holes. Kuchar pulled back into the lead when Putnam carded a bogey on No. 8.
Kuchar said all phases of his game are flowing smoothly.
“It’s a lot of fun. It doesn’t always happen,” he said. “It’s nice when it comes together.”
Meanwhile, Mitchell soared from the pack with a bogey-free 7-under 63. Mitchell is a second-year PGA Tour pro with four top-10s last year, including second at the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship. He was T25 with a 10-under showing in his Sony Open debut last year, and now has six consecutive rounds under 70 at Waialae.
“I’m very pleased with how I played,” Mitchell said. “I know I got a lot to do to catch Matt, but I felt like I put myself in a good position.”
Mitchell, Emiliano Grillo and Bryson DeChambeau tied for best round of the day, with DeChambeau among a throng of nine players tied for fifth at 11 under for the event.
Reavie, who made three eagles on par-4 holes Friday, was still hot early Saturday and jumped from 10 under to start the day to 15 under at the turn. He fell back with three bogeys in a row early on the back nine, but rallied with birdies on the 16th and 18th holes to finish with a 66 and 14-under for the tournament.
Eric Dugas, a pro at Makena Golf Club on Maui, shot his second-consecutive 71 after an opening-round 3-under 67. He was among 10 players who fell victim to the supplementary third-round cut — the same result for him as in the 2014 Sony Open.
“It’s hard to be disappointed,” Dugas said. “It’s nice to play on Saturday, but obviously the goal is Sunday.”