Following a 6-under 65, Jason Dufner will enter the final round of the 2017 RBC Heritage with a one-stroke advantage over Graham DeLaet, with Kevin Kisner and Webb Simpson two strokes behind. With rounds of 68, 67, 65, Dufner is at 13-under par.
Dufner, who started three shots off the lead, got hot early at Harbour Town Golf Links with eagles at the second and fifth holes to close the gap on overnight leaders Luke Donald and Graham DeLaet.
After reaching the turn in 34 following three bogeys, 2013 PGA Championship winner Dufner then hit four more birdies on the back nine, including a run of three from the 14th to complete his round for a 54-hole total of 13-under par.
Dufner is in search of his fifth PGA TOUR victory (2012 Zurich Classic of New Orleans, 2012 AT&T Byron Nelson, 2013 PGA Championship, 2016 CareerBuilder Challenge).
Dufner owns six top-25 finishes in eight prior starts during the 2016-17 Season, led by a T11 finish at the Valspar Championship. He T-33 at the Masters.
Graham DeLaet fell to second Saturday following a 2-under 69. He will be in the final group with Dufner on Sunday.
Dufner lowered his expectations on the course this week, saying it was hurting his play.
“That really gets in the way of playing well to be honest with you,” said Dufner, the 2013 PGA Championship winner. “So I think I maybe learned a little bit from the champion last week, where he kind of lowered his expectations, and got out of his way, so to speak, and let his talent and his game plan take it from there.”
Ian Poulter, under pressure to stay on tour, shot 69 for fifth. Poulter, playing on a medical extension, needs to earn $145,000 of 117 FedEx Cup points over the next two weeks to keep his playing status on the PGA Tour.
“I play and don’t think about it. You all remind me, but I am just putting that out of my mind and playing my game the best I can”, said Poulter.
Second-round co-leader Luke Donald fell to T6 following a 1-over 72, snapping a streak of 13 consecutive rounds of par-or-better at the RBC Heritage.