CROMWELL, Conn. — Daniel Berger, last season's rookie of the year on the PGA Tour, missed three cuts in January and February and began hearing the whispers.
"Everyone was starting to say sophomore slump and that kind of got me upset a little bit," he said. "Not upset, but kind of like, 'Come on, let's get going here.' "
Berger earned his first tour win two months ago in Memphis, and will be going for a second today. He shot 8-under 62 on Saturday to take a three-stroke lead going into the final round of the Travelers Championship.
The 23-year-old Florida State star made nine birdies, including seven on his final 10 holes, to finish at 15-under 195 after 54 holes.
Berger, who is still recovering from a left shoulder injury that forced him to miss several tournaments including the British Open, had just one bogey and was two strokes off the course record, following up rounds of 66 and 67 that had him tied for the lead with three others coming into the day.
"I've shot better than 62, but I guess it doesn't matter unless it's on the PGA Tour," he said. "It was just a great day."
Russell Knox (64) and Russell Henley and Tyrone Van Aswegen (65) are tied for second at 12-under 198.
Berger said he first tweaked his left shoulder in Memphis, then strained it at the U.S. Open. The injury forced him to withdraw after hitting his opening tee shot at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and he didn't return until last week at the PGA Championship.
He said he expects the shoulder to be sore after playing, but it has not been bothering him on the course.
"It feels great this week and if I do the right thing then hopefully it's gone forever."
Berger said he's hoping for personal reasons to secure a spot on the Ryder Cup team this summer. His father, Jay Berger, played tennis for the U.S. Davis Cup team.
"I think it would be pretty cool to have a father and son play Davis Cup and Ryder Cup," he said.
Ernie Els (70) aced the par-3 16th hole from 176 yards. It was the 13th hole-in-one of his career.
CHAMPIONS: Miguel Angel Jimenez made a 17-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th hole for 9-under 63 and the second-round lead in the 3M Championship at Blaine, Minn. Jimenez, who had five straight birdies on Nos. 6-10 and also the par-3 17th, had a 14-under 130 total.
"I played very solid all day long," Jimenez said. "Finished with four birdies on the front nine and another at 10, then stopped making putts. Nice way to finish."
Kevin Sutherland was a stroke back after a 64.
Two weeks ago in the Senior British Open, Jimenez took a four-stroke lead into the final round, only to shoot 75 and tie for third, three strokes behind winner Paul Broadhurst.
U.S. WOMEN'S AMATEUR: South Korea's Eun Jeong Seong and Italy's Virginia Elena Carta set up the first all-international United States final in 106 years. Both advanced with 2 and 1 victories in Saturday's semifinals at Springfield, Pa. Seong beat Mathilda Cappeliez of France, and Carta topped Yuka Saso.