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Hoffman, Watson, DeLaet tied atop PGA's Travelers

CROMWELL — Charley Hoffman lost his chance at winning last year's Travelers Championship on the 71st hole.

His tee shot on the difficult par-4 17th at the TPC of River Highlands found the pond that runs along the fairway and he finished second, missing out on his third PGA Tour win.

This year Hoffman is in a three-way tie for the lead heading into today's final round, and he expects a different outcome.

"Obviously if I get on 17 tee (in the lead), I'd be lying to say I'm not going to think about that tee shot," Hoffman said Saturday after his 4-under 66 tied him with Bubba Watson and Graham DeLaet at 10-under 200.

"But I'm a much more mature, better player than I was a year ago and don't feel uncomfortable on that tee shot."

Watson, who led by two when he began the third round and by four midway through, made three bogeys in his last six holes to help create the logjam. DeLaet tied for the low round of the day with 65.

Chris Stroud and Nick O'Hearn are one shot back of the leaders at 9 under.

After shooting 61 in the opening round, Hoffman struggled and shot 73 Friday. He bounced back with 66 Saturday and made five birdies.

"I got off to a pretty quick start and then birdied 10, thought I was going to get going again," Hoffman said. "And then a little three-putt bogey on 12 sort of slowed things down."

Watson made three birdies in his first six holes Saturday and was ahead by four after the third. But bogeys on Nos. 13, 15 and 17 brought the 2011 Masters champion back to the field.

Watson, who won the 2010 Travelers, is trying to become the seventh man to win the event at least twice. Arnold Palmer and Phil Mickelson have also done it.

"I hit some shots (Saturday) that were really good, quality shots," said Watson, who shot par 70. "I got a couple bad breaks here and there, but that's golf. At the end of the day I still have a chance (today) and that's what we're always looking for."

LPGA: Stacy Lewis made four straight birdies and eight overall to shoot 6-under 65 and join a group of four atop the leaderboard at 10-under 132 after the second round at the NW Arkansas Championship in Rogers.

Lewis, the world's No. 2 player, earned an unofficial win at the rain-shortened event as an amateur in 2007. She is the local favorite this week, having played collegiately at Arkansas.

Chie Arimura and Beatriz Recari equaled Lewis' 65 and are tied entering the final round with So Yeon Ryu.

Tampa's Cindy LaCrosse shot 68 and is tied for 24th at 4-under 138. Seminole's Brittany Lincicome (1-over 143) and Tampa's Kristy McPherson (6-over 148) missed the cut.

CHAMPIONS: Craig Stadler grabbed the outright lead at the Encompass Championship in Glenview, Ill., birdieing three of the four par 5s in a 7-under 65 that put him two shots ahead of Bob Tway and Jeff Sluman. Stadler's second round included an inward nine of 4-under 32 that left him at 12-under 132.

Hoffman, Watson, DeLaet tied atop PGA's Travelers 06/22/13 [Last modified: Saturday, June 22, 2013 10:38pm]
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