Chesson Hadley’s scores keep getting better at the LECOM Health Challenge on the Web.com PGA Tour at Peek’n Peak in Findley Lake, and Saturday’s round was his best one yet.
Hadley vaulted up the leaderboard with a 64, which followed a 69 on Thursday and a 67 on Friday. That gave him a 54-hole total of 16-under-par 200, good for a one-shot lead in the tournament.
“I know when I’m trending and heading in the right direction,” Hadley said.
The 30-year-old made a good-sized statement by having nothing larger than a four on his scorecard on the front nine. He picked up birdies on five of the first eight holes to finish the front nine in 31. Hadley had an eagle on the par-5 11th hole and a birdie on the par-4 12th. He finished the round by closing with six straight pars.
“I struck the ball incredibly well today and made a few putts,” said Hadley, who hit 14 greens in regulation. “It was just one of those days where everything was great and I got up and down when I needed to.”
Hadley, who turned 30 this week, is a former winner on the PGA Tour, capturing the Puerto Rico Open in 2014. The 30-year-old from Charlotte, N.C., turned professional in 2010. Hadley has played in four events this season on the PGA Tour, making the cut in two of them.
Right behind: Sam Ryder has been Mr. Consistent so far this week. The Florida native shot his third straight 67 to finish the round at 201, 15-under par. That included five birdies in his last eight holes He’s looking for his first win on this tour. Ryder is No. 20 on the Web.com Tour money list, with three top 10 performances this year.
Hadley wasn’t the only one to make up ground on Saturday. Beau Hossler fired a 66 to follow Friday’s 64. He checked in at 14-under 202 after putting up birdies on eight of the first 13 holes. Hossler finished second in the Air Capital Classic in Wichita, Kan., last month, and is a former standout at the University of Texas.
Friday’s co-leaders: Both slipped a little in relation to the contenders on Saturday. Xinjun Zhang posted a 70 to bring his total to 203 for three rounds, good for fourth place. He bogeyed the 15th and 16th holes to lose ground.
Meanwhile, Adam Long had a 72 to fall into a six-way tie for sixth at 11-under 205. He had a bogey on No. 16 and a double-bogey on No. 17 to lose ground on the leaders.
Local connection: Dudley Hart, who was born in Rochester and formerly lived in Clarence, had another solid round. The 48-year-old posted a 69 in Round 3, including an eagle and two birdies on the back nine. He is in a tie for 33rd place.
Next: The final round will be shown live on the Golf Channel today from 3 to 5:30 p.m. Hadley and Ryder will be the last pairing to tee off, as they will begin the final round at 1:10 p.m.
“I saw” Hadley “was lighting it up,” Ryder said. “I wanted to get into that last pairing.”