CROMWELL, Conn. – Brendon Todd and Dustin Johnson each shot career-low 61s at the Travelers Championship on Saturday, leaving Todd with a two-stroke lead over the 2016 U.S. Open champion.
Todd, a 34-year-old Georgian, played a couple of holes behind Johnson and had a chance at the tournament's second 60 of the week but missed a 10-foot putt to the left on the 18th hole.
He finished with a 54-hole score of 192, 18 under par, after shooting 66-65 the first two rounds. Johnson, who is looking for his 21st win on tour, also has improved each day, opening with a 69-64.
Both shot bogey-free rounds, with Todd making five birdies on the front nine and Johnson five on the back. Todd said the round became a game of whatever you can do, I can do just as well.
"It's hard to miss the leaderboards obviously, so [Johnson's] name was up there from a pretty early point," Todd said. "Again, I just use it as motivation to go out there and make some more birdies."
Phil Mickelson began the day with a one-stroke lead but struggled, finishing tied for seventh in a group six shots back. He made just his second bogey of the week on the third hole and also dropped strokes on the seventh and 13th before finishing with a 71.
Todd is looking for his third win of the season but his first since the fall, when he went back-to-back at the Bermuda Championship and the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Mexico.
"Whenever I get a two- or three-week stretch in a row, I tend to be playing better by the end of it," he said. "That's just something I'm using to my advantage now after missing two cuts. I'm peaking in the third week and hopefully I can get it done tomorrow."
Despite going 9 under for the day, Johnson lamented missing several birdie chances and an eagle attempt on the par-4 ninth, when his ball stopped 6 inches from the pin.
Just two of his birdie puts, an 18-footer at the 10th hole and a 21-footer on the 12th, were longer than 9 feet.
"I really felt like I controlled the distance with my irons really well and hit tons of good shots," he said. "I had a lot of really good looks at birdie."
Kevin Streelman fired a 63 after two straight rounds of 66 and was just three shots back. Mackenzie Hughes, who led after a 60 on Thursday, shot his second straight 68 for sole possession of fourth place.
"Today if I had putted like I did the first day, I could have shot low 60s for sure," Hughes said. "Play the same as I did today tee to green and roll in a few putts and it'll be awesome."
Bryson DeChambeau and Kevin Na each shot 65 and were tied for fifth at 197.
Jason Day requested to be tested for COVID-19 on Saturday morning just before his round. Officials decided to have him play as a single on Saturday as a precautionary measure. He shot a 69 and is 1 under par headed into Sunday.
The round began early in the day because of threatening weather, with golfers going off both the first and 10th tees. It finished just before the skies opened. A forecast for more rain on Sunday will mean another early start.