Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Canada's DeLaet in tie at top

Shares lead with Watson, Hoffman for today's final at Travelers tourney

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CROMWELL, Conn. -- Canada's Graham DeLaet moved into a three-way tie for the lead at the Travelers Championship on Saturday.

The Weyburn, Sask., native tied for a low round of the day with a 65 and was helped out when Bubba Watson made three bogeys on his last six holes.

DeLaet, Watson and Charley Hoffman are all at 10-under par heading into today's final round at the TPC of River Highlands. Watson shot an even-par 70.

DeLaet is playing this week in New England, but many of his thoughts are back home. The heavy rain and flooding in Alberta forced the PGA Tour Canada to cancel its event this week.

'I did play well pretty much all day. I had a lot of good birdie chances on the front nine, just couldn't really seem to find the hole. Julien (Trudeau), my caddie, just told me to stay patient'

-- Graham DeLaet

DeLaet, the 2009 Canadian Tour player of the year, has pledged to donate $1,000 for every birdie he makes this weekend and $2,500 for every eagle to help the relief effort.

"It's a pretty small part, what we're doing, but anything helps," DeLaet said. "There's a lot of help from everyone all across Canada."

DeLaet first made it to 10-under after beginning his back nine with four straight birdies. A bogey at the difficult par-3 16th put a slight damper on his round, but DeLaet finished strong by delicately rolling in a downhill putt from the fringe on the 18th hole to get into the clubhouse at 10-under.

"I did play well pretty much all day. I had a lot of good birdie chances on the front nine, just couldn't really seem to find the hole," DeLaet said. "Julien (Trudeau), my caddie, just told me to stay patient."

Brad Fritsch of Ottawa hit 70 to finish the round nine shots back of the lead.

Justin Rose, less than a week after his U.S. Open victory, sits at 7-under par and in a tie for seventh place after a second straight 68.

Watson made three birdies on his opening nine holes and was ahead by four shots 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 player to win this event at least twice. Arnold Palmer and Phil Mickelson have also done it.

After shooting a 61 in the opening round, Hoffman struggled and shot 73 on Friday. But he bounced back with a 66 Saturday in a round that included five birdies.

Hoffman, who has won twice previously on the PGA Tour, was leading the Travelers last year when he hit his tee shot on the par-4 17th into the water. He finished in a tie for second.

He said he doesn't expect a similar result this year.

"Obviously, if I get on 17 tee, I'd be lying to say I'm not going to think about that tee shot," Hoffman said. "But I'm a much more mature, better player than I was a year ago and don't feel uncomfortable on that tee shot."

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 23, 2013 B16

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