Gerry Broome/Associated Press
Webb Simpson is 18 holes away from a title at the 2020 RBC Heritage.
So is Tyrrell Hatton, Abraham Ancer and Ryan Palmer.
They are all tied for first place following Saturday’s third round at Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head, South Carolina, and just one stroke ahead of a crowded rest of the field. It was Hatton who played the best in the third round with an eight-under 63 to make up ground on Simpson (three-under 68), Ancer (six-under 65) and Palmer (five-under 66).
Here is a look at the top of the leaderboard, which can be found in full at PGATour.com.
T1. Webb Simpson, -15
T1. Tyrrell Hatton, -15
T1. Abraham Ancer, -15
T1. Ryan Palmer, -15
T5. Carlos Ortiz, -14
T5. Daniel Berger, -14
T5. Joel Dahmen, -14
Simpson finished the second round one stroke ahead of Bryson DeChambeau and Corey Conners and was steady out of the gates with three birdies and a bogey on the front nine.
It wasn’t enough to hold his lead throughout, though, as an eight-under was the number of the day.
Hatton, Carlos Ortiz, Daniel Berger, Joel Dahmen, Joaquin Niemann and Chris Stroud all shot eight-under 63 on Saturday, which gave Hatton the lead while Simpson was still on the course. Hatton made a 41-foot birdie putt on No. 1, which set the tone for the rest of the round.
He unleashed a head-turning display of consistency with zero bogeys and five birdies on the front nine and another bogey-less back nine with three more birdies. It was more of the same after Hatton didn’t miss a single putt within 10 feet Friday, and it was appropriate that he wrapped up his third round with another long birdie putt:
Simpson did not force the issue even with Hatton and others playing well and was nothing but steady again on the back nine with eight pars and a birdie.
The birdie for Simpson came on No. 15 to move back into a tie for first, but it wasn’t just Hatton he had to worry about. Palmer and Ancer each made late charges, with the former notching three birdies and no bogeys on the back nine and the latter tallying birdies on Nos. 15 and 16 to make up for the stroke he dropped with a bogey on No. 14.
They replaced DeChambeau and Conners as the biggest challengers for Simpson and Hatton, who both struggled to seize scoring opportunities through solid but unspectacular performances. DeChambeau is three strokes back following a one-under 70, while Conners is two back following a two-under 69.
The most amusing moment of the round came when Bubba Watson asked for a rules official because a crab burrowed near his ball in the bunker:
It was the highlight of the day for Watson, who fell back with a two-over 73 after he was five under through the first two rounds.
While Watson is on the outside looking in, there are a number of notable names who are well within striking distance heading into the final round. Sergio Garcia headlines that group at two strokes back following an impressive six-under 65 in Saturday’s third round. The two bogeys prevented him from making a full charge up the leaderboard, but he helped make up for them with eight birdies.
Elsewhere, Rory McIlroy (10 under) and Justin Thomas (nine under) are in solid position after they each shot a five-under 66, while Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson are three shots back at 12 under.
It may seem cliche to say it is anyone’s tournament heading into the final round, but nobody has separated themselves from a talented field with as many as 20 legitimate contenders heading into Sunday’s action.