Daniel Berger will go into the final round of the Honda Classic with a five-shot lead after shooting a one-under-par 69 on Saturday to close in on his fifth career US PGA Title.
Berger, who was three shots clear after back-to-back 65s to open the day, strengthened his grip on the lead to 11 under after 54 holes at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens.
Since winning the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 2021, the 28-year-old from Jupiter, Florida, is searching for his first PGA Tour triumph.
On Saturday, the world number 21 started with four consecutive pars before smashing a tee shot to just under eight feet on the par-three fifth to set him his first birdie.
Berger’s second birdie of the day came after a brilliant tee-shot to within seven feet of the pin, which was followed by nine consecutive pars. Berger dutifully rolled in the birdie to put himself in a six-point lead.
Berger’s chances of a bogey-free round were dashed on the par-five 18th hole, where he twice missed the fairway before making it to the green in four.
He made bogey six when a 12-foot putt to save par rolled just wide.
“I’ve played some terrific golf,” Berger said, “but the test is still ahead of me, 18 more holes, and I’ve got to stay focused tomorrow to play another great round.”
“If I can do that, at the end of the day, I’ll be holding the trophy.”
Berger leads four men tied for second place on six under par, including Shane Lowry of Ireland, Sepp Straka of Austria, and Kurt Kitayama and Chris Kirk of the United States.
Lowry shot a three-under-par 67, the lowest round of the day, to put himself in contention.
The 34-year-old 2019 British Open champion started his round with back-to-back birdies on the third and fourth holes, but a bogey on the seventh hole ended his challenge.
But a pair of birdies on the 11th and 12th holes got him to three under for the day, and he finished with six straight pars.
Straka, meanwhile, shot a one-under 69 to join Lowry on six under, while Kitayama and Kirk both shot 71s to stay in contention.
With a birdie on the 18th, Kitayama joined the chase pack, while Kirk was left regretting a double-bogey six on the par-four 14th, which stopped him from cutting into Berger’s advantage further.
After a one-over-par 71, Canada’s Adam Svensson is six strokes down on five under, while a group of six players, including South Africa’s Dylan Frittelli and Sweden’s Alex Noren, are a further three shots back.