2022 RBC Heritage scores: Harold Varner III leads after round 3 with a crowded crowd on the hunt

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC (AP) – Harold Varner III shot an 8-under 63 to take a one-shot lead in RBC Heritage on Saturday in pursuit of his first PGA Tour victory.

Varner had eight birdies in a bogey-free round to match Cameron Young’s opening score as the lowest on Harbor Town Golf Links this week. Varner had 11 under 202.

Warnings should be just as crisp on Sunday. FedEx Cup champion Patrick Cantlay, 2019 British Open winner Shane Lowry from Ireland and Erik van Rooyen from South Africa were a shot back.

Cantlay, leading the second round, had 70. Lowry shot 65 and van Rooyen had 67.

Former RBC Heritage champion Matt Kuchar, Hudson Swafford, Sepp Straka and Aaron Wise were 9 under. Swafford shot 66, Kuchar and Straka 67 and Wise 68.

Varner has two international victories, winning the Australian PGA Championship in 2016 and Saudi International in February.

He seemed to shoot himself out of contention with his Friday finish, where he went 4 over his last four holes to 72. But it was a verdict on the sixth that made Varner angry – and fed him until Saturday.

Varner’s tee shot at par-4 sixth was called out-of-bounds. Varner told officials he saw a spectator pick up the ball, which was eventually identified as Varners, and he may have put it back over the marker off the field.

The decision stood firm, Varner made a double bogey and shook it over. “I would say I’m really good at putting things aside, but I did not put it aside,” he said.

Instead, he used the frustrating finish to burn his run to the top. Varner birded four of his first six holes – including the cumbersome sixth hole – and took the lead with a 10-foot on the 16th.

Harbor Town is far from Varner’s favorite layout – “It’s my favorite because we can drive here,” said Varner, who lives in Gastonia, North Carolina – even though he finished second here last year and has shot in the ’60s for six. of his last seven rounds.

Varner said every shot here is “super uncomfortable.”

“I feel like I’m always leading it out there,” he said. “But if you can lead it out there in 72 holes, you can do some damage.”

Lowry also came back from a 72 on Friday to get within a shot from the lead. He was choppy at the start and followed birdies on the second and fifth holes with bogeys on the next. But he stabilized after that to 65, which matched the lowest career of his career in Harbor Town.

Rick Gehman and Greg DuCharme break down, react and provide insight into Saturday’s third round on RBC Heritage. Follow and listen to The First Cut on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Lowry said conditions, particularly gusts of 20 mph or more on Friday, were eased and rendered the normally difficult course defenseless.

“Yesterday was just such a one of those days where you have to scatter the hatches down,” Lowry said.

“Today I felt like every time you got a good number,” Lowry said, “you could really go on the flags. And I did, and I hit some good shots.”

He will need more of that Sunday if he hopes for his third career victory on the tour and the first since the British Open in 2019.

Cantlay finished Friday with a boom – four straight birdies from No. 15-18, the hardest stretch of the course – for a two-shot lead.

But he could not find that form much this time. He caught Varner with birdies on the sixth, seventh and ninth holes and then fell back with bogeys on the 11th and 12th holes. He pulled within a stroke from Varner on the 18th hole and his approach landed within 5 feet for a final birdie.

“It had something good, it had something less good,” Cantlay said. “But I’m a really good place for tomorrow. Especially with the final birdie at 18, get some momentum and I’m obviously right there.”

Tommy Fleetwood, who started more than 3 1/2 hours before Cantlay’s last mating, posted a 64 to give the first hint about the very windy course.

Maverick McNealy and Peter Malnati, like Lowry, had 65s. Swafford, Wyndham Clark and Graeme McDowell sent 66s. In total, 45 of the 71 competitors came below 70.

On Friday, no one shot lower than 67, and there were only 19 players out of 130 who had scores in the 60s.

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