NORTON, Mass. — If you ask Paul Casey what his favorite number is right now, he’d probably say 66.
Casey leads the Deutsche Bank Championship at 15-under after shooting three consecutive 5-under-par 66s to take a three shot lead into Monday’s final round at TPC Boston.
“I feel great with the way I played today, “Casey said. “I saw some scores that guys like Louis (Oosthuizen) posted (64) earlier in the day, although earlier in the day I felt was just as difficult as what I faced this afternoon. I was pretty amazed with his score, and then to be sitting here with a 66, obviously over the moon.”
He was only up by one when he hit his approach shot on the par-5 18th hole, but much like Rory McIlroy, he nearly scored an albatross with an impressive second shot. That certainly made looking at the leaderboard a happy occasion, even if the first two times he looked at it weren’t the same.
“You know, I was looking at the leaderboard today a little bit,” Casey said. “I took a glance at it actually on 17 … and I thought, ‘Wow, there’s a lot more guys up there than I had kind of paid attention to earlier.’ I don’t remember the previous time I looked at the leaderboard.
“So frustrating to leave the putt on 17 shy of the hole, although I hit a wonderful shot in there and landed it exactly where I wanted it to. It just didn’t release. But at no point, having looked at that leaderboard, did it transfer into thinking about making my decision different on 18.”
Casey can go to sleep knowing he has a three-shot lead, as Brain Harman is in second at 12-under overall after shooting a 3-under 68. But there still are plenty of players within striking distance, and with the remnants of Hurricane Hermine expected to wreak havoc on the golfers Monday, anything could happen.
Fan-favorite Smylie Kaufman, Jimmy Walker and Kevin Chappell all will enter Monday four strokes back at 11-under, while Oosthuizen, who had the low round of the day, McIlroy and Olympic gold medalist Justin Rose are lurking behind at 9-under.
Jason Day had a much better round than his first two days at TPC Boston, but he’s still way behind at 4-under, along with defending champion Rickie Fowler and Dustin Johnson. Meanwhile, Jordan Spieth and Sergio Garcia both fell down to 5-under overall.
It will be tough for anyone to make a big move Monday with wind gusts that could reach as high as 45 miles per hour. As a result, the tee times will begin at 7 a.m. ET and run through 9:01 a.m. on holes No. 1 and 10, and every group will be a threesome.
But bad news for the rest of the field: Casey says he’s a really good wind player, especially with the way he’s striking the ball.
Thumbnail photo via Mark Konezny/USA TODAY Sports Images