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Travelers Championship: Xander Schauffele retains lead as Rory McIlroy drops way back

Schauffele leads by a single shot heading into the final day of the Travelers Championship in Connecticut; McIlroy is now 11 shots off the lead after another difficult day at TPC River Highlands

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Rory McIlroy had a hole to forget on day three of the Travelers Championship with a double-bogey at the second

Xander Schauffele has retained his lead at the Travelers Championship but is down to just a single shot heading into Sunday, while Rory McIlroy fell further back after another difficult round.

Patrick Cantlay is the man perched just behind Schauffele on the leaderboard at TPC River Highlands, shooting the best round of the day with a 63.

It means Schauffele's lead has shrunk from five shots to just one, setting up a thrilling Sunday. He is 17-under after the third round, and went bogey-free until the 13th hole on Saturday, where he found the water.

"I would love to have that tee ball back on 13," he said. "For the most part I knew it wasn't going to be easy to protect a lead, especially when it's five shots and it's easy to get comfortable."

He responded with a birdie on 16 and then both men carded birdies on the 17th, to keep them clear of Sahith Theegala, who sits third on 14-under-par, after shooting a 64.

McIlroy was the joint-leader after the first 18 holes but his challenge has derailed massively after his aberration on hole 12 on Friday where an incredible sequence of shots saw him give four strokes back to the course.

McIlroy had another nightmare hole on Saturday, the second. His tee shot on the reachable par four hit a tree to land in thick rough barely past the tee box, which the world No 2 would need two attempts to get out of and eventually carded a double bogey-six.

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McIlroy then bogeyed the fifth, and while he would make gains at the sixth, ninth and 13th, further dropped shots at the 14th and 16th saw him card a two-over-par round of 72 and leave him in a tie for 31st on six under par.

There was better news for another Brit though, Scotland's Martin Laird was four-under for his round, to sit tied fifth and five shots back from Schauffele. Kevin Kisner is one shot in front of him at 13-under.

World No 1 Scottie Scheffler also had an impressive Saturday with a round of 65 to move up to 10-under. He's seven shots off the pace, but another charge on Sunday could put him in contention depending on what happens with the leaders.

"Maybe I'll go out tomorrow and do something crazy and we'll see what happens," Scheffler said.

Watch the final round of the Travelers Championship live on Sky Sports Golf from 12.30pm via the red button on Sky Sports Golf with full coverage from 6pm.

Harrington leads US Senior Open heading into final round

Padraig Harrington finally knows what it's like to overpower a golf course, and it has the Irishman on the verge of a US Senior Open title on his first appearance in the event.

The three-time major winner reached both par fives in two, getting within seven feet of the 608-yard 12th hole at Saucon Valley Golf Club, and his five-under-par 66 enabled him to open a five-shot lead Saturday going into the final round of the Senior Open.

Starting the third round with a one-shot lead over Steve Stricker, his Ryder Cup captain foe from Whistling Straits, Harrington birdied the opening two holes and was on his way.

He sits 11-under-par, five shots clear of former US Senior Open champion Gene Sauers, who birdied the last two holes for a 68; and PGA Tour Champions rookie Rob Labritz (69).

"When you've got a lead like this - in not even a perfect world, but in dreamland - you think you're going to go out there and play well and run away with it, which is a possibility," Harrington said. "I could play good tomorrow and have a nice comfortable day. I could play average tomorrow, and someone will have to come at me. Or I could play badly tomorrow, and I'll still have a chance.

"I've basically given myself a lot of hands to win this."

Stricker couldn't keep up after an opening birdie, and the par fives is where the winning US Ryder Cup captain really lost ground.

Harrington drilled a fairway metal into 25 feet on the 568-yard sixth hole, while Stricker hit a tree and had to flight a chip under the branches. he came up short of the green and made bogey. It was a two-shot swing when Harrington two-putted for birdie, for a four-shot margin.

And then on the 12th, Harrington blasted his 5-wood over the corner of the rough to a pin tucked on the left side. Stricker's wedge went just through the green, his chip down the hill was too strong and he made another bogey. This turned out to be a three-shot swing when Harrington holed the eagle putt.

Padraig Harrington in action during round three of the US Senior Open
Image: Padraig Harrington in action during round three of the US Senior Open

The Irishman had two bogeys over the last four holes, his first dropped shots since the opening round but will hold a strong advantage going into the final round.

Harrington is showcasing more power than he ever did in his prime, relying on a clean strike and plenty of grit to capture the Open in successive years (2007-08) and the 2008 US PGA Championship at Oakland Hills.

The way he swung with force during rehearsal swings, reminiscent of Bryson DeChambeau, showed how much Harrington has emphasised speed in his swing to get more distance.

"Padraig is tearing it up," Sauers said. "He's playing a 6,500-yard golf course and I'm playing a 7,500-yard golf course."

Two-time US Open champion Ernie Els had a 67 and was seven shots behind.

"He's got a lot of length out here," Els said of Harrington. "He's probably the longest off the tee on the Champions Tour. When he has it under control, like he has this week, you've got to watch out. It's good to see. He's playing with a lot of freedom."

Watch the final round of the US Senior Open live on Sky Sports Golf via the red button from 7pm with full coverage from 11pm.

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