Matt Fitzpatrick vaults into RBC Heritage lead after sizzling 63

David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Fitzpatrick of England fired a career-low 63 to jump 17 spots into the lead after three rounds of the RBC Heritage on Saturday at Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Fitzpatrick turned in a clean card, highlighted by a hole-out for eagle on No. 3, to sit at 14-under par with a one-shot lead heading into Sunday’s final round, which is going to start earlier based on an inclement weather forecast.

The final round will feature threesomes off No. 1 tee beginning at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Fitzpatrick holed out from the waste area from 149 yards on the par-4 third hole following a birdie on No. 2.

“It’s obviously a great start to the round,” Fitzpatrick said. “It puts you in great position, 3-under through 3. For me, that’s ideally the start you need on a Saturday, isn’t it? It just gets you off to a good start. I think this is a golf course that’s shown that there are low scores around here this week, and to do that for myself is a big positive.”

Fitzpatrick’s previous career-best round was 64 (five times). He’s gunning for his second PGA Tour victory, but he’s got a lot of company near the top.

Patrick Cantlay (third-round 66) sits solo second at 13 under and defending champion Jordan Spieth (66) trails just two shots behind. Scottie Scheffler (69) and second-round leader Jimmy Walker (72) lead five players who are just three shots back at 11 under.

Another seven players are clustered in a tie for ninth at 10 under.

Fitzpatrick’s round included a crucial up and down par save on the 17th.

“It was just dead there. There was no shot,” he said. “I played away from the flag, gave myself the best chance possible straight over the hill, and managed to take it. Obviously it’s important for the par save for the round, but just for me personally, I hate — I’d like to have a bogey-free round, so it’s always a little bit — it’s extra nice to have that.”

Cantlay also posted a clean round, posting five birdies to stalk Fitzpatrick.

“I think the course does a good job of — if you’re playing in position you can be aggressive to certain hole locations, but if you get out of position you really need to take your medicine,” Cantlay said. “This golf course gives you a lot of chances if you play from the fairway.”

Cantlay finished runner-up in a playoff to Spieth at the RBC last year.

Fitzpatrick’s lone victory on the PGA TOUR is the 2022 U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass.

–Field Level Media

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