HERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. — Billy Horschel needed less than a week to give himself a second chance. If he keeps playing this well, his next shot at closing out a tournament won’t be nearly as stressful as the last one.
Horschel made a 32-foot birdie putt Saturday to wrap up his bogey-free third round at 7-under 63 and take a three-shot lead over Ryan Palmer heading into the final 18 holes of the BMW Championship.
On Monday at the Deutsche Bank, Horschel had a 6-iron in hand on the 18th fairway and a chance to win or force a playoff, but he chunked the shot, made bogey and settled for a disappointing second-place tie.
Horschel had a 13-under 197 total. He gave himself a cushion at the third of the four FedEx Cup playoff events, rolling in a 22 footer for birdie on 14, then an 8-foot birdie on 15 to vault into the lead. He closed it out with the long one on 18 — the uphill, par-4 477-yard closing hole that is the third toughest on the course and has surrendered only 18 birdies all week.
Horschel had one of 14 rounds of 67 or better at mile-high Cherry Hills, where soaking rains and cool weather over the last two days have softened the course and chipped away at some of its defenses.
Palmer had a 67. Masters champion Bubba Watson shot 66 to move into a third-place tie at 8 under with U.S. Open champion Martin Kaymer, who made seven birdies over the last 12 holes to shoot 64.
Rory McIlroy made a 60-footer on the fourth to get into a brief tie for the lead but gave all that back and more with a four-putt from inside of 5 feet on No. 12 — bringing gasps from the crowd. It was McIlory’s first triple-bogey or worse since the first hole of last year’s BMW Championship. The world’s top-ranked player shot 2-over 72 and goes into Sunday nine shots off the lead.
toledo fires 66 for one-shot lead: In Quebec City, defending champion Esteban Toledo shot a 6-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead over Brad Faxon in the Champions Tour’s Quebec Championship.
The 51-year-old Toledo, the only Mexican winner in the history of the 50-and-over tour, had a 10-under 132 total at La Tempete in the first PGA Tour-sanctioned event in the area since 1956. He won the then-Montreal Championship last year at La Vallee du Richelieu for his second Champions Tour victory.
Faxon had a 68.
Loren Roberts was third at 8 under after a 69. Jay Haas, Scott Simpson and Wes Short Jr. were 7 under. Simpson and Short shot 68, and Haas had a 69.
Two-time U.S. Open champion Lee Janzen, making his Champions Tour debut, was tied for seventh at 6 under after a 67. He turned 50 last week.
First-round leader Chip Beck followed his opening 65 with a 75 to drop into a tie for 23rd at 4 under.
CHALMERS GRABS LEAD WITH LATE BARRAGE: In Davidson, N.C. (AP) — Greg Chalmers birdied two of the last four holes for a 5-under 67 and a one-stroke lead in the Chiquita Classic, the second of four events in the Web.com Tour Finals.
Chalmers, the 40-year-old Australian who finished 132nd in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup standings, had a 15-under 201 total at River Run. He had eight birdies and three bogeys in the third round.
Nos. 126-200 in the FedEx Cup standings and Nos. 26-75 from the Web.com Tour’s regular-season money list playing for 25 PGA Tour cards based on their earnings in the four tournaments.
The top 25 players on the Web.com money list have already earned PGA Tour cards. They are competing against each other for PGA Tour priority, with regular-season earnings counting in their totals and the final leader getting a spot in The Players Championship.
Adam Hadwin, the first-round leader after a course-record 63, was second after a 67. He finished fourth on Web.com Tour money list to wrap up a PGA Tour card.
STORM IN FRONT AT EUROPEAN MASTERS: In Crans-Montana, Switzerland, England’s Graeme Storm had a hole-in-one and shot a 6-under 64 to take a one-stroke lead in the European Masters.
Storm used a 6-iron on the 217-yard 11th hole and won a hybrid sports car valued at $186,000. He had a 16-under 194 total on Crans-sur-Sierre’s Seve Ballesteros Championship Course.
England’s Tommy Fleetwood was second after a 63. American Brooks Koepka was third at 14 under after a 66, and countryman David Lipsky was another stroke back after a 66.