FORT WORTH, Texas — David Toms felt no need to even look at the Colonial leaderboard until noticing more people with cameras suddenly watching late in his third round.
“I didn’t feel like I was really relevant at the time to even look at it,” the former LSU golfer said. “I knew something was going on.”
Three years after the last of his 13 PGA Tour victories, also at Hogan’s Alley, the 47-year-old Toms was back in contention. He wasn’t alone.
Toms shared the lead Saturday with Hideki Matsuyama, Chad Campbell and Chris Stroud at 7-under-par 203, the highest leading 54-hole score at Colonial since 1999. Among the other 13 players within two strokes of the lead were Adam Scott, the No. 1 player in the world, and Jimmy Walker, a three-time winner this season and No. 1 in the FedEx Cup standings.
“It’s kind of jammed in there,” Campbell said.
Kevin Chappell, whose early 7-under 63 was the low round of the day, moved from a tie for 60th after just making the cut to within one stroke of the lead.
Matsuyama, the 22-year-old from Japan with five wins at home, shot a bogey-free 64. Toms had a 65, local resident Campbell shot 68 and Stroud finished bogey-birdie for a 69.
Walker was 6-under after a 69, and Scott was another stroke back after his bogey-free 66.
Campbell and Walker, playing together, were alone atop the leaderboard at 8-under before both bogeyed the 161-yard 13th hole.
When Walker missed a 9-footer, it was his first bogey all week — and he had another after hitting from two different greenside bunkers at No. 15. Campbell held the lead alone only for a moment before missing his 4-foot par chance at No. 13.
Second-round leader Brice Garnett fell back with a bogey at the 216-yard fourth hole, followed by a double bogey when he drove out of bounds at the tight fifth hole that runs parallel to the Trinity River. The PGA Tour rookie shot 74 and dropped into a tie for 25th at 3-under.
With raised expectations at Colonial after winning his plaid jacket in 2011, Toms missed the cut the past two years.
“I came here this week just a little more relaxed, and just wanted to enjoy the experience,” he said. “And I’ve done that so far. It’s certainly reflective in the way I’ve played.”
Matsuyama had three early birdies in his best round ever on the PGA Tour, including at Nos. 4 and 5 — the last two of a trio of holes known as the “Horrible Horseshoe” because of the layout of difficulty of the holes. There are two tough par-4s with the course’s longest par-3 between them.
“Kind of set the tone for the rest of the round,” Matsuyama said through an interpreter. “Gradually, week by week my game has gotten better, and I feel like I can compete now.”
To stay No. 1 for more than a week, Scott likely has to finish higher at Colonial than third-ranked Henrik Stenson does at Wentworth. Stenson was tied for seventh going into Sunday’s final round in Europe’s flagship event, though he was nine strokes off the lead. Scott was tied for 11th at Colonial, but only two back — after starting the third round tied for 36th in the same group as Matsuyama.
MONTGOMERIE TAKES CHARGE: In Benton Harbor, Michigan,Colin Montgomerie took the third-round lead in the Senior PGA Championship, making a winding, 30-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a 3-under 68.
Trying to win his first senior major after failing to capture one of golf’s four biggest events on the regular tours, the 51-year-old Scot took a 7-under 206 total into the final round at Harbor Shores.
Bernhard Langer, the 56-year-old German star who has won twice this season on the Champions Tour, was a stroke back after a 70. He will play alongside Montgomerie for the fourth consecutive round Sunday.
Marco Dawson, Bart Bryant and Kiyoshi Murota were tied for third at 5-under. Dawson had a 64, the best round of the tournament. Bryant and Murota shot 70.
Tom Watson, among the six-way tie for first through 36 holes, had a 72 to drop four shots behind.
NORDQVIST IN COMMAND: In Mobile, Alabama, Anna Nordqvist moved into position for her third victory of the year, shooting her second straight 6-under 66 to take the third-round lead in the Airbus LPGA Classic.
The 26-year-old Swede, the winner in Thailand and Carlsbad, had a 16-under 200 total on The Crossings course at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail’s Magnolia Grove complex.
Catriona Matthew, the 44-year-old Scot who led after each of the first two days, was a stroke back after a 70. She bogeyed three of the first five holes to drop to 10-under, then birdied five of the last 15.
Second-ranked Stacy Lewis, the 2012 champion who needs to finish solo third or higher to take the top spot in the world from Inbee Park, was third after a 66. Park missed the cut Friday.
Michelle Wie, Jessica Korda and 18-year-old Charley Hull were tied for fourth at 13 under. Wie shot 66, Korda 69, and Hull 71.
BJORN’S BIRDIE SURGE BOOSTS HIS CHANCES: In Virginia Water, England, Thomas Bjorn birdied seven of his last eight holes to take a five-stroke lead after the third round of the BMW PGA Championship.
The 43-year-old Dane fought back from a double bogey on the first hole by making six straight birdies from the 11th and adding another one at the last for a 5-under 67 and a 15-under 201 total at Wentworth.
England’s Luke Donald, the 2011 and 2012 winner, was second after a 68.