Abraham Ancer upstaged the game’s big names to take a one-shot lead over Bryson DeChambeau and Tyrrell Hatton after the third round at the Dell Technologies Championship in Massachusetts on Sunday.
The American-born Mexican birdied the first three holes en route to a six-under-par 65 at TPC Boston as he searches for his first PGA Tour victory.
Ancer posted a 13-under 200 total while American DeChambeau vaulted into joint second place with a 63 that included a tap-in eagle at the par-five 18th.
Englishman Hatton (69) joined DeChambeau on 12-under with a birdie at the last, where he almost holed his wedge approach shot at the end of an eventful day.
Englishman Justin Rose (70) and Australian Cameron Smith (67) were two shots back on a crowded leaderboard.
Ancer missed the cut at last week’s Northern Trust, but was not surprised by the turnaround.
“There’s a very fine line from being right there fighting for the cut and fighting to win the tournament,” the world number 144 told NBC television.
DeChambeau, the FedExCup points leader after winning the Northern Trust, gave himself a chance of going back-to-back.
He was perhaps more excited at playing with Tiger Woods for the first time and outplaying his boyhood idol to the tune of five shots.
“To play as well as I did, that’s something I’ll never forget,” DeChambeau said. “He’s been an inspiration for me.”
Hatton, meanwhile, vaulted to the lead early but suffered a setback with a double-bogey at the par-four 12th, where his approach shot landed on a cart path and took a huge bounce into the woods.
The ball was declared lost after a large search party could not locate it within the allowed five minutes.
Rory McIlroy, Hatton’s European team mate for this month’s Ryder Cup, charged early but stalled over the closing holes for an ultimately disappointing 66 that left him four behind.
Woods, using a new putter this week, also huffed and puffed with three early birdies but then struggled on the greens for a 68 that left him six shots off the pace.