Pádraig Harrington falls back with 71 at Travelers

Dubliner is now seven shots off the lead while Rory McIlroy is level par in Connecitcut

 Padraig Harrington of Ireland during the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut. Photograph: Getty Images

Padraig Harrington of Ireland during the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut. Photograph: Getty Images

 

Padraig Harrington’s hopes of a comeback victory faded on Saturday, after a third round 71 at the Travelers Championship.

Harrington, playing in his first tournament since returning from an elbow injury, finished one over par, after bogeys in three of his last five holes.

Jordan Spieth resisted a spirited challenge from his fellow American Boo Weekley to preserve his one-shot lead at TPC River Highlands in Connecticut.

The former world number one has been the clubhouse leader since Thursday but needed a birdie on the 18th hole of his third round to pull a stroke clear of Weekley, who signed for a five-under 65.

Harrington is five behind Spieth, the 2015 Masters winner, after shooting five bogeys in a one-over 71 that leaves him four under par.

The Dubliner birdied the fifth and ninth holes, with bogeys on the third and seventh. A mixed bag for the 45-year-old who has ground to make up on Sunday.

Meanwhile world number three Rory McIlroy, who missed the cut at the US Open last week, shot a third round 70 to remain level par overall.

McIlroy — like Spieth making his tournament debut here - is 12 strokes off the lead and all but out of the race after following up Friday’s poor 73 with an even-par round.

Also suffering frustration was Charley Hoffman, who at one point took over at the top with four birdies across the front nine. On his way back in, however, he at one point shot 5-5-5 to drift away to a 68.

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