The resurgent Ian Poulter shot a 4-under 67 on Saturday to take a one-shot lead into the final round of the RBC Heritage Classic in Hilton Head Island, S.C., putting him in position for his second victory in three weeks.
Entering the month, Poulter had not won on the PGA Tour in more than five years. Now, he’s one more solid round away from adding another title to his dramatic win at the Houston Open on April 1.
No joke, Poulter’s play is for real.
Seven of the Englishman’s last 11 rounds have been in the 60s after having just three such showings in his first 20 rounds this season. His latest left him at 13-under 200, and a stroke ahead of Luke List (67) and Si Woo Kim (68).
World No. 1 Dustin Johnson failed to make a move and, after a 72, was tied for 41st, 10 shots behind.
Poulter and his chasers will have a quick turnaround Sunday with tour officials starting play at 7 a.m. and going off in threesomes on both tees because of expected bad weather in the afternoon.
C.T. Pan and Billy Horschel, both with 67s, were another stroke back at 11 under, and Kevin Kisner (66) and Chesson Hadley (69) were three shots behind at 10 under.
Poulter made his run in spurts, moving out front with birdies on the fifth and six holes before getting his last two on the 12th and 13th. He saved par out of the bunker on the par-3 17th, rolling in a rock-solid 6-foot putt and making a routine par on the signature lighthouse hole, the 18th, to stay in front.
Kim was in front at 12 under after birdies on the eighth and ninth holes. He fell back with bogey on No. 12 and could not catch Poulter down the stretch.
List took off with three straight birdies on Nos. 14-16. List, who finished second earlier this season at the Honda Classic, is seeking his first PGA Tour win.
Second-round leader Bryson DeChambeau had the confident stride of a pending winner with his first solo 36-hole lead as a pro — at least until the third round got going. After grabbing a two-shot lead with a birdie on No. 1, DeChambeau imploded with a triple-bogey eight on the normally birdie-able par-5 second.
DeChambeau struck his second shot past the green and out of bounds by some condos. He fluffed his fifth shot into a bunker, then missed a 5-foot putt for the dreaded snowman.
Three holes later, DeChambeau botched another par 5, the fifth, by rolling his blast from a bunker off the green and into a sprinker cover.
‘‘Unbelievable what’s happened on the par fives today,’’ DeChambeau said as he saw his ball.
DeChambeau had been 6-under par on Harbour Town’s three par 5s the first two rounds. He played them in 3-over Saturday on the way to a 75 to fall seven shots back.
In his only two previous appearances here Johnson missed the cut badly — at 16 over in 2008 and 5 over in 2009. This time, he to channel the game that’s made him the world’s top-ranked golfer for more than a year. Instead, Johnson had bogeys on four of his first 11 holes before rallying to finish with a 72 and was 10 shots in back of Poulter.
Again, Johnson pointed to putter problems this week. Johnson missed five birdie putts of 16 feet or less on the front nine. ‘‘Around here, you've got to hole some putts if you want to compete,’’ he said.
Johnson said the early call will be difficult as the winds pick up on what has been an unusually mild layout.
LPGA — Brooke Henderson pulled away at gusty Ko Olina Golf Club in Kapolei, Hawai, to win the Lotte Championship for her sixth LPGA Tour victory.
The 20-year-old Canadian closed with a 3-under 69 for a four-stroke victory. She moved within two victories of tying Sandra Post’s LPGA Tour record for Canadians.
A stroke ahead entering the round after late putting trouble in a third-round 73, Henderson finished at 12-under 276.
Spain’s Azahara Munoz had a 67, the low round of the day, to finish second.
Top-ranked Shanshan Feng (71), third-ranked Inbee Park (72), and sixth-ranked Ariya Jutanugarn (69) tied for third at 7 under.
With rain squalls and wind gusting to 30 miles per hour, Munoz and Jutanugarn put together the only serious charges of the final round. Both came up a few holes short.
Munoz climbed 13 places and was two shots back after her fifth birdie of the day, at the 14th. But she parred in for her best finish in more than four years.
Jutanugarn, from Thailand, secured her fifth top 10 this year but couldn’t get the eighth victory of her career. She parred her final 11 holes.
Henderson was the only other player in the 60s. Her lead was only one at the 12th after her only bogey. She birdied two of the next four holes, while others dropped back.
Hawaii’s Michelle Wie had a 71 to tie for 11th at 3 under.
Champions — Steve Flesch needed 38 holes to win the Mitsubishi Electric Classic in Duluth, Ga., for his first PGA Tour Champions victory. The 50-year-old Flesch birdied the second hole of a playoff with Scott Parel at TPC Sugarloaf in an event completed a day early because of forecast rain and lightning. Bernhard Langer dropped out on the first extra hole.
Parel bogeyed the par-5 18th on the second playoff hole after his approach hit the bank short and left and went into the water.
Flesch hit long and right into the back bunker, and blasted out to 3 feet. The lefthander won in his 22nd start on the 50-and-over tour after winning four times on the PGA Tour.
Flesch and Parel birdied the 18th to start the playoff. Flesch and Parel each reached the green in two, with Parel leaving a 60-foot eagle try 3 feet short, and Flesch rolling a 50-footer to a foot. Langer laid up and missed a 15-foot birdie try.
Parel matched the course record with an 8-under 64, making a 15-foot birdie putt on 18 in regulation to post at 11 under. Flesch and Langer missed chances to win on 18 in regulation. Flesch missed a long eagle try, and Langer’s 15-foot birdie putt went to the left. Flesch shot 68, and Langer had a 69.
European — Paul Dunne held onto a one-shot lead of the Spanish Open after shooting a 4-under 68 through the third round in Madrid.
The Irishman moved to 17-under overall after making five birdies, to go with one bogey, at the Centro Nacional de Golf.
Nacho Elvira of Spain (66) cut Dunne’s three-shot overnight lead to a single stroke. World No. 4 Jon Rahm (66) and Henric Sturehed of Sweden (66) finished the day two strokes back.