CROMWELL—Scott McCarron birdied the par-3 eighth, added three more on the back nine and finished his third round with a 4-under-par 66 to move into a tie for fourth at 10 under at the Travelers Championship, six shots behind leader Justin Rose.
— Scott McCarron emerged from the scoring trailer and looked at his three honorary observers, all dressed in black.
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McCarron wouldn't have to mourn the loss of a good start. Instead, after entering the day 6 under and shooting even par for the first seven holes — a pace that would have dropped him out of contention — McCarron birdied the par-3 eighth, added three more on the back nine and finished his third round with a 4-under-par 66 to move into a tie for fourth at 10 under at the Travelers Championship, six shots behind leader Justin Rose.
He could have taken it one step further with a 10-foot birdie putt on the 18th, but McCarron read the break wrong and pushed it a foot too far.
At 44, McCarron has just three PGA Tour wins — none since 2001 — but is exempt for 2010 because he finished in the top 125 on the money list last year. Through 16 events, McCarron has made just five cuts and only finished in the top 10 once — the Quail Hollow Championship in May, where he tied for seventh.
But he hasn't tanked, either: McCarron missed the cut by one stroke four times and by two on three occasions.
"At [Quail Hollow], I made the cut on the number, and if I had made a few more cuts on the number, who knows how my year would have been?" McCarron said. "You look at it and it looks like it's been a difficult year, but I've been real close to playing some real good golf."
McCarron is upbeat. Because he entered the third round eight shots behind Rose, he joked that he's playing fairly well in the B-flight. He's bogey-free over his last 34 holes, and Friday, when McCarron began his second round with two bogeys, he blamed the struggle to wake up just past 4 a.m. for a 6:50 tee time as the reason.
"I know that the good golf is going to come and it's just around the corner," McCarron said. "You've just got to stay positive through these little stretches."