Willett charges while Dahmen leads at PGA Dominican event

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·2 min read
England's Danny Willett, the 2016 Masters champion, fired a five-under par 67 to charge into contention saturday at the US PGA Corales Puntacana Championship in the Dominican Republic
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England's Danny Willett, the 2016 Masters champion recovering from Covid-19, fired a five-under par 67 to leap into contention after Saturday's third round of the US PGA Corales Puntacana Championship.

Puerto Rico's Rafael Campos and American Joel Dahmen, each chasing a first US PGA title, shared a one-stroke lead on 10-under 206 with Willett and Canada's Michael Gilgic one stroke adrift after 54 holes at the Dominican resort.

"I took advantage of the par 5s and just hang onto your hat on 16, 17 and 18," Dahmen said. "These are tough holes coming in."

Campos, a 36-hole co-leader, sank a long birdie putt at 18 to finish on 69 and match Dahmen, who fired a 68.

"I'm happy with where I'm at," Campos said. "I can't believe I'm where I'm at but I'm happy to be in this position."

Willett missed The Players Championship after testing positive for Covid-19 and said this week he had still not fully recovered, but added the event after falling out of field for this week's WGC Match Play.

"The game was good before Covid," he said. "We were good managing fatigue and (wanted to) see how we were to add this in."

The 33-year-old from Sheffield birdied the par-5 fourth and closed the front nine with four birdies in a row, but failed to gain ground on the back nine, birdies at the par-3 11th and par-5 14th each followed by a bogey on the next hole.

"I was really solid, didn't do a great deal wrong," Willett said. "I had a real nice spell in the middle. From there I kind of got the better side of par.

"And you're not going to take on a couple of the sneaky pins that are out there with the winds. The last four holes played really tough, so I think to play them in level was probably the icing on the cake."

With a return trip to the Masters less than two weeks away, Willett enjoyed being back in the Sunday hunt.

"It's nice to be back," he said. "With that hot little streak in the middle there, we got right in the mix.

"You get the juices flowing. Trying to play, control your own stuff, do what you can do and keep looking at the leaderboard.

"First week out, so really no pressure to kind of play great straightaway, but it is always nice when you come out like this."

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