April 15 (Reuters) - Jason Dufner took advantage of two eagles and a run of three consecutive birdies to take a one-stroke lead over Canadian Graham DeLaet in the RBC Heritage in South Carolina on Saturday. Dufner, the 2013 PGA Championship winner, collected eagles on the par-five second and fifth holes, then struck for birdies at the 14th through 16th holes for a round of six-under 65 at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island.
He settled down after an uneven front nine that featured the two eagles, three bogeys and a birdie to stand at 13-under 200.
“It was a little bit of a roller-coaster on the front nine, and it’s always nice to get an eagle, let alone two,” Dufner told reporters. “I really got it going on the back nine and that bodes well for (Sunday).” DeLaet, who shared the lead with Luke Donald after Friday’s play, bogeyed the final hole to miss an opportunity to tie Dufner.
He shot 69 for the day, making four birdies and two bogies.
”It was disappointing to finish with a bogey on the last hole, but obviously I’ve been playing well and I‘m excited about (Sunday),” said DeLaet who has never won in 159 previous starts on the PGA Tour.
“I‘m looking forward to the challenge of playing with Jason (on Sunday). I’ve played with him a few times before and it should be fun.”
Americans Kevin Kisner (66) and Webb Simpson (68) were tied for third at 202, one stroke in front of England’s Ian Poulter (69).
Donald dropped into a tie for sixth at 204 after a one-over par 72. (Reporting by Gene Cherry/Jahmal Corner; Editing by Toby Davis/Peter Rutherford)