Phil Mickelson hit a three-under 69 but he couldnt shake Nick Watney,who finished off a 67 with a tough par save on the 18th hole to share the lead after three rounds of the CA Championship on Saturday. They were at 16-under 200,with no one else closer than four shots.
Jeev Milkha Singh shot a roller-coaster four-under 68 in the third round to grab a share of the third place. The reigning Asian number one has a total of 12-under 204.
Off the blocks with an eagle on the first hole,Jeevs fortunes fluctuated slightly in between before he rounded off the day on a positive note.
It was a great start. I holed a great putt on the first hole and eagled it. After that,I was up and down in between,but I came back, said Jeev.
The Indian dropped a couple of strokes but made amends with an equal number of birdies to make the two-under. The back-nine didnt start as well and Jeev stumbled to a bogey on the 10th before getting his act together to stroke in his second eagle of the day.
I think what got me going was on the 12th,I eagled it again. I made two eagles today,so that was good, he added.
He followed it up with a birdie on the 15th before parring the remaining holes at the Doral Golf Resort after having started the day tied for eighth.
Mickelson had birdie putts inside 12 feet on eight consecutive holes including a tee shot on the par-3 13th that rolled against the flag stick and stopped a foot away until a wild tee shot on the 17th hole led to bogey. Mickelson can close in on No. 1 in the world ranking by capturing his first World Golf Championship title.
Watney,who won at San Diego a month ago,stayed in the game with two good bunker saves and a delicate chip to 3 feet after flirting with the water on the 18th hole.
Rory McIlroy,the 19-year-old from Northern Ireland who is down to his last week with a chance at becoming the youngest winner in US PGA Tour history,was in the mix until struggling from the rough and making three bogeys over his last five holes. He was at 10-under 206,six shots behind.
Woods nine back
Tiger Woods was thrilled with how he hit the ball,disgusted with his putting,and had to settle for a 68 that left him nine shots behind and in a tie for 19th.
The best Ive hit it in a long time, Woods said. Granted,I havent played in a long time,but still.
It was his best round since his return to competition,at least until he got on the green. He made consecutive birdies for the first time all week with a 15-foot putt on the ninth and a two-putt on the 10th. But he missed three putts inside 10 feet,and his final birdie came on the 16th when he holed out from a back bunker.
But it was the finish that lifted his mood. From the edge of the water,with the ball above his feet and the wind in his face,Woods hit a sweeping draw with a 3-iron from 207 yards away that caught the ridge and rolled just past the cup,settling 12 feet away. He missed the birdie putt.
I have not controlled the golf ball that well in a very long ime, Woods said. And that was fun. I was hitting shots that I had not been able to hit before,which was such a great feeling. Unfortunately,Im just not making any putts, Woods said.