McDowell retains lead at Sherwood

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iol spt dec2 McDowell Reuters Graeme McDowell fired a bogey free four-under par 68 on Saturday to remain top of the leaderboard after three rounds of the World Challenge. Photo by: Lucy Nicholson

THOUSAND OAKS, California – Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell fired a bogey free four-under par 68 on Saturday to remain top of the leaderboard after three rounds of the World Challenge hosted by Tiger Woods.

McDowell, the 2010 US Open champion, had a 54-hole total of 13-under 203 at Sherwood Country Club.

His three-stroke overnight lead slipped to two but he was still well placed to capture his first victory since winning this unofficial 18-man invitational event in 2010.

Keegan Bradley had six birdies in his five-under 67 and was alone in second place on 205. Three shots further back was tournament host Woods, who carded his second straight 69 and Bo Van Pelt, who hit a 70 for 208.

With the rain-softened Sherwood layout again playing long, McDowell drained lengthy birdie putts at the second and fourth holes, adding birdies at the ninth and 11th before parring his way in.

Woods, who chipped in for birdie at the first and added three birdies in the last five holes to stay in touch, said the soggy conditions made for hard play, even with players allowed to lift, clean and place the ball in the fairway.

“It was wet out there,” Woods said. “It was a little sloppy early and overall I thought it was tough to get the ball close today.

“The greens were so soft, they're spinning so much, and then on top of that they didn't cut the fairways. Even though we had ball in hand, a couple times we caught a couple of little fliers from the fairway.” – Sapa-AFP


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