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'Lefty', Watney share Doral lead

AMERICANS Phil Mickelson and Nick Watney shared the lead at 16-under-par after the third round of the CA Championship in Miami, Florida, on Saturday.

India's Jeev Milkha Singh (68) and Colombian Camilo Villegas (69) were tied for third place, four shots off the pace at the Doral Resort and Spa.

Watney took over at the top of the leaderboard from second-round leader Mickelson after racing to the turn in a four-under 32.

He then suffered his first bogey of the tournament at the 11th before birdies at the 12th and 16th gave him a 67 for a total of 200.

Watney, who played with Mickelson, said he was pleased with his round but did not consider the tournament to now be a head-to-head battle.

"I just wanted to go out and really get into my round and not worry too much about the scoreboard or about playing Phil directly," Watney said.

"With this kind of field and with four shots not being that many you can't talk about it being one-on-one unless it gets down to the last three or four holes."

Mickelson mixed six birdies with three bogeys as he carded a 69.

"Lefty", as he is known, was unlucky on the par-three fourth as he drove the green but then watched the ball gently roll off the putting surface and into water.

Mickelson's short-game has been outstanding this week but it let him down when he three-putted the seventh.

His third bogey came at the 17th when he drove left behind a cluster of trees and bushes and while he has frequently tried for a spectacular recovery, he instead opted for a safe return to the fairway.

"I felt that if I tried to hit a shot that didn't get up quick it could go in the bush and stay there and I could be looking at seven," Mickelson said.

"So I just hit a sand wedge to get back in play.

"Every now and then I'll make a smart play.

"I would have taken 69 at the start of the day because it was tougher and windier, but I had opportunities to make that a low round and a couple of putts didn't fall."

Mickelson, who won two weeks ago in Los Angeles, can close in on No. 1 in the world ranking by capturing his first World Golf Championship title.

Tiger Woods, in his first stroke-play event since an eight-month injury layoff, produced his best round with a 68 for a seven-under total of 209.

"The best I've hit it in a long time," Woods said. "Granted, I haven't played in a long time, but still."

Britain's Rory McIlroy, bidding to become the youngest winner on the PGA Tour, was one off the lead before making a hash of the closing stretch when he bogeyed three of the last five holes and made 72 for a total of 206.

American Kenny Perry, tied for third overnight, also fell away after a double-bogey on the par-three 13th contributed to a 71 for 205. Perry's tee shot hit a rake and raced across the green into the rough. As he set up for his next stroke the ball moved forward and cost him a one-shot penalty.

Perry's group at 11-under also included Jim Furyk (69) and Alvaro Quiros, the big-hitting Spaniard who had a 69.


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