Friday, 19 March 2010
WGC-HSBC Champions-Round Three  (Getty Images)
WGC-HSBC Champions-Round Three (Getty Images)

Former champion Phil Mickelson will take a two stroke lead over World Number One Tiger Woods and fellow American Nick Watney into the final round of the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions after carding a five under par 67 in Shanghai.

World Number Two Mickelson shipped just his second bogey of the week as he added to his flawless second round 66 to take the 2007 champion to 14 under par overall.

“I know we are both looking forward to it. I think it will be a fun day and we are excited to be playing in the last group here in China,” said Mickelson.

“I know that I’ve got a tough day ahead of me playing with Tiger, playing with Nick Watney, who has been playing very good golf, and right in front of us is another group of strong players with Ryan Moore - and Lee Westwood is right up there.”

Two-time runner-up Woods followed up back-to-back rounds of 67 with a battling two under 70, while Watney sank a mammoth eagle putt at the last to sign for the same third round score.

“It was a little bit more difficult today certainly. I didn't putt as well as I did the first two days,” said 14-time Major champion Woods.

“We are right there. Unfortunately I'm two back, but it's just one of those things where Nick and I have got a chance tomorrow, and we are going to have to go out there and obviously play well.

“For me to win the championship, I'm going to have to play well tomorrow and make some putts.”

Ryan Moore continued the American domination as back-to-back birdies sealed a round of 70 to improve to 11 under, with Race to Dubai leader Lee Westwood, who lost in a play-off to Mickelson two years ago, in the hunt a further shot off the pace after a sparkling seven under par 65.

Westwood had progressed quietly through the first two days in Shanghai with rounds of 70 and 71, but made his mark with a flawless five under par 31 front nine.

He sandwiched his only bogey of the day at the 15th between two further gains.

And, after a birdie putt agonisingly lipped out on 17, a mammoth drive down the final fairway led to an eighth birdie of the day.

"I didn't really make a big improvement, I just sank a few more putts. I felt like I was lacking a bit of rhythm with my stroke for the first couple of days," he said.

"I tried to free it up and putt with a bit more rhythm and let the putter flow and I rolled a few in and made a couple of four or five footers to keep the momentum going."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1MICKELSON, PhilUSA18-17
2ELS, ErnieRSA18-16
3MOORE, RyanUSA18-15
4MCILROY, RoryNIR18-14
5WATNEY, NickUSA18-13
T6KAYMER, MartinGER18-12
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