Friday, 19 March 2010
WGC - CA Championship - Round Three  (Getty Images)
WGC - CA Championship - Round Three (Getty Images)

Ernie Els drew first blood in the battle for the World Golf Championships-CA Championship in Miami against compatriot Charl Schwartzel.

The 40 year old South African was bunkered at the first, but splashed out to four feet and made it for birdie, whereas Schwartzel was on in two and three putted, missing from three feet.

The 25 year old came back with a 23 footer on the next, though, and they were two clear of Padraig Harrington, who parred the first three, and Australian Robert Allenby.

Germany’s Martin Kaymer moved into fifth by picking up a shot at the third, meaning all of the current top five were European Tour Members at Doral Golf Resort & Spa.

Els regained the edge with birdie putts of nine and eight feet at the third and fourth and when Schwartzel failed to get up and down from sand on the next the gap was three.

Harrington was up into a tie for second both as a result of that and his own pitch to three feet on the fifth, while Allenby was one shot further back in fourth.

Schwartzel, twice a winner in his home country already this year, was only two back again after a 22 foot birdie putt at the sixth. 

Harrington remained 12 under after saving par from 15 feet on the next, while Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell came racing into a share of fourth on ten under with five successive birdies around the turn. 

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