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Intense and focused Lahiri moves to Tied-13th as Bubba takes lead

20   //    18 Feb 2018, 19:06 IST

Pacific Palisades (US), Feb 18 (PTI) Anirban Lahiri turned in a superb four-under 67 in the third round to rise to tied 13th ahead of the fourth and final round at the Genesis Open here. After holing two 30-footers for birdies in his remaining three holes from the second round, Lahiri fired five birdies against a bogey in the third round to total 208. He is five-under and five shots behind the leader -- two-time Masters champion, Bubba Watson (65). “I felt like it was the first time in a while where I kept my intensity and concentration at a high level throughout the 21 holes I played today (Saturday),” Lahiri said. “The (new) clubs are beginning to settle down after a few adjustments last couple of weeks,” he added. As for the course, Lahiri was very happy and said, “I love the golf course, so it helps when you enjoy the track. Hopefully I can kick on from this momentum and finish strong on Sunday.” Buoyed by his finish in the second round, Lahiri opened his third round with a birdie on first and added back-to-back birdies on fifth and sixth, though he did drop a shot on par-4 third. Turning in two-under 33, he added two more birdies on 16th and 17th to finish at 67. He also missed at least three other birdie chances between 10-15 feet and his only bogey came when he missed a six-footer on third. He also had a great par save holing a 20 footer for par after going into the rough and then into greenside bunker. Bubba, winless for two years, since his win here at the Riviera in 2016 – he also won here in 2014 – did whatever is required at this tricky course and shot seven-under 65 for a one-shot lead. He is now at 10-under as he tries to end a two-year slump that dates to his last victory at Riviera. It will also be the first time that he has had the lead going into the final round since his win at Riviera in 2016. "The trend is going in the right direction, and that's what I'm looking for," Watson said. "If I don't win tomorrow, or if I do win tomorrow, I'm still going in the right direction." He will be in the final group with Patrick Cantlay, the former No. 1 amateur in the world. Cantlay ended his round with a 55-foot birdie putt for a 69 to get within one shot of Watson. Cameron Smith (65), Kevin Na (67), Graeme McDowell (70) and Tony Finau (68) were two shots back. Defending champion Dustin Johnson was back in the mix. He seemed to be nowhere as he played his first nine, the back end of the course in one-under 35. Then he seemed to be in a chat with Austin, his brother and caddie. "I looked over at AJ and I said, 'We've got 27 holes to see how good we are. We can get back in this thing if we play really well,'" Johnson said. He landed an eagle on 10th on his way to a 29 on the front for a 64, and Johnson wound up four shots off the lead. Justin Thomas played before a quiet crowd after two days with Tiger Woods, who missed the cut. Thomas shot 67 and was four shots back. Phil Mickelson had a 67 and was five behind. Jordan Spieth had nine straight pars between birdies on the par 5s and shot 69 and he was T-20 and seven back. Rory McIlroy, who also played with Woods, had a 73 and fell out of contention in Tied-42nd

Press Trust of India (PTI) is a news agency in India
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