Watson grabs lead, Woods in hunt
Big-hitting Bubba Watson birdied the 7th hole to vault into the lead in the US Open third round, with Tiger Woods close behind.other Updated: Jun 17, 2007 13:16 IST
Big-hitting Bubba Watson birdied the seventh hole to vault into the lead in the US Open third round on Saturday, with Tiger Woods close behind.
American Watson was one over par, one stroke ahead of Angel Cabrera and two clear of Woods (through 12), Briton Paul Casey (9) and Sweden's Niclas Fasth (8), who eagled the par-five fourth at Oakmont.
Watson, the longest driver on the US Tour, began a warm, humid day at one-over, one stroke behind second-round leader Cabrera but leapfrogged him at the seventh where the Argentine carded a bogey.
Cabrera was plagued by erratic play off the tee, though he rescued himself repeatedly with a soft touch around the greens.
Woods, who hit only six of 14 fairways when he carded a four-over 74 in round two, was playing with power and precision in his chase for a 13th major title.
The world number one made a quick move with birdies at the third and fourth to reach three-over, and hit every green in regulation through 12 holes.
With a touch more luck on the greens, Woods would have burst into the lead as he narrowly missed several birdie putts.
Tied for sixth place on a jammed leaderboard were Sweden's Carl Pettersson (through 9), Briton Justin Rose (7) and Australian Aaron Baddeley (7).
One shot further back at five-over were Nick Dougherty of Britain and Canadian Stephen Ames.
American Steve Stricker (68) was the clubhouse leader on six-over 216 after holing out from the 18th fairway with a lob wedge for a birdie.
"I have an opportunity and that's all I can ask for going into tomorrow," Stricker told reporters.