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Dublin: 6 °C Sunday 17 November, 2019
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Watson takes control in Florida

The American’s five-under 67 on Saturday included six birdies, an eagle and three bogeys as he took a stranglehold on the tournament in Doral.

Bubba Watson hits his tee shot on  the fifth hole.
Bubba Watson hits his tee shot on the fifth hole.
Image: (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

BIG-HITTING BUBBA Watson leads the WGC-Cadillac Championship by three shots going into Sunday’s final round at the TPC Blue Monster.

The American’s five-under 67 on Saturday included six birdies, an eagle and three bogeys as he took a stranglehold on the tournament in Doral, Florida. While he failed to hit the heights of his blistering 10-under 62 on Friday, it was enough for the 33-year-old left-hander to reach 17-under overall.

In a tight field in which 12 players are within eight shots of the lead, American Keegan Bradley and Englishman Justin Rose trail Watson by three shots at 14-under. PGA champion Bradley turned in a six-under 66 to earn a share of second spot, while Rose carded a three-under 69 for his third round.

A host of big names lurk behind the front-runners – Swede Peter Hanson (69) is outright fourth at 12-under, followed by Americans Matt Kuchar (66) and Zach Johnson (67) in a share of fifth place. Another American, Johnson Wagner, is already a winner on the PGA Tour this season, and sits outright seventh at 10-under after carding a 67.

And a star-studded group of six players occupy a tie for eighth at nine-under. American Webb Simpson, who finished second on the PGA Tour money list last season, shot a 66 to be joined by US Masters champion Charl Schwartzel (70) and US Open winner Rory McIlroy (65), the world number one.

McIlroy’s predecessors as the world’s top-ranked player – Luke Donald (69), Martin Kaymer (70) and Tiger Woods (68) -complete the group. But despite their abundance of talent, Watson’s commanding lead suggests he would need to struggle badly over the final 18 holes if the chasing pack is to have any hope of challenging.

Watson’s third round was by no means perfect – he had bogeys at four, nine and 16, but also eagled the first, while sinking six birdies throughout to stay in charge going into day four. Adam Scott had the most disappointment to contend with in the third round.

Joint leader after 36 holes, he struggled to a two-over 74 on Saturday, finishing with two bogeys and a double bogey over the last three holes. The Australian now sits tied 14th at eight-under, nine shots off the pace.

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