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Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Patrick Reed carded a 3-under 69 on Saturday to move two strokes clear of the field after three rounds of the WGC-Cadillac Championship.
Reed, who won the Humana Challenge earlier this year, finished 54 holes at 4- under-par 212. This is the third time he has had the 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour, and Reed has gone on to win the first two times he was in that position.
Jason Dufner posted a 4-under 68 to move into a share of second place at minus-2. He was joined there by Hunter Mahan (71), who is a two-time World Golf Championship winner.
Defending champion Tiger Woods fired Saturday's low round of the day with his 6-under 66. That helped him jump 21 places into a tie for fourth at 1- under 215. He stands alongside Jamie Donaldson, who managed a 71 in round three at Doral.
Woods birdied the first, then wrapped birdies at three and five around a bogey on the fourth. He got up and down for birdie from over the eighth green and that moved Woods to plus-2.
Around the turn, Woods rolled in a 16-footer birdie on No. 11 and followed with a 22-foot birdie effort on the 12th. His tee shot on 13 found sand and he left his second in that same bunker.
Woods then got up and down for bogey. He bounced back with a 35-foot birdie putt on the 15th and made it two in a row with a short birdie try on 16. Woods parred the last two to end three back.
"I played well today. I got off to a nice start, which was nice. Just a 3-putt at four after two bad putts, but I held it together," said Woods, who said his back is still bothering him a little.
"It's a little bit better, but as each day goes forward it gets sorer and sorer as the day goes on."
Miguel Angel Jimenez (69), Zach Johnson (71) and Dustin Johnson (73) share sixth place at even-par 216.
Matt Kuchar, who shared the second-round lead with Reed, Mahan and Dustin Johnson, stumbled to his second straight 74, which dropped him into a tie for ninth at plus-1. He was joined there by Richard Sterne (70), Graeme McDowell (73), Jimmy Walker (67) and Bubba Watson (72).
The front nine was a back-and-forth scramble that saw six different players grab a piece of the lead at one time or another.
Reed slipped to even-par for the event when he stumbled to a bogey at the third. After four pars in a row, he poured in a 41-foot eagle effort on the par-5 eighth to move to minus-2.
Around the turn, he blasted his third shot on the par-5 10th within a foot of the hole. Reed kicked that in for birdie and the lead as Mahan bogeyed the 11th to fall one back.
Reed made it two in a row as he drained a 5-foot birdie try at the 11th. That moved him to minus-4, where he was two clear of the field.
The 23-year-old parred three in a row before stumbling to a 3-putt bogey on the 15th. Reed then drove the green on the par-4 16th and 2-putted for birdie from 27 feet out to move to 4-under. He parred the final two holes to end there.
"I feel like I played well. Coming into a Saturday where everyone was bunched, to go out and make an early bogey, then fight back to get it to 4-under for the tournament, I'm pleased," Reed stated. "Would I like to have a couple more and a bigger cushion? Yeah, but at the same time I'm in the right position with the lead going into a Sunday. I'll treat it like another Monday qualifier and go out and try to shoot a low round."
Dufner birdied the first, but gave that right back when he bogeyed the second. He faltered to a double-bogey at the par-3 fourth, but quickly atoned for that mistake with birdies at five and six.
The reigning PGA Champion moved to 1-over for the tournament with a birdie on the par-3 eighth. Dufner soared up the leaderboard as he birdied three in a row from the 10th. That burst got him within one of the lead, but that was all the scoring for Dufner as he closed with six pars in a row.
Mahan started the front and back nines the same way. He birdied the first and 10th, but gave those shots right back as he bogeyed the second and 11th.
The five-time PGA Tour winner birdied the eighth to get to minus-2. After his bogey on 11, Mahan parred four in a row. He 2-putted for birdie on the 16th to get within one of the lead, but found rough off the 18th tee and had to chop out.
Mahan knocked his third to 17 feet and 2-putted for a closing bogey to end two strokes back.
NOTES: Reed's total of 4-under par matches the highest 54-hole total in relation to par to lead the Cadillac Championship ... The third-round leader has gone on to win this title in nine of the previous 14 playings ... There were 67 more balls in the water on Saturday, raising the event total to 249, which is already a tournament record.
03/08 19:59:23 ET
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