Villegas moves clear
Camilo Villegas will take a commanding three-shot lead into the final round of the Honda Classic at Palm Beach.
Camilo Villegas will take a three-shot lead into the final round of the Honda Classic at Palm Beach after maintaining his consistent scoring with a 67 today.
The Colombian shared the lead with Anthony Kim at the start of play but, while the American Ryder Cup star struggled to three over par for his round, Villegas shot three under to move clear on 11 under.
Australia’s Nathan Green shares second place with Vijay Singh on eight under, while American George McNeill equalled the best round of the day, 66, to join compatriot Matt Every at six under.
Villegas had shot back-to-back 66s on the first two days and continued his impressive form with birdies at the third, fourth, sixth and ninth on a blemish-free outward half.
He found it harder going after the turn, but counter-balanced bogeys at the 10th, 12th and 14th with birdies at 11 and 16 to give himself a more than useful cushion.
Kim’s largely tidy round was ruined by two sets of miserable holes. Having birdied the third, he haemorrhaged three shots at the sixth and seventh with a double-bogey six followed by a bogey four.
Having regained his composure to birdie 11 and 13 and return to level par for his round, he then undid his good work by closing with three successive bogeys, including a horribly fluffed chip at the last, and is surely now out of the running at six shots back.
Green set off in great style with birdies at the first two holes and gained another shot at the seventh to make it an excellent front nine. A further birdie followed at 15 and his hitherto immaculate scorecard was only marred by a six at the par-five 18th.
Singh shrugged off the same fate as Kim at the sixth, a double bogey, and knocked in four birdies as a round of 69 left the Fijian well in contention.
Every failed to truly take advantage of his three birdies, scoring only one under, but McNeill made seven birdies to cancel out sixes at the sixth and 18th.
A nightmare back nine saw Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell, nicely poised at five under at the start of the day, slip back after a 71. Out in 33, the Ryder Cup player dropped shots at 10 and 15 before a double-bogey at 16 and is a distant four under.
Two birdies in a solid if unspectacular round appeared to have boosted Englishman Paul Casey’s challenge until a double-bogey five at the penultimate hole left him three under par, level with Swede Fredrik Jacobsen.
Rising star Rory McIlroy endured a terrible day, shooting five over, and only six players are now below him in the standings. He twice dropped shots on the front nine but came back to level par on each occasion – but bogeys at 14 and 17 sandwiched an horrendous six at the par-three 15th.
Padraig Harrington shot two over, managing just a solitary birdie at the 16th after three bogeys.
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