Reed leeds by two at Congressional

Patrick Reed holds a two-shot lead heading into the final round of the Quicken Loans National in Bethesda after a third-round 71.

The American was one of four leaders at the halfway stage, but his level-par 71 was good enough to see him take the outright lead.

Birdies at the fourth and fifth were cancelled out by bogeys on the seventh and eighth, before another bogey at the short 14th was followed by a birdie on six under for a six under total.

Lying two shots off the pace are Korean Seung-Yul Noh, Swede Freddie Jacobson and Australian Marc Leishman.

Counting in 23-year-old Reed’s favour, however, is the fact that he’s won each of the three times he’s held the 54-hole lead.

“That was one of those days that we were able to grind it out,” he said. “It played tough. It seemed to get firmer and faster as the day went on, and you know, it was just a lot of adjusting you had to do during the round. You know, we handled it pretty well and luckily we have the lead going into tomorrow.”

Leishman was one of the co-leaders heading into the weekend, but could do no better than a 2-over 73 on a tough day for scoring at Congressional, which some players likened to having almost major-like conditions.

“I actually said to Matty, my caddie, … on the back nine, ‘It feels a bit like a U.S. Open’ because there were a few pins that you really didn’t have a chance to get at,” Leishman said. “But I think that’s good.

As many as 19 players lie within five shots of Reed’s lead, including England’s Justin Rose, who carded a 71 to lie on three under, three shots back.