Graeme McDowell has 2-shot lead

Graeme McDowell has 2-shot lead

Posted in the Chino Hills Forum

Since: Oct 12

Burbank, CA

#1 Dec 3, 2012
Ever since he first showed up at the World Challenge in 2009 as a last-minute replacement for tournament host Tiger Woods, McDowell has broken par in every round he has played.

McDowell's last three wins started with at least a three-shot deficit. He has never won when he had the outright lead, although he started out tied for the lead four times.

"I'm not sure how many times I've won from the front," McDowell said. "Hopefully, I'll add one tomorrow."

All he knows is that it doesn't figure to be easy to pick up his first win with his discount golf clubs in two years.

Keegan Bradley had to cope with more fallout on the proposed ban of the belly-putting stroke when he said one man in the gallery called him a "cheater." It didn't keep the former PGA champion from a 5-under 67 to get into the final pairing with McDowell on Sunday.

Woods, a five-time champion at Sherwood, kept himself in the game. Even though he failed to birdie any of the five par 5s, he picked up a pair of birdies on the final two par 3s and added a third to salvage a 69 that left him five shots behind.

McDowell was at 13-under 203, and will try to win with the new scotty cameron putter from the front for the first time since he was tied for the 54-hole lead at the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond in 2008. His specialty of late has been rallying on the last day -- four shots behind at the World Challenge, three shots behind at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, four shots behind at the Wales Open, all of those in 2010.

He laid up on the par-5 second hole and hit his wedge with two much spin, the ball rolling back down a pair of tiers that left him some 40 feet away. He rolled that in for a birdie, and then holed about a 25-foot birdie putt on No. 4. McDowell's best swing of the day came at the ninth, with the pin at the far back of the green. He hit a 6-iron to about 6 feet for birdie, and picked up his fourth birdie with a two-putt on the 11th, the one par 5 he can reach in two.

The damp conditions all week have made some of the par 5s difficult to reach, even for some of the longer hitters, and birdies are no longer sure things. Woods found that out the hard way, missing the fairway badly to the right on No. 5 and having to lie up. Even when he was in position for birdie on the 11th, he three-putted for par. But he closed strong, and still has an outside chance.

Bradley and McDowell are the only players to post all three rounds in the 60s. A year ago, Bradley was 10 over for the tournament and never shot better than 73 with the great golf clubs for sale online.

Bradley has been the center of attention all week, especially after the USGA and the R&A proposed a new rule on anchored strokes that would keep him from using the belly putter. The rule is not to take effect until 2016 at the latest, but some fans are passionate against it.

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