Graeme McDowell rolled in two long putts early in the round Saturday and ran his streak to 29 holes without a bogey on his way to a 4-under 68 and a two-shot lead over Keegan Bradley going into the final round of the World Challenge.
McDowell hasn't won anywhere in the world since he rallied from four shots behind and beat Tiger Woods in a playoff at this event two years ago, capping off a dream season in which he won the U.S. Open and the decisive match for Europe in the Ryder Cup.
This time, he'll be the one protecting a lead.
Bradley said he had to cope with more fallout on the proposed ban of the belly putting stroke when one man in the gallery called him a "cheater." It doesn't take much to motivate the former PGA champion, and it didn't keep him from a 67 that put him in the final pairing with McDowell.
Woods, the tournament host and five-time champion at Sherwood Country Club, kept himself in the game. Even though Woods 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 along with Bo Van Pelt (70).
McDowell was at 13-under 203, and will try to win from the front for the first time since the 2008 Scottish Open at Loch Lomond. 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.
NEDBANK GOLF CHALLENGE
SUN CITY, South Africa (AP) — Germany's Martin Kaymer holed a tricky 10-foot par putt on the final hole for a 2-under 70 and a one-stroke lead in the Nedbank Golf Challenge.
Kaymer was 5 under overall at Gary Player Country Club in the 12-man event.
South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen was second after a 69, and countryman Charl Schwartzel was another stroke back after a 70. England's Lee Westwood, the two-time defending champion, and American Bill Haas were 2 under. Westwood had a 70, and Haas shot a 71.
Germany's Bernhard Langer won the Nedbank Champions Challenge seniors event, shooting a 74 for a two-stroke victory over Jay Haas, Bill Haas' father. Langer finished at 7-under 209.
PGA TOUR QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT
LA QUINTA, Calif. (AP) — South Korea' Lee Dong-hwan shot an 8-under 64 on PGA West's Stadium Course to take a two-stroke lead after the fourth round of the PGA Tour qualifying tournament.
Lee had a 19-under 269 total in the six-round event. The final top 25 and ties will receive 2013 PGA Tour cards and the next 50 and ties will earn Web.com Tour cards.
Edward Loar, Meen Whee Kim, Vaughn Taylor and Richard H. Lee were tied for second after their rounds on the Stadium Course. Richard H. Lee had a 64, Taylor shot 70, Loar 71, and Kim 73.
Sweden's Robert Karlsson, an 11-time winner on the European Tour winner, had a 75 on the Stadium Course to drop from second to a tie for 17th at 14 under. Camilo Villegas, a three-time PGA Tour winner, was tied for 20th at 13 under after a 72, and two-time heart transplant recipient Erik Compton was tied for 24th at 12 under after a 71. They also played the Stadium Course.
LPGA TOUR QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Thailand's Moriya Jutanugarn shot a 2-under 70 to maintain a six-stroke lead after the fourth round of the LPGA Tour qualifying tournament.
The 18-year-old Jutanugarn had a 15-under total at LPGA International. The final top 20 in the five-round event will earn full tour status.
Japan's Ayako Uehara was second, also after a 70.
Two-time tour winner Christina Kim, tied for third after the second round, followed her third-round 75 with a 73 to drop into a tie for 24th at 1 under.