A day after Tiger Woods shredded Sherwood Country Club for a course-record-tying 10-under 62, red numbers were hard to find Saturday at the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge.
Cold temperatures and light rain greeted players Saturday morning in Thousand Oaks, Calif., before windy conditions kept low scores at bay.
But by day’s end, it was still Woods who held the lead after he managed an even-par 72, one of just eight scores of par or better. At 11 under, the tournament host and five-time winner of the event leads by two shots over Zach Johnson, who also carded a third-round 72.
Woods struggled with his iron play Saturday, and his putting wasn’t nearly as sharp as it was a day earlier. He made four bogeys and was 2 over through 15 holes, at one point relinquishing the lead to Johnson. But two birdies in his final three holes, couple with two double bogeys on par 3s on the back nine for Johnson, allowed Woods to keep his lead entering Sunday’s final round, where he’ll again be grouped with Johnson.
Bubba Watson closed with a three-putt bogey at the par-4 18th. His third-round 69 has him in solo third at 7 under. Matt Kuchar is alone in fourth at 4 under after he shot 76.
Rory McIlroy notched the best round of the day, a 4-under 68 to push his total to 2-over 218.