The Dallas Morning News

Watson in position to end win drought


LOS ANGELES — Bubba Watson began with a tap-in eagle at Riviera and finished with a 6-under 65 on Saturday to take a one-shot lead over Patrick Cantlay in the Genesis Open.

Watson, a two-time winner at Riviera, has gone two years since his last victory and has fallen out of the top 100 in the world.

He chipped in from short of the par-3 sixth green, made two more birdies to go out in 30, and then began the back nine with a birdie on No. 10, his least favorite hole at Riviera. The only blip was a bogey on the 15th.

Watson was at 10-under 203 and will be in the final group with Cantlay, the former No. 1 amateur in the world.

Cameron Smith (65), Kevin Na (67), Graeme McDowell (70) and Tony Finau (68) were two shots back. Suddenly in the mix was defending champion Dustin Johnson, who told his brother at the turn that he had 27 holes to show what he had. Johnson then shot 29 on the front nine for a 64 and was four shots behind.

Justin Thomas played before a mostly quiet crowd after two days with Tiger Woods, who missed the cut. Thomas overcame a few mistakes for a 67 and was four shots back. Phil Mickelson had a 67 and was five behind. Jordan Spieth had nine straight pars between birdies on the par 5s and shot 69. He was seven back.

Durant leads Chubb Classic: Joe Durant birdied five of the last eight holes for a 9-under 63 to match Steve Stricker’s Saturday finish and take the second-round lead in the PGA Tour Champions’ Chubb Classic in Naples, Fla.

Durant rebounded from a three-putt bogey on the par-4 10th with birdies on the next two holes and also birdied Nos. 15-17. He had a 14-under 130 total on TwinEagles’ Talon course for a one-stroke lead over Stricker. Jin Young Ko expands lead: In Adelaide, Australia, Jin Young Ko continued her domination of the Women’s Australian Open, shooting a 1-under 71 to increase her lead to four strokes after three rounds.

The South Korean had a three-round total of 11-under 205 at Kooyonga Golf Club.

Australian Hannah Green moved into second place after the round of the day, a 66.

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