LOS ANGELES — Bill Haas had another bogey-free round at Riviera on Saturday for a 7-under 64 — the best round of the day by three shots — that gave him a three-stroke lead going into the final round of the Northern Trust Open.
On a warm afternoon off Sunset Boulevard that made the greens even faster, Haas turned in a remarkable score. The key was a seven-hole stretch in the middle of his round that he played in 6-under par, including a 60-foot pitch that dropped for eagle on the scary par-4 10th hole.
He was at 12-under 201 and will try to become only the eighth back-to-back winner in the 76-year history of this tournament.
All he cares about today is winning.
A year ago, Haas was two shots behind going into the final round and wound up winning in a playoff over Mickelson and Keegan Bradley. This time, he has a comfortable margin over U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson and former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, who each thought they did well for a 68.
John Merrick bogeyed the 18th hole for a 70 and joined Simpson and Schwartzel at 9-under 204.
Luke Donald overcame a sloppy start — three bogeys in a six-hole stretch — with four birdies on the back nine to salvage a 70 that put him four shots behind, along with Fredrik Jacobson (72).
Mickelson was hopeful of making a move and instead went the other direction. He missed three par putts of about 6 feet on the front nine and had a 72, putting him nine shots behind. Ernie Els, playing with Mickelson, also dropped shots early and dropped out of the hunt with a 73.
Langer has 3-shot
lead after 2nd round
NAPLES, Fla. — Bernhard Langer shot a 2-under 70 to take a three-shot lead after the second round of the Champions Tour’s ACE Group Classic on Saturday.
Langer, who had a 10-under 62 in the first round, picked up where he left off with a birdie on his first hole. He made 11 straight pars after that, birdied No. 13, and had a par on the last five holes in windy conditions. He is at 12-under 132.
Taiwan’s Chien Soon Lu and Tom Pernice Jr., who was runner-up last week in Boca Raton, Fla., are tied for second at 9-under 135.
Lu double bogeyed the first hole, then birdied seven of the next 10. He bogeyed No. 18. Pernice had four birdies and a bogey. He birdied two of his last six holes.
Shin, Ko share
at Royal Canberra
CANBERRA, Australia — Jiyai Shin of South Korea and 15-year-old amateur Lydia Ko both shot rounds of three-under 70 on Saturday to surge six shots clear of the field heading into the final day of the Women’s Australian Open.
South Korean-born, New Zealand-based Ko jumped to an early lead at Royal Canberra with birdies on the 2nd, 4th and 6th holes. She allowed Shin to retake a share of the lead with bogeys on No. 12 and 14 before making another birdie on the final hole to finish 17-under 202.
Two-time British Open winner Shin kept pace, making an eagle out of the green-side bunker on the par-5 6th, but gave up a chance of an outright lead when she had a bogey on the penultimate hole.