Goosen moves two ahead at tricky Riviera

Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:15pm EST
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

PACIFIC PALISADES, California (Reuters) - South African veteran Retief Goosen survived a trying time on the back nine in tough scoring conditions at the Northern Trust Open to stretch his lead to two shots after the third round on Saturday.

A stroke in front overnight, Goosen ground out a two-under-par 69 on a firm and fast-running Riviera Country Club where the players faced a testing challenge reminiscent of a major championship.

The 46-year-old South African, a twice former U.S. Open winner, rebounded from four bogeys in six holes after the turn with two late birdies to post an eight-under total of 205.

Canadian Graham DeLaet, seeking his first PGA Tour victory, was alone in second after carding a 70 while Spanish world number seven Sergio Garcia was among a group of four players knotted at five under after shooting a 68.

Level with Garcia were South Korean Bae Sang-moon (66), PGA Tour rookie Carlos Ortiz of Mexico (68) and long-hitting American J.B. Holmes (69) on a multinational leaderboard stacked with quality players.

Masters champion Bubba Watson, who won last year's Northern Trust Open, was just four strokes off the pace after returning a 70, level with rising young American talent Jordan Spieth (70) and former major winners Vijay Singh (69) and Jim Furyk (68).

(Editing by Larry Fine)

Feb 21, 2015; Pacific Palisades, CA, USA; Retief Goosen tees off on the seventh during the third round of the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports